Our city faces tough challenges on housing but that shouldn't be an excuse for inaction.
There are two trends underlying our housing problems here in Hove and Portslade: the first is the national long-term trend towards single occupancy as families increasingly choose not to live together across generations. Secondly is migration from within the UK as Univeristy students choose to stay after graduation and other people understandably want to move to the best city in the country. This is all compounded by us being locked between the national park and sea which constrains our physical expansion.
So what can we do?
Firstly we need to build new homes to ease the pressure on people excluded from buying due to lack of supply and exorbitant prices. It's appalling to think that people born in our city are being squeezed out due to property prices. As a city we will need to make some tough decisions and our politicians will have to show true leadership. That leadership will require listening to communities that are potentially affected by construction, such as Mike Oak, and explaining the positive case for new homes whilst working with agencies and construction companies to ensure community concerns such as transport, jobs, and school places are taken into account as residential areas expand.
Secondly we need to have for a fairer deal for the thousands of people in private rented accommodation. So this week I launch my campaign on housing and pledge to fight for the following:
- Long term tenancy agreements
- Stabilised rent increases
- A crackdown on letting fees
- Better regulation of landlords
- Getting developers building again
What's your experience of housing? Please let me know. As you can see from my new shop window I'm logging people's concerns to inform my campaign going forward.
All the best, Peter