Demands for Homelessness Solutions
This webpage presents a list of demands for addressing homelessness in Brighton and Hove. Each demand highlights a specific area of focus and includes proposed actions to achieve positive change.
Demand 1: Homeless Bill of Rights – Full Implementation
The council has already adopted the Homeless Bill of Rights, but it's crucial to go beyond mere words. We urge you to establish a group of councillors to thoroughly examine each aspect of the council's operations affecting homeless people. Let's audit the extent of compliance with the Homeless Bill of Rights and implement reforms to bring it into line.
Demand 2: Bringing Statutory Housing Services In-house
Recognising the need for improved emergency and temporary accommodation, we commend the recent purchase of 250 temporary accommodation homes by Brighton and Hove City Council. Let's continue this positive change by further investing in the purchase and construction of modern emergency accommodation facilities, phasing out reliance on the private sector.
Demand 3: Monitoring & Licensing of Out-Sourced Providers
To ensure the well-being of residents, there must be strict monitoring and licensing of out-sourced providers. Implement selective licensing and enforce new rules to hold landlords and houses in multiple occupations (HMOs) accountable. The recent legal case where a HMO landlord was fined exemplifies the need for a tough stance against rogue landlords.
Demand 4: Regulation of Temporary Accommodation Providers
Years of horror stories and case studies from people experiencing homelessness in short-term temporary accommodation highlight the urgency for regulation. We support the establishment of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Temporary Accommodation and urge the council to work closely with them to improve the health and lives of those in temporary accommodation.
Demand 5: Development of SHS First Home "Pods" Project
The SHS First Home "Pods" project offers a promising solution for fast, quality home-building. Let's prioritise the development of this project, bringing it out of storage and finding suitable sites in Brighton & Hove to provide much-needed housing options.
Demand 6: Homeless Healthcare Hub
Access to healthcare is a fundamental right for all residents, regardless of housing status. Establish a 24/7 facility that can triage individuals, provide immediate accommodation if needed, and assess them for all council and NHS services. Let's ensure that Article 2 of the Homeless Bill of Rights, which prohibits sleeping rough, becomes a reality in our city.
Demand 7: Record and Investigate Homeless Deaths
Tragically, Brighton and Hove have experienced a significant number of homeless housed deaths. We demand a thorough investigation into these deaths, including health issues arising from homelessness. It's crucial to learn from these tragedies and implement policies and solutions to prevent further loss of life.
Demand 8: More Effective Provision for LGBTQ+ Groups
Reports of hate crimes, isolation, and deaths within the LGBTQ+ community demand immediate attention. Support demands for council-owned homeless accommodation specifically for LGBTQ+ community members experiencing homelessness. Let's ensure safe spaces and appropriate provisions are in place to protect and support vulnerable individuals.
Demand 9: Community Wealth Building – Utilising Public Assets
Maximise the use of public assets for the benefit of the community. Stop the selling off of council assets and land, safeguarding resources and services for future generations. Explore innovative models of community wealth building, such as community land trusts, cooperative enterprises, and social enterprises, to ensure that public assets are utilised for the long-term benefit of the community.
Demand 10: Affordable Housing Quotas for New Developments
Implement strict affordable housing quotas for all new developments in Brighton and Hove. Work with developers to ensure that a significant portion of new housing units are affordable and accessible to low-income residents, including key workers and those at risk of homelessness.
Demand 11: Protecting Renters' Rights
Strengthen renters' rights by introducing rent control measures and regulations to prevent unfair evictions and excessive rent hikes. Establish a dedicated team within the council to provide support and advice for renters, ensuring their rights are protected and their voices are heard.
Demand 12: Increase Social Housing Stock
Commit to a significant increase in the number of social housing units in Brighton and Hove. Invest in the construction and refurbishment of social housing, prioritising environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient designs. This will provide safe and secure homes for those in need, reducing the reliance on temporary and emergency accommodation.
Demand 13: Preventing Council Tax and Benefit Arrears
Develop proactive strategies to prevent council tax and benefit arrears, which often contribute to homelessness and housing insecurity. Implement fairer policies and support mechanisms to assist individuals and families in managing their financial obligations and preventing them from falling into arrears.
Demand 14: Expansion of Housing First Program
Expand the Housing First program to provide long-term, stable housing for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. Ensure sufficient funding and support services are available to help individuals maintain their tenancies and address underlying issues such as mental health and substance abuse.
Demand 15: Improved Mental Health Support
Invest in comprehensive mental health support services for homeless individuals and those at risk of homelessness. Collaborate with local healthcare providers and organisations to ensure accessible and timely mental health assessments, counselling, and treatment options are available to all residents.
Demand 16: Accessible and Affordable Substance Abuse Treatment
Increase the availability and affordability of substance abuse treatment programs in the city. Collaborate with healthcare providers, addiction specialists, and community organisations to develop a comprehensive network of support services that address the specific needs of individuals struggling with addiction.
Demand 17: Expansion of Support for Domestic Violence Survivors
Recognise the unique challenges faced by domestic violence survivors who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Increase funding for specialised support services, including emergency accommodation, counselling, and legal assistance, to ensure the safety and well-being of survivors and their children.
Demand 18: Youth Homelessness Prevention
Implement targeted strategies to prevent youth homelessness by addressing the root causes, including family breakdown, lack of affordable housing, and limited employment opportunities. Enhance support services for vulnerable youth, including counselling, educational programs, and housing assistance.
Demand 19: Collaborative Approach to Tackling Homelessness
Forge strong partnerships with local organisations, community groups, and charities working on homelessness and housing issues. Foster a collaborative approach that leverages the expertise and resources of all stakeholders to develop holistic and sustainable solutions.
Demand 20: Public Awareness and Education Campaigns
Launch public awareness and education campaigns to challenge misconceptions about homelessness and foster empathy and understanding. Promote community engagement and encourage residents to actively participate in initiatives that support homeless individuals and work towards long-term solutions.
Demand 21: Data Collection and Analysis
Improve data collection and analysis on homelessness and housing insecurity. Gather comprehensive and accurate information to identify trends, measure the effectiveness of interventions, and inform evidence-based policies and strategies.
Demand 22: Addressing Rough Sleeping
Develop targeted strategies to address rough sleeping, including the provision of safe and accessible shelter options, outreach services, and support for individuals to transition into permanent housing. Collaborate with local service providers, faith-based organisations, and volunteers to ensure a coordinated and compassionate approach.
Demand 23: Support for LGBTQ+ Homeless Individuals
Recognise the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ+ homeless individuals and provide specialised support services. Partner with LGBTQ+ organisations and advocacy groups to create safe and inclusive spaces, offer tailored counselling and healthcare services, and promote acceptance and understanding within the community.
Demand 24: Accessible Public Facilities and Services
Ensure that public facilities, including restrooms, libraries, and community centres, are accessible to homeless individuals and equipped with necessary amenities. Collaborate with service providers and organisations to offer hygiene facilities, storage options, and access to essential services such as healthcare and job training.
Demand 25: Employment and Skills Development Programs
Invest in employment and skills development programs specifically designed for homeless individuals. Collaborate with local businesses and educational institutions to provide training opportunities, apprenticeships, and job placements, enabling individuals to regain financial independence and secure stable housing.
Demand 26: Support for Veterans
Implement targeted support programs for homeless veterans, recognising their unique needs and experiences. Collaborate with veterans' organisations and government agencies to ensure that comprehensive healthcare, housing assistance, and mental health services are available to those who have served their country.
Demand 27: Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Housing Solutions
Promote the development of sustainable and eco-friendly housing solutions, incorporating renewable energy sources and environmentally conscious design practices. Embrace innovative approaches such as modular construction and repurposing vacant buildings to provide affordable and energy-efficient homes for those in need.
Demand 28: Cultural Sensitivity and Inclusivity
Ensure that homelessness services and support are culturally sensitive and inclusive, respecting the diverse backgrounds and experiences of individuals. Provide training to service providers and staff members to promote cultural competency and create an environment that fosters respect and dignity for all.
Demand 29: Long-Term Planning and Funding Commitments
Develop a long-term plan with clear goals and targets to address homelessness and housing insecurity. Secure sustained funding commitments from local, regional, and national government bodies to ensure the implementation and continuation of effective programs and initiatives.
Demand 30: Accountability and Transparency
Establish mechanisms to ensure accountability and transparency in addressing homelessness. Regularly report progress, outcomes, and challenges to the public, fostering trust and allowing for community input. Engage in dialogue with residents, advocates, and individuals with lived experience to continuously improve policies and practices.
Front Line Workers and Reform
Our manifesto recognises the invaluable contributions of front line workers who tirelessly serve our community. We stand in solidarity with our dedicated public servants, from healthcare professionals to social workers, who play a vital role in addressing the challenges faced by our city. We commit to prioritising their well-being and providing them with the necessary resources and support to carry out their duties effectively.
In line with our demands for reform, we call upon Brighton and Hove City Council to implement comprehensive measures that uphold the rights and protections of front line workers. This includes fair wages, safe working conditions, and access to quality healthcare and mental health support. We urge the council to foster a culture of respect, collaboration, and continuous professional development within their departments, empowering front line workers to deliver the highest standards of care and service to our community.
Furthermore, as part of our broader reform agenda, we demand transparency and accountability within the council's decision-making processes. It is essential that the voices of front line workers and the communities they serve are heard and valued. We call for increased citizen participation and meaningful engagement, ensuring that policies and initiatives reflect the diverse needs and aspirations of our residents.
By aligning with the demands outlined in our manifesto, Brighton and Hove City Council has the opportunity to lead by example, becoming a model of progressive governance that prioritises the well-being of its front line workers and fosters a culture of inclusivity, equity, and excellence. Together, we can create a city where our public servants thrive, our communities flourish, and our shared future is built upon principles of justice and compassion.
By addressing these 30 demands, we can make significant strides toward ending homelessness and creating a city that truly supports and uplifts all its residents. Together, let's build a Brighton and Hove where everyone has a place to call home and the opportunity to thrive.