The scale of the housing supply and affordability problem in Brighton and Hove

Last Thursday (23rd April) I gave a presentation to the Hove Civic Society on the supply of affordable housing to buy and to rent in Brighton and Hove.  I have prepared four bite size summaries of my presentation which I will post today and over the next three days:

  • The need to build build build
  • The economic consequences of current housing policy
  • The need to end, not extend Right to Buy.

Today, the scale of the problem:

There are few who would deny that we have a housing crisis unlike anything we have experienced in our lifetimes.

In Brighton and Hove house prices are ten times average income which increasingly exclude people on middle incomes from the City.  The City Plan identifies just 13,200 new homes to the year 2030 against a housing need of 24,000.  In 2013 rents went up five times faster than salaries.

Brighton and Hove is one of the top ten areas for house prices in the UK.  The average rent is beyond the reach of anyone on benefits.  The average one bed flat is now £850 per month, while the Local Housing Allowance (the amount that housing benefit will pay for such a property) is £612.

Shelter says that just 0.1% of homes in Brighton and Hove are affordable to first time buyers and in the south east, only three out of every 100 homes on the market are affordable for a single person on an average wage.  Four out of five homes for sale in the South East are unaffordable for a couple without children on average wages

This isn’t a new issue, but the problem is now worse than ever.

In the next three posts I will focus on:

  • The need to build build build
  • The economic consequences of current housing policy
  • The need to end, not extend, the Right to Buy.
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