There are many reasons for Brighton and Hove’s housing crisis, including the limited availability of land, the impact of the housing policies of successive governments that have failed to prioritise and invest in low cost rented accommodation, the impact of the growing student population, and the rise in single person households.
But one of the main factors must be the inward migration of the DFL’s – those moving down from London.
It was reported this week in the Guardian and locally by Brighton and Hove News that over 5,000 Londoners migrated to the City last year. This is the highest level anywhere in the country second only to those moving from London to Birmingham.
These are affluent people, not the small handful of homeless people that tend to end up living on the streets of Brighton and Hove.
Oxford University professor, Danny Dorling, who compiled the report on ‘internal migration’, described the damage done to communities by the scale of internal immigration. He said: “Creating a sense of community again will take a long time and requires two or three generations to be able to stay in one place. The immigrants who have the greatest effect on life in England are internal immigrants, English-born affluent people with a large deposit.”
The consequence of this is increased demand on housing and a significant inflationary impact on house prices. There is nothing that Brighton and Hove City Council can do to reverse this trend.
It requires government action to empower local authorities to control the housing market, perhaps by a massive windfall tax on homes sold to those moving into the City, the proceeds of which could be used to alleviate housing need locally. But I can’t see this or any government being willing to take such a bold move.