Brighton and Hove’s Green Party is pushing for rent controls in the city where it’s now the most expensive place to rent outside the capital.
The Green-controlled council, with Labour’s blessing locally, has agreed to write to Michael Gove asking for the go-ahead to introduce controls, or at least to run a pilot testing its impact.
The authority also promised to engage with groups and renters in the city to work on a wider campaign for rent controls, as well as to calculate and publish a living rent for Brighton and Hove based on 30% of median income.
Green councillor Martin Osborne (pictured) says the government’s approach to housing doesn’t give him much confidence that it will respond but has vowed that his party will keep up the pressure.
“We may not get powers to act from government, but we are developing our own plans within our remit,” he says. “We are looking on developing an ethical lettings agency and a Good Landlord scheme. But if we are ever to address the real housing crisis we need significant action from Number 10.”
A recent study by cost-of-living database Numbeo found that Brighton and Hove is the second most expensive city for renters in the UK after London, with tenants needing to spend an average of £1,403 a month.
“Those living and renting in the city have limited spending power,” adds Osborne. “It becomes impossible to save for a deposit; sooner or later renters are forced to move away from the city and often away from their families and friends. Transience and an exodus of families has an impact on everything from community cohesion to school funding.”
Bristol Council and London councils including Brent, Tower Hamlets and Haringey, as well as London Mayor Sadiq Khan, are all campaigning for rent controls.
Brighton makes another step toward rents controls following request to Gove is written by Nigel Lewis for www.landlordzone.co.uk