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NEWSLETTER #1 - FEBRUARY 2017

Welcome to the first newsletter of Brighton and Hove Community Housing CIC. Thank you for showing support for our mission. Over 700 local residents have subscribed so far.

Governments have failed massively for the last 3 decades to fund genuinely affordable housing. Many people are paying vast proportions of their income in rent. Homelessness and rough sleeping have shot up.

Even if the government turns the taps on now, the problem is so huge, it will take many years to fix so we need all possible efforts to tackle the housing crisis. Also, the government has a worrying definition of ‘affordable’ at 80% of market rent, irrespective of income.

The government has diluted environmental measures for new homes, but, we need to be moving as fast as we can to prevent as many of the catastrophic effects of climate change as possible. It also makes economic sense in terms of a lower cost of running homes, creating jobs and producing a more sustainable economy.

Using investment from within the community allows us to shape the kind of housing and communities we want to see. There’s also many ways of reducing costs and improving facilities through sharing.

Through a collaborative process with the communities of this city, we will design, commission and provide genuinely affordable eco housing for local people.

I welcome all your feedback.

David Walker
Founding Director


Envisaged Timeline

2017-18

Spring 2018

Autumn 2018

Autumn 2019

Autumn 2020

Autumn 2021


Membership

The community interest company is owned by its members. There are strict constitutional and legal restrictions to safeguard assets for the benefit of the community.

Members set the policies and directors implement them. Directors will give advice but members decide. All members will be able to participate in all votes online.


Community Bonds

To finance the land acquisitions and construction of new homes, it is intended to release community bonds for sale via an ethical online broker.

Key points:


Property Options

Eco Options


Tenancy Allocation

Compulsory

Priority

Progressive Rent

Strategic Policy

There are 3 purposes of our rental structure:

  1. To meet the costs of providing accommodation and services.
  2. To ensure the rent is relative to a tenant’s income to support lower income households.
  3. To raise funds for the provision of additional properties.

1. To meet the costs of providing accommodation and services

Costs will be allocated per rented property in each development to help determine the minimum rent per property. The rent will be expressed as

xx number of hours per week @ the minimum wage.

2. To ensure the rent is relative to a tenant’s income

By specifying the minimum rent in MWH (minimum wage hours) allows for focus on ensuring those on the lowest incomes can afford to rent our property. We believe in equal value of labour to achieve a fairer society, and so we will assess an hourly rate for each tenant in order to work out their rent, expressed as

xx number of hours per week @ £x per hour.

There will be due consideration for the self-employed, multi-jobbing, those living on savings and additional adults in the property.

Future rents:

Minimum rents will rise with the minimum wage or inflation.

Annual review will be undertaken or on request from a tenant.

3. To raise funds for the provision of additional properties

It is imperative that, overall, rent provides a contribution to bolster our ability to provide more low rent eco housing to as many as possible.


Project Team

The main priority now is to form a project team to take the project to it's first development. The community company is looking for a variety of skills that people can contribute a few hours per week or month. We are offering offering remuneration in the form of bonds.

Roles and skills needed:

The company is interested to hear from individuals and local businesses. If you're interested in getting involved in the project team, please email us with your interests, skills, history and any thoughts and questions you may have.


We welcome and encourage feedback on all the above and more to help make this project a success.

Telephone

Address

Email

01273 958 093

8 Holmstead, 166 Upper Lewes Road, Brighton BN2 3FB

office@bhchousing.org.uk

Brighton & Hove Community Housing