Activists in the Acorn pro-tenant movement have sharply criticised the Green Party which runs Brighton council for allegedly failing to prosecute a sufficient number of rogue landlords.
Social media messages from the local Acorn group include one saying: “Brighton & Hove Green Party need to keep to their promises and get serious about fixing the renting crisis in our city!”
Another more detailed message on Facebook says: “Since we caught out the Greens backtracking on commitments to landlord licensing in September, we met with Green councillors to discuss a date for landlord licensing and ways that they can improve support for renters.
“However, after several meetings with Green Housing Chair, Cllr David Gibson, negotiations broke down as he failed to live to his commitment to give a target date for landlord licensing and back tracked on commitments to improve support for renters in Brighton.”
Now Acorn says it’s working with individual councillors from the Green and Labour groups.
These individual councillors “will be supporting a motion at the next housing committee meeting to commit to a target date for landlord licensing and also improve private sector enforcement by taking a zero tolerance approach to prosecuting landlords, and setting up a public database of rogue landlords” says Acorn.
“If passed this is a big step for improving renters rights in Brighton” it claims.
Earlier this week Acorn organised a public meeting entitled “Ban Second Homes” as well as a lobby of the town hall.
At the local Acorn branch annual meeting in October, there was a call for a campaign within the Brighton and Hove areas for a motion at the next council meeting - to be held in mid-December - demanding a city-wide referendum on the second homes issue.
If such a referendum is held, and supported by a majority of voters, it could result in the banning of new-build homes being sold as second homes - a move similar to that adopted by small villages and ports in some parts of the UK in recent years.
“The issue of new developments being intended primarily for sale as second homes, as well as the increasing number of existing properties being purchased on a buy to let basis, is one of a number of reasons why finding a home in Brighton is becoming so difficult and expensive for ordinary people who actually live in the city” says Acorn.
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