No '˜revenge evictions' from emergency housing, council says

Fewer tenants are being evicted from emergency and temporary homes in Brighton and Hove even though more people have been housed in this way.

Hove Town Hall
Hove Town Hall

And concerns that tenants were suffering revenge evictions – losing their home for making a complaint – were unjustified, councillors were told.

Almost a thousand placements were made in the year to the end of March, with the figure up from 939 to 996.

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But the number of evictions from emergency and temporary properties funded by Brighton and Hove City Council fell to 33 last year from 50 in 2016-17.

While no revenge evictions were recorded, the council’s Housing and New Homes Committee set out some of the reasons evictions did happen.

These included:

– Threatening behaviour, aggressive, armed police called to the scene

– Damages to the property, had a dog, bullied other tenants, abusive to the caretaker and staff at the office and refused to move out

– Urinated from the top floor down to the court yard, drunk all the time and very disruptive

– Harassment and bullying against another tenant, police called over five times, was arrested

– Known drug dealer, always allowed his dog into his room and the building and had parties, disturbing other residents, police called

Councillor David Gibson, who speaks on housing for the Greens, praised those living in emergency and temporary accommodation for their courage in raising important concerns.

His fellow Green councillor Tom Druitt expressed concern that some residents had felt that they were the victims of revenge evictions but that other reasons were recorded.

A report to councillors said that all 33 evictions in the past year were the result of people breaching their tenancy agreements.

The committee was told that the council now employed two welfare officers for this vulnerable group of residents and that conditions were improving.

Earlier councillors were told that the net cost of short-term temporary accommodation had risen from £516,000 in 2013-14 to £2.77 million in 2017-18.

By Frank Le Duc , Local Democracy Reporting Service.