Shoreham debate will tackle the housing crisis

Paul Miner (contributed pic)Paul Miner (contributed pic)
Paul Miner (contributed pic)
Tackle the Issues: The Housing Crisis will offer a thought-provoking night at Shoreham’s Ropetackle Centre on Wednesday, June 19 at 7.30pm (tickets £10 from the venue).

Ropetackle chairman Martin Allen said: “Ropetackle Arts Centre has teamed up with Sussex University and Shoreham Wordfest to present a series of lively debates on some of today’s major issues. You are cordially invited to the latest one.

“It’s virtually impossible to read a newspaper or news website or listen to or watch a news bulletin without encountering a story about the current housing crisis. The figures are stark. We are now building a third fewer houses than we did fifty years ago and that’s with a population now one third larger. How do we explain this drop? Simple. In 1972, 122,000 homes were built by local authorities, but in 2022, it was just 4,000. The result of this housing shortage is easy for all to see – average rents in Brighton and Hove have risen from £1,250 a month in 2020 to almost £2,000 today; in Worthing, they’ve risen from £875 to £1,400.

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“Property prices have also been soaring; in Shoreham, for example, they’ve risen by 30 per cent in the last five years. The end result is plain to see: young, and not so young, people and families still living with parents and the number of rough sleepers rising, up 27 per cent this year in Brighton and Hove. So is the answer to loosen planning controls and give a free hand to the developers – along the A259 for example? Or are there other considerations? Come along and find out.

“In the next in our series of debates, Tackle the Issues, an expert panel will examine some of the fundamental aspect of this, one of the most serious problems we face. The floor will be open for questions and we hope to get a lively debate under way.”

The panel features:

Paul Miner, head of policy and planning for CPRE the countryside charity. Paul is a chartered town planner who has worked on housing issues for many years, project managing and contributing to published reports on land use in rural-urban fringe areas, brownfield sites and most recently the 2020 Housing Design Audit for England.

John Holmstrom, chief executive of homelessness charity Turning Tides. With more than 40 years’ experience in the housing sector, he has a reputation for initiatives transforming the lives of the homeless and those whose lives are blighted by trauma, poverty, mental health and addiction.

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Gill Williams, deputy leader of Brighton and Hove Council and chair of the housing and new homes committee.

Professor Sasha Roseneil, vice-chancellor of University of Sussex. Formerly pro-provost for equity and inclusion and executive dean of the faculty of social and historical sciences; executive dean of the faculty of social sciences at the University of Essex, Sarah has a reputation for her research on intimate relationships, citizenship and social movements.

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