In the last few days two Sussex MPs have raised questions about Housing requirements as we come out of the initial COVID lockdown situation. Many of us are very aware of this challenge and some of the opportunities and barriers. To be fair, Sally-Ann Hart is not a very experienced MP and so her question and the rationale behind it does not come from a long background in Parliament, unlike the other MP Peter Bottomley. However her website states she has got plenty of experience of working in Hastings and a strong concern in housing issues which would suggest she knows a lot about what has worked. Brighton Housing Trust are the charity who set up a housing scheme in Brighton near Preston Circus which are covered in this set of photos. The photos came from the Daily Mail so this is not a secretive project and BHT have worked in Hastings for many years so it is a shame that Sally-Ann was not aware of this container scheme which enables housing to be constructed extremely quickly, providing planners are willing to move just as quickly. Anyway here is Sally-Ann’s background
As a Solicitor she specialised in corporate finance law before taking a career break to bring up her children. Sally-Ann later became a local Magistrate in Hastings, working in both the Adult Criminal and Family Proceedings Courts, and a District Councillor at Rother representing the ward of Eastern Rother. It is whilst as a Magistrate and Councillor that Sally-Ann realised her determination to be a Member of Parliament to help improve and enhance the lives of the less fortunate and vulnerable residents in her constituency. In particular, Sally-Ann has a drive to support rough sleepers and the homeless, as well as vulnerable children, young adults and families.
And here is the question she raised with Robert Jenrick on Monday
Many councils have had to use emergency accommodation and hotels to house rough sleepers during coronavirus. As we look to winter, it will not be possible to build enough social housing within the timeframe required to ensure that people are able to stay off the streets, and many options will need to be considered: for example, social lettings agencies could be established to deal with private rental procurement for vulnerable people and homeless people to access accommodation. All options require funding, so what measures is my right hon. Friend considering to keep vulnerable people off the streets come winter?
Now of course to achieve the housing that BHT thanks to Andy Winter achieved a few years ago in Brighton will need to happen quickly as winter approaches. However it is possible to do so and so let us hope that Sally-Ann along with Peter Bottomley who asked this other question on the same day will get together with Andy along with BHT and Homes England and solve the issues now rather than wait for another decade or so.
Mr Speaker, if you and the Minister came to Worthing station and walked from there to my flat, you would walk past a site where Homes England could help Worthing Borough Council to produce extra social housing and potentially more leasehold or commonhold homes. Six times a year, on average, over the last 10 years, Ministers have talked of progress on ending leasehold abuse and providing better homes for the future, as my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State said just now. This time, can we have action, and could Ministers also look at whether statutory instrument 2020/632, the Town and Country Planning (Permitted Development and Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020, takes into account the disbenefits to leaseholders of people putting extra storeys on leasehold blocks?