The housing dilemma: what can be done for Lewes?

Lewes Stop the Cuts has sent us the following release about a meeting on 2 December.

Housing is crucial to Lewes.  The town and the district are being socially cleansed because ordinary people can no longer afford to live here.

A number of groups have campaigned on aspects of the housing problem, but so far nobody has brought all the issues together.

We face:

  • A low wage- high housing costs economy, with one third of Lewes children growing up in poverty
  • The loss of over one third of council homes through the “right to buy”:
  • The threat of more sales of f housing association homes because of “right to buy”:
  • A huge need for older people to be able to access step-free housing, that is not being met:
  • The few new rented homes that are being developed being let at rents of 80% of the market rent- perhaps £280 or more for a three bedroomed home;
  • Buy-to-let landlords cornering the rented market, leading to insecurity and high rents for tenants, as well as pushing house prices up.
  • A housing market that transfers money from the young and the poor to the old and the affluent.
  • Young people and others on low, or even average incomes being forced out of the town to make way for the more affluent.

There are a number of groups doing great work on individual aspects of the housing problem, but there has not been any organisation bringing all the housing issues together.

So we are convening a meeting to investigate how much enthusiasm there is for launching a Lewes housing campaign.  This is not a large-scale public meeting, but an attempt to try to set up a group to organise a campaign.

Lewes Stop the Cuts is convening the meeting, but we expect that any group would be autonomous.

The meeting will be at 8pm Wednesday 2 December at St Mary’s Church Hall, Highdown Road, Lewes, BN7 1QE on the Nevill estate (NB this is not St Mary’s social centre). The venue is wheelchair accessible.