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To: Brighton & Hove City Council

Love Activists Solution Based Proposals to End Homelessness.

Love Activists Brighton recently launched an e-petition urging Brighton & Hove City Council to consider our solution based proposals to end homelessness. Unfortunately, the petition seems to have been so popular that it has crashed the council's website, so we are relaunching the petition here, on 38 degrees.

We the undersigned petition Brighton & Hove Council to support the following solution based proposals, to end homelessness.

1. Every homeless person is vulnerable and should therefore be considered in priority need, including those in temporary accommodation.
2. The Housing First model should be expanded to offer housing to all of the city's homeless people, offering adequate support to suit each individual's needs.
3. The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) should be activated immediately, in any weather which threatens rough sleepers' health, particularly the wet.
4. The council should activate the Extended Winter Provision of the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol immediately. The emergency shelters should be opened every night, over the winter and beyond.
5. Affordable social rents should be imposed on private landlords and property investors, prioritising the provision of permanent homes until everyone is securely housed.
6. Reform the LASPO act, to make squatting empty properties safe and equitable for property owners and otherwise homeless people.
7. Because of the so-called 'first mover loses' phenomenon, it will be necessary for local authorities around the country to work together, in order to implement these measures nationally.

Why is this important?

The proposals were developed in consultation with the local community, prioritising feedback from rough sleepers at the group's weekly Love Kitchen. Love Activists hope to gather 1250 signatures to force the council to debate the proposals at a full council meeting.

1. In May, the Supreme Court ruled that when local authorities make vulnerability assessments, a 'homeless person' should be compared with an 'ordinary person who is at risk of becoming homeless'. There is no doubt that any homeless person is 'significantly more vulnerable' than an ordinary person, therefore everybody living on the street should be assessed as being in priority need.

The judgement also made it clear that while councils are often under huge financial strain, this must not be used as an excuse for avoiding their legal duties. To guarantee duty of care and legal obligations are met, all local authorities must provide permanent housing for anybody living on the streets.

2. Housing first pilot project had a 70% success rate in Brighton & Hove - helping 7 out of 10 people with high support needs into accommodation.

3. Extended winter provision: additional services provided over a period of time e.g. every night from November to March.

If the material resources exist to provide shelter from a severe weather emergency, economic arguments against keeping the shelters open are not as powerful as the humanitarian ones for opening them.

(Copy & pasted from 'Homeless Link')
Humanitarian Response: SWEP should be applied responsibly to prevent death at all times; 3 consecutive nights at zero or below is the minimum requirement. Local authorities should consider factors such as wet weather and wind chill, snow coverage and duration of extreme weather when looking at provision. Preventing deaths on the streets is the aim of the protocol, so if this demands more beds and a longer response the local authority should do everything it can to prevent harm to individuals.

Economics cannot change the weather any more than economics can determine people's relative vulnerability to each other.

4. It doesn't have to be severely wet to have a severe impact if you're sleeping on the streets. Severely windy, wet weather is an emergency, as is extremely hot, dry weather.

Homeless Link offers advice and guidance to BHT, St Mungo's and Brighton & Hove City Council. Currently their minimum definition of severe weather is when the temperature drops below zero for three consecutive nights.

(Copy & pasted from 'Homeless Link')
There is no strict definition of what counts as ‘severe weather’. Local authorities should proactively identify any weather that could increase the risk of serious harm to people sleeping rough and put measures in place to minimise this. This includes extreme cold, wind and rain. It is important not to presume when, or in what form, severe weather will occur.

Sleeping rough is never comfortable, but the suffering is exacerbated by all elements It doesn't have to be severely wet to have a severe impact if you're sleeping on the streets.

('Homeless Link')

5. If this doesn't happen there will be no truly affordable places to live and more people will inevitably become homeless.

6. This would make use of empty properties, keep people safe and avoid waste of tax payers money, private money and time spent on security, policing and court costs.

(Copy & pasted from 'Homeless Link')
In addition to the direct risk associated with severe weather, local authorities should work alongside other local statutory and voluntary services to identify and mitigate actions taken during severe weather that can increase risk for those sleeping rough. For example, people may choose to sleep in riskier places, such as in bins, where they can find cover. They may also enter buildings or property illegally, or increase their substance use as a coping mechanism.

7. No single authority can successfully move to implement all of these measures, because if they 'move first', their service capacity would risk being overwhelmed by people migrating to that local authority. Therefore, we must work towards implementing these measures nationally.

[email protected]

Brighton & Hove City Council, Grand Avenue, Hove

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL



2016-01-31 16:42:30 +0000

Thanks again to everybody who's signed and shared the petition, we couldn't have gotten this far without your support.

Overall, the council’s response to the proposals was far warmer than could have been anticipated.
Read more in this report, which has links to video footage of the full council meeting where the proposals were debated:

2016-01-28 14:11:38 +0000

Love Activists Brighton will meet the council at Brighton Town Hall today to discuss the Solution Based Proposals to End Homelessness. Big thanks to everybody who's signed the petition, updates to follow.

2016-01-17 20:19:55 +0000

HOORAY!!! The street missions over the last few days have got us well over the 1250 signatures we needed to force a full council debate!

Big up everybody who's signed and shared the proposals online and massive respect to those living on the streets, who led the street missions over the last few days. The street crews have gathered almost 1000 handwritten signatures and there's more to add to the final count tomorrow.

We're going to meet at the clocktower, 12pm tomorrow to deliver the petition to Democratic Services at Brighton Town Hall, Bartholomew Square.

2016-01-14 18:52:18 +0000

Big thanks to everybody who's signed so far - we've only got a few days left to find another 600 signatures, so please help share the petition far and wide.

Love Activists Brighton have taken to the streets today on a petition mission and have gathered about a hundred more signatures, while raising a lot more awareness about the issue.

Here's a video from today:

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2016-01-11 02:18:36 +0000

500 signatures reached

2015-12-22 15:17:11 +0000

We're almost a third of the way to our target of 1250 signatures now.
Thanks so much to the 415 people who've taken the time to read, sign and share these solution based proposals. Please keep pushing these ideas out there, so we can force an adult debate about the homeless crisis. #HomesNotBombs #NoMoreDeathsOnOurStreets

2015-12-13 23:20:14 +0000

Huge thanks to the 300 people who've signed so far.
Please help us reach 1250 signatures by sharing with your social networks. We hope to trigger a full council debate on these proposals.
#NoMoreDeathsOnOurStreets #HomesNotBombs

2015-12-09 11:48:03 +0000

Almost 250 signatures now - thanks everybody. Please keep sharing the petition with your social networks. Our target is 1250 signatures, to trigger a full council debate. (The original petition is back up on the council's website now, if you want to sign that too...)

2015-12-02 18:19:49 +0000

100 signatures! Massive thanks to everybody who's signed so far - please keep sharing with anybody and everybody who might be interested in supporting. The petition on the council;s website is back up now if you want to sign that too:

2015-12-02 01:46:54 +0000

100 signatures reached

2015-11-30 10:35:30 +0000

50 signatures reached

2015-11-29 19:48:30 +0000

25 signatures reached

2015-11-29 19:06:15 +0000

2015-11-29 17:50:54 +0000

10 signatures reached