NEARLY 2,000 children in the city are without a permanent home after a rise of 64 per cent in just three years.

Across Sussex, more than 2,700 children aged under 16 are living with families in bed and breakfasts, hotels, hostels and staying temporarily in privately owned flats - a 33 per cent rise.

Brighton and Hove has the highest proportion of residents living in temporary accommodation outside of London with around one per cent of the city’s population housed insecurely, according to latest government figures.

Young mothers have told The Argus about the strain of raising a family in unsuitable homes often miles away from their friends and family.

The figures are the latest to show the increasing strain on council housing within the city.

Last month it was revealed that the council housing waiting list had more than doubled to 24,000 in six years in the city, prompting the Labour administration to suggest a major reduction.

But council plans to build 1,000 new affordable homes in a joint venture with Hyde housing association have been held up over funding concerns.

The Argus continues to get calls on a regular basis from disaffected residents living in temporary accommodation.

Sabrina Mastronardi had been living with her mum in Patcham before having to move out in April 2015 with her two-year-old daughter Amelia.

Since then she has been housed in emergency accommodation, first in Worthing and now since February in Newhaven.

Pest controllers have repeatedly been called to the house to deal with rats.

She said: “When I first moved in I had people trying to break in, I don’t feel safe here.

“I used to be a confident person but I now have really bad anxiety."

Chelsea Martin, 25, has been living in Lynwood Hotel in Eastbourne for more than six months with her mother Sonia Daltrey and 20-month-old son Malachai Kendrick.

The family say Eastbourne is completely unsuitable for them as Sonia’s 22-year-old daughter Chloe suffers from severe asthma which requires her mother to be her carer.

Chelsea said: “My mother can’t be in two places at once, we have to be in Brighton but we’re told there’s nothing available.

“It’s really hard for us at the moment being away from my sister.”

Campaigner Daniel Harris, founder of the city’s emergency and temporary accommodation residents’ association, said the city’s temporary accommodation crisis was fuelled by right-to-buy sales of council housing, high migration into the city and a increasing HMOs taking up traditional family housing.

He added: “I’m calling on council leader Warren Morgan to be even more ambitious with his joint venture plan and build 500 homes for families or mothers who only have nightly security.”

Council leader Warren Morgan said homelessness was on the rise across the country.

He said: "The total number of households in temporary accommodation in England is up 52 per cent since the end of 2010, and there has also been a 10 per cent rise in households accepted as statutorily homeless over the last year.

"Locally we work hard to ensure homeless families are accommodated as soon as possible in self-contained temporary accommodation, and we meet the government’s six week target for this.”


A £5 billion Government stimulus for housebuilding will see new funds made available for smaller firms and support to speed up development of brownfield sites.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid told the Conservative party conference that tackling the national housing shortage was a “moral duty” and his “number-one priority”.

Mr Javid told delegates at the conference in Birmingham that the new home building fund will use £3 billion to help build more than 225,000 new homes nationwide, with one third of the pot going to smaller-sized construction firms.

A £2 billion accelerated construction scheme is proposed for publicly owned brownfield land for swift development with taxpayers’ money being used to prepare sites for private developers in some circumstances.

Legislation easing the conversion of office blocks to housing will also be extended to include permission for demolition of office blocks.

But council leader Warren Morgan said the council did not have “surplus land”, but sites earmarked for affordable housing would help tackle the city’s temporary accommodation crisis.

He said: “My fear is that the Conservatives want to use £2 billion of our money to subsidise private developers to build on land the Government appropriates from the council, that will not be council homes and won’t be affordable to the vast majority of people that desperately need it.”

Save Hove campaigner Valerie Paynter called Mr Javid’s warning that too many residents objected to new housing developments in their local communities as a “stupid stunt”. She also warned of the potentially devastating impact of further relaxing rules on converting and said the city council would have to move fast to bolster up existing protections to ensure vital office space was not demolished.