A COUNCILLOR said that all one-bedroom homes were being earmarked for the homeless, frustrating the hopes of people who wanted to downsize and restricting the hopes of families.

For months, all one-bedroom flats listed on Brighton and Hove City Council’s Homemove service were listed for the homeless, angering Conservative councillor Dawn Barnett.

She said that a number of people wanted to move to smaller homes and that she had raised the issue at meetings of the council’s housing committee.

Cllr Barnett said that she represented a disabled woman who wanted to move from a two-bedroom home to a ground-floor one-bedroomed flat after her daughter moved out.

But nothing was available and the woman, who Cllr Barnett said did not want to be named, was too young for seniors supported housing.

She said: “All the homeless don’t come from here. Every fortnight for many months, it (Homemove) says homeless.

“When we were in charge, we wanted 50 per cent of properties to go to working people to give them the pride to pay their rent. Everyone else said that’s not equality. You can’t do it.

“Now it’s equality for all homeless people to get first choice and have all the one-bedroom flats.

“I’ve got people in two-bedroom flats who want a one-bedroom.

“In this case, Homemove told her: ‘You’ve got no chance. All the one-bedroom flats are for homeless people'. Equality should be for all.”

The Argus: Councillor Dawn Barnett says homeless people are getting first choice on single-bed flatsCouncillor Dawn Barnett says homeless people are getting first choice on single-bed flats

Cllr Barnett said that she found it unfair that the former homeless received support for furniture, cookers and carpets when working people might get a “couple of pots of paint”.

Her comments came after Labour group co-leader councillor Carmen Appich asked the council to let homes in a liveable condition for those who had nothing.

Cllr Appich told a meeting that she was frustrated because tenants had asked charities that she worked with for money for carpets. She said that she would rather have provided a cooker or furniture instead.

Brighton and Hove City Council was approached for comment.