First time buyers to protest at Gordon Brown’s Brighton Festival appearance
‘I will not allow house prices to get out of control and put at risk the sustainability of the recovery.’ - Gordon Brown in 1997 Budget Speech
Frustrated first time buyers are organising a protest in order to highlight the housing affordability crisis that is gripping the nation. Organised by Priced Out (www.pricedout.org.uk), a web-based campaign group for affordable house prices, the protest aims to highlight the negative impacts of high house prices in 'property hotspots' such as Brighton.
Brighton was recently cited as having the fastest growing property prices in the country. The end result of this is that more and more of Brighton's younger families and individuals are being forced from the city, and having to give up on their aspirations to own their home and in some cases even delaying starting a family.
This is not only bad news for home buyers in Brighton, but it also impacts the local economy and environment, pushing up business costs, making it harder to attract staff and creating more pollution by forcing people to commute.
Why are we taking our protest to Gordon Brown?
Despite the Chancellor's stated intention to keep a tight rein on house prices, they have trebled during his tenure. According to the Halifax, prices are now unaffordable for first time buyers in 75% of UK towns; the situation in Brighton is particularly bad.
The government could be addressing this problem by targeting local building to meet the needs of young families and people. Instead, the majority of building projects are now solely aimed at property market investors and neglect the community’s needs. Most new building projects, such as the Glass Pavilion, are family-unfriendly, high-density flats with limited space and no gardens, yet they still demand prices that are far out of the reach of someone on average Brighton wages. Community stability is being compromised through the inadvertent promotion of transient tenancy, and is pushing homeownership into decline.
To date, government policy has simply fuelled speculation on house prices and negatively impacted young people and families. Attempts to address the situation have also been entirely counter productive, with ill-conceived shared equity schemes merely fanning the flames of house price rises with tax payers’ money, rather than addressing the underlying problems.
We are asking the government to focus on policies that discourage house price speculation and reduce the inflationary pressures in the housing market. We want the government to make the provision of family-friendly and affordable accommodation the top priority, instead of the demands of property investors and NIMBY (not in my back yard) residents.
The date: Sunday 13th May
The time: 2.30pm
The place: Outside the Brighton Dome Concert Hall, Church Street, Brighton
Priced Out is a strictly not-for-profit campaign that is currently funded by donations. If interest in the campaign is sufficiently high, Priced Out intends to become an officially registered non-profit organisation.