Adopt the Brighton & Hove Homeless Bill of Rights!

Homeless person holding a sign saying "Keep your coins I want change"

The Homeless Bill of Rights was launched by Brighton and Hove Housing Coalition with FEANTSA and JustFair on 28th October 2018. During the election campaign before the local authority elections of 2nd May 2019, both the Labour Party and the Green Party manifestos included commitments to adopt the Homeless Bill of Rights. On 25th July 2019, a petition for the city to adopt the Homeless Bill of Rights with more than 2,500 signatures was presented to a full Council meeting and welcomed by all parties.

We cannot believe that two winters later, it has still not been adopted. We call on the Green administration to adopt it with no further delay.

On 17th June 2020, following extensive consultation, the Housing Committee adopted the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020-25. It states that “The values of the … Strategy align to aspirations within the Homeless Bill of Rights as amended for Brighton & Hove by Housing Rights Watch, FEANTSA and Just Fair. The Homeless Bill of Rights should be viewed as a standard against whith the Council and its partners judge our policies and practices.” We agree. So what barrier remains to the city adopting it?

Please, sign the petition so that people can see the public still support it, and write to your councillor (sample text below) to urge the Council to go ahead and adopt the Homeless Bill of Rights without further delay.

Sample Text

Dear Councillor x and y

I am emailing you as your constituent to ask why the Homeless Bill of Rights has not yet been adopted by Brighton & Hove, and to urge you to support and encourage its adoption as soon as possible.

The Homeless Bill of Rights was launched by Brighton and Hove Housing Coalition with FEANTSA and JustFair on 28th October 2018. During the election campaign before the local authority elections of 2nd May 2019, both the Labour Party and the Green Party manifestos committed them to adopt the Homeless Bill of Rights. On 25th July 2019, a petition for the city to adopt the Homeless Bill of Rights with more than 2,500 signatures was presented to a full Council meeting and welcomed by all parties.

I cannot believe that two winters later, it has still not been adopted.

The Homeless Bill of Rights (www.homelessrights.org.uk) tries to ensure that homeless people are treated as equal in dignity and rights. They should not have to wait longer for this to happen.

Please ensure it is adopted now.

Yours sincerely

Why is this important?

We live at a time when great efforts have been made to help homeless people, especially in the government’s “Everyone In” policy which has been thoroughly and admirably implemented by our council. But homelessness and rough sleeping are still here, and are set to increase massively when the furloughs and the eviction bans come to an end. Now more than ever it is important to remember that homeless people have rights, that they are equal in dignity and rights with everyone else, that they are not a problem to be solved but people who need help, and that administrative efficiency does not equal humanity.

The full text of the Brighton & Hove Homeless Bill of Rights can be downloaded as a .pdf or as a .doc file.

In addition this page provides a detailed article by article commentary.

One rough sleeper plus councillor candidates at the launch of the Homeless Bill of Rights.

Councillor candidates at the Launch of the Homeless Bill of Rights