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The Hastings Rental Health stall was busy from 11am to 2.30pm

Houses earn more than people

On Saturday, 9 October, Hastings Rental Health held their first public event in Hastings town centre to show the widespread concern over rising rents and the lack of affordable homes in the area. HOT’s Erica Smith reeled when she heard that last year the average house in Hastings ‘earned’ two and a half times the wage of the average local worker.

Finding family homes for rent is becoming more challenging.

If you own a property in Hastings, you might be feeling pretty smug at the moment. Figures from the Office of National Statistics reveal that the price of the average house in this area rose by over £50,000 last year. The local average wage is just over £20,000 per year.

If you are renting, that figure will fill you with fear. You might have been hoping to buy and see your plans smashed. Or you might be frantic with worry that your landlord or landlady isn’t going to be tempted by the huge rise in the local housing market and put your home up for sale.

From 11am to 2.30pm on Saturday, the Hastings Rental Health stall was busy with people sharing their rental concerns, signing up to the mailing list and signing a petition for a public meeting about the housing crisis to be held. Sarah, one of the organisers said, “As soon as the banner went up people gravitated toward the stall. There were very few moments when we didn’t have a crowd. It’s such a big issue.”

Sian, who has struggled to find anywhere to rent, said, “One of our concerns is the number of properties that are being turned into Airbnbs. It’s not that we are hostile to tourists, but resort towns are also people’s home towns.” Currently, there are over 300 Airbnbs available in Hastings and only 40 properties available for long-term rent (BBC South East Today, 11 October).

The group were delighted with the public response to their campaign. Sian said, “One of the immediate outcomes was that Hastings Borough Councillor Andrew Batsford agreed to contact Sally-Ann Hart MP to convene a cross-party meeting to discuss an urgent new housing policy for Hastings.”

Hastings Rental Health meet on Wednesday evenings at 6pm. If you want to come along or find out more about the group, you can visit the group’s website, Instagram or Facebook.

Bleak statistics for local renters

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Posted 08:42 Tuesday, Oct 12, 2021 In: Campaigns

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