By: J.G.Scott. Happy Birthday Andy Winter 30 Years at BHT .
It is thirty years since Andy Winter CEO joined the Brighton Housing Trust and he has seen it develop considerably since then. Andy is affable and good natured, yet has a tough side too.
He is a favourite contributor on Twitter and Facebook, also writing for Brighton’s daily paper The Argus in addition to his other daily tasks.
What was it like in UK thirty years ago? I dipped into the Internet Archives for some interesting facts. First of all there was no Internet as such. The CD was only just launched and the first ‘.Com’ name was registered. ‘Earn as you Learn’ was a concept; the computer revolution was born.
The wreck of the Titanic discovered and a film of the wreckage was used at the beginning of the movie.
Legendary Live Aid concerts took place after the Christmas hit ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’ to raise money for food and aid to the Ethiopian famine.
UK and Spain agreed to open the border to Gibralter.
The British Coal miners strike ended. Some Mines were still closed.
The first mobile phone call was made.
Terrorists hi-jacked a TWA plane.
Margaret Thatcher supported making Council Houses available for residents to buy. . It was a newsworthy time.
Regarding the housing market now: Andy says: ”I saw an advert earlier his week which read “It’s a great time to become a Landlord.” .Housing has increasingly become an investment opportunity rather than a place where people live.” He continues, “The complete distortion of the housing market is the biggest change in the last thirty years since I started with BHT. Then there were a small number of people in acute housing need, usually with problems associated mental health problems, alcohol, and occasionally, drugs.
Now it is low and middle income earners who are excluded from housing in Brighton and Hove. The average rent for a one bedroom flat is over £850 a month. Less than 2% of homes in the private rented sector are affordable to people on benefits.
My thirty years at Brighton Housing Trust have seen many positive advances. Even though we have more people sleeping on the streets than ever before, BHT’s partnerships with other organisations have prevented twice as many men and women
becoming street homeless.
I am lucky to have the best job in Sussex, working with people who inspire me and seeing positive changes in the life of our clients who remain the motivation behind our work. My only regret is that after thirty years the services offered by BHT are needed and needed more than ever.”