1. What is your legal status?
  2. What will you do with the money?
  3. How do you decide who to support?
  4. How will you support the people you house?
  5. How much of my money will be spent on admin costs?
  6. How are the people supported involved in the running of the project?
  7. Doesn’t the Immigration Act 2016 make it illegal to rent to irregular migrants?
  8. Will you share my data with other organisations?
  9. How do I keep up to date with the project?
  10. How do I get involved?

1. Who are you?

Thousand 4 £1000 was set-up by Brighton Migrant Solidarity. The aim of the project is to find homes in Brighton for people otherwise denied access to accommodation because of their immigration status. We believe that many small acts of solidarity can add up to make a big difference to how our society works.

The parent project, Brighton Migrant Solidarity, is a grassroots group of activists aiming to make Brighton a space for all. We believe that, in general, people should be free to move around the world and make a life for themselves wherever they choose to be. You can find out more information about what they do here: brightonmigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com

2. What is your legal status?

At the moment we are an unincorporated charitable organisation. We are currently going through the process of registering as a charity. We will become a charitable incorporated organisation. We have a constitution and a Board of Trustees. At the moment we are waiting for the Charity Commission to make a decision on our application. You can find more information about this legal structure on the Charity Commission’s website.

3. What will you do with the money?

The short answer is that we will use it to provide stable, long-term accommodation for people who have no legal means of housing themselves in Brighton. The slightly longer answer is that we are looking to rent accommodation from sympathetic landlords. £1000 a month does not go very far in Brighton, so, if you know anybody who is prepared to let accommodation below the market rate, do please get in touch. We are working with other organisations in Brighton to find supportive landlords. We have currently secured homes for four people until Mach 2017. It is a very sweet deal. We we reached our £1000/month target. We estimate that, at current levels of need, we in fact need £5000/month. Of course, is the provision expands, so does need. Our new aim is £10,000/month. Please help us make that happen by donating to the project.

The detailed answer starts with the observation that we are going to fit the scheme to the users and not the users to the scheme. There are more people in Brighton denied access to housing than can be housed for £1000/month. Some of those people can be housed through other schemes. Our current modus operandi is to house people with straightforward routes to status through hosting schemes, such as ours, Room for Refugees and Refugees at Home. People with less clear routes to status, which is to say people in need of long-term support, we house in rented accommodation. We hope to be able to buy our own house by next year.

4. £1000 a month will not house everybody who needs accommodation in Brighton, how will you decide who to support?

This is a very difficult question. We do not want to go around ranking levels of desert. However, although there are a large number of people made homeless for crossing the border in Brighton, many of them are able to find reasonable accommodation solutions through informal support networks and the kindness of strangers. We are looking to provide accommodation for people who are, for whatever reason, unable to access that kind of support. We believe that we can raise enough money to at least keep those people housed.

5. The people that you house are going to need extra support, how are you going to provide that?

We work very closely with different organisations in Brighton, Voices in Exile, Sanctuary on Sea, Refugee Radio and the Migrant English Project. We key the people that we house into these different projects. We also already have experience supporting individuals. This is work we are looking to expand and improve. We have enough volunteers to make sure that anybody we house receives regular contact from us. We help people deal with the bureaucratic, legal and emotional hurdles to building a secure life for themselves in Brighton.

6. How much of my money will be spent on your salaries and administrative costs?

None. We are an entirely voluntary organisation. Nobody gets paid. We are doing this because we want to make Brighton a space for all. We do separate fundraising to cover our publicity costs. Feel free to contribute to that, but if you subscribe to the project all of your monthly contribution will go towards somebody’s housing costs.

7. How are the people you are supporting be involved in the running of the project?

At the moment some of the people who might be housed by the project are helping to fund raise. It is, however, difficult to be involved in setting up something that you need, but might not benefit from. The people we house help us manage and expand the project. In an ideal world, former residents will be our trustees. We are still in the early stages of development, but the key principle is to fit the project around the people who need it and not the other way around.

8. I’ve heard that the 2016 immigration act makes it illegal for landlords to let houses to immigrants. How will you avoid this problem?

The 2016 immigration bill is a nasty, pernicious, racist piece of legislation. As part of its “border everywhere” agenda, it criminalises letting accommodation to someone if they “require permission to be in the UK and do not have it”. The act also criminalises renting accommodation when you know that it will be occupied by somebody without the “right to rent” (this is an extension on the 2014 act). Many of the people who we seek to house, we think, should be granted “permission to rent”. The advice we have from leading housing and immigration solicitors, Anthony Gold LLP, is that a tenancy between us, an organisation, and a landlord would not constitute a residential tenancy agreement, nor would any licence which we issued to people to be on the premises (as long as we were not charging them anything). As a consequence, the act will not affect us.There is no problem having guests in your own home. This is another reason why we want to buy a house.

9. Will you share my data with other organisations?

No. We care about privacy. We will neither sell nor share your data with anyone else. If you set up a standing order, then, unlike with a direct debit, we have no access to your bank account. We will keep no record of your bank details. The East Sussex Credit Union are regulated by the F.S.A. They will keep your bank details secure. Our email newsletter is hosted by “Autistici,” a non-commercial, security-conscious tech activist collective.

10. How do I keep up to date with the project?

You can sign up for the monthly newsletter by sending an email to: thousandfor1000@inventati.org, or by following our facebook page: facebook.com/thousand41000, or our blog: thousand41000.org.

11. I want to get involved in the project, how can I do that?

We would love to have you. The simplest way is to drop us an email: brimigsol@riseup.net. We need your skills and input. You can also sign up to Thousand 4 £1000 at thousand41000.org or by completing this form. Send your completed form directly to the Brighton and Hove Credit Union.