- Who are you?
- What is your legal status?
- What will you do with the money?
- How do you decide who to support?
- How do people access your housing?
- How do you support the people you house?
- How much of my money will be spent on admin costs?
- How are the people supported involved in the running of the project?
- Doesn’t the Immigration Act 2016 make it illegal to rent to irregular migrants?
- Will you share my data with other organisations?
- How do I keep up to date with the project?
- How do I get involved?
Thousand 4 £1000 was set up in 2015 by Brighton Migrant Solidarity, and registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation in 2017. 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. Watch our film, A Cup of Kindness, to hear our volunteers and residents talking about how the project works.
Thousand 4 £1000 is run entirely by volunteers; we have no paid staff and no central office.
We use it to provide stable, long-term accommodation for people who have no legal means of housing themselves in Brighton.
We do this by renting properties, either commercially through letting agencies or directly from sympathetic landlords. We are working with other organisations in Brighton to find supportive landlords. If you know anybody who is prepared to let accommodation below the market rate, do please get in touch.
There are more people in Brighton denied access to housing than can be housed in the properties we currently have available. If you can, please set up a monthly donation, so that we can house more people.
4. If you can’t house everybody who needs accommodation in Brighton, how do you decide who to support?
Our priority is to house people who:
- do not have legal access to housing, and are taking active steps to resolve their immigration status in the UK
- are currently living in Brighton
- have a need for long-term accommodation (rather than short-term hosting)
- have support needs we have capacity to meet
Once residents in our accommodation have leave to remain, we will support them to move on within a year, so that spaces can be freed up for other people in need. For people without leave to remain, we don’t put any time limit on how long they can stay in our housing.
We aim to stay in touch with everyone who could benefit from our support, even if we can’t house them immediately, so that we can make the most appropriate decisions about who to house whenever the opportunity arises. We do this through our sister project, the Jollof Café and our friends at Sussex Migrant and Refugee Self Support Group. If you meet our priorities for housing, or you know someone who does, please do contact us – if we can’t immediately help you, we will try to refer you to someone who can offer support.
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.
Anybody we house receives regular contact from our Care & Support group volunteers. We help people deal with the bureaucratic, legal and emotional hurdles to building a secure life for themselves in Brighton.
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.
We work closely with the Sussex Refugees and Migrants Self-Support Group. This group provides our residents with an opportunity for peer to peer mentoring, ideas sharing and group problem solving.
Our decision-making aims to reflect these core values:
- Solidarity, mutual respect and hospitality.
We do not want to be acting as benevolent providers of charity, or rescuers who deny agency to the people who live in T4K housing. Many of us have personal and family histories of migration and persecution. We want to act on the basis of an understanding that we all have responsibilities to each other, due to our shared humanity.
- Social justice and resistance to unjust laws.
We want to take action against the hostile environment, by directly undermining and subverting it.
- Practical action, rooted in the local community.
We recognise that being small, direct and personal is valuable, even though it limits our ability to house as many people as are in need of housing. We think doing what you can is better than doing nothing. We think community action is qualitatively different from state action.
- Humility and willingness to learn.
We know that we will make mistakes, however good our intentions. We understand that there are complex power dynamics involved. We are committed to continuing to evaluate our work and learn from each other and from our residents.
9. I’ve heard that the 2016 immigration act makes it illegal for landlords to let houses to immigrants. How do you avoid this problem?
As part of the government’s “border everywhere” agenda, the 2016 Immigration Act 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”. However, this is difficult to obtain, and the criteria are far from clear. As has been noted in the High Court, the “right to rent” provisions are the cause of widespread illegal discrimination against potential tenants.
The advice we have from leading housing and immigration solicitors, Anthony Gold LLP, is that a tenancy between us, an organisation, and a landlord does not constitute a residential tenancy agreement, nor does any licence which we issue to people to be on the premises (as long as we are not charging them anything). As a consequence, the Act does not affect us. There is also no problem having guests in your own home.
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. See our privacy notice for full details of how we use your data if you donate to us, attend our events or sign up to our mailing list.
There are many different ways to be involved, and all of them are valuable.
The main areas where we need new volunteers are:
If you are interested in joining us as an occasional or regular volunteer, please fill in the form on our volunteer sign-up page and we will get back to you as soon as we can.