I have never seen such a bad housing situation as the current crisis in Thanet. I meet rough sleepers on a daily basis. Many people visiting our isle comment on the number of occupied doorways and individuals begging in the town centres. This is the visible homeless. I’m fighting to raise the profile of the hidden homeless. In particular the families with children. Our Thanet families who, most often and through no fault of their own, find themselves homeless. There is a serious lack of social housing, so they are evicted or priced out of the meagre amount of private rented accommodation that we have in the area. These families can then be ‘displaced’, often way out of Thanet, to Medway, Dover, Sittingborne or wherever Thanet District Council can find temporary accommodation. They are sent away from their children’s schools, their GP’s, family, friends and all manner of support networks.
Thanet District Council Question
The video below is a recording of the recent Thanet District Council session where I sit as an elected Labour councillor for Newington. On this occasion I tabled a question about the social housing crisis in Thanet and the number of families in temporary accommodation. The question was answered by Conservative Councillor Lesley Ann Game, Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods. Although there has been a very slight improvement in the number of homeless families since April, as I say in my supplementary question, 71 homesless families is 71 too many. Thanet District Council cannot continue at this pace. We need to address and solve this issue now to minimise the misery of many.
Property developers, Stone Hill Park are offering much needed social housing, with 400 social homes in their proposal for the former Manston Airport site. One has to question the Tory council. Why are we dithering?