There are a considerable number of local parents dealing with the impacts of homelessness in Thanet. As local authority housing stock has decreased and the number of private landlords who will not accept tenants on benefits increases, families are getting caught in calamitous housing scenarios.
Homelessness in Thanet is on the increase. As a local District and County councillor I do whatever I can to try to assist people, whether they are individuals or families, as do all councillors. But it’s a rapidly worsening situation, and I can actually offer little practical help in reality.
In the process of keeping roofs over their heads, Thanet District Council may move families around temporary accommodation in Kent. This can happen multiple times, with little notice of the next move and the destination being at the other end of the county. I am full of admiration for the many who are dealing with this, but they should not have to.
I have been trying to highlight the impact on Thanet residents and I’m pleased to cooperate with the BBC in their reporting of this dreadful problem. On Wednesday they aired a report which tells the story of one family’s plight — one family of many I’m dealing with currently.
As you hear Wayne Price, the father in this story say, it could be years before his family get a ‘proper’ permanent home. In the meantime, moved to temporary accommodation in Chatham, the children are wrenched away from their family, friends, and Thanet schools.
Thanet District Council urgently needs a hold a proper housing enquiry to start to find ways of dealing with this problem. We desparately need support from central government. I’m going to urge my Conservative counterparts to implore their Government for the help and I’m certain that settling the Local Plan for Thanet would lead to much needed social homes being built on our isle.