A Thanet council consultation on a plan to tackle the issue of accessibility to quality, affordable housing and to reduce homelessness has opened to the public today (Monday, January 13).
The draft Housing Strategy looks at the way existing accommodation is managed and how best to plan the delivery of new homes in the future.
The consultation which runs for six weeks seeks to gather feedback on the strategy as a whole and calls for feedback on four specific priority areas:
- Improving access to and supply of housing
- Improving housing standards and safety across all tenures (ownership or renting)
- Supporting the health and wellbeing of residents and communities
- Preventing homelessness and tackling rough sleeping
The proposal examines ways in which housing can be increased to ensure homes are affordable to those on low to median incomes. It looks at how to promote housing for essential local workers, as well as addressing building homes that are suitable for an ageing population. It also explores ways that housing standards can be improved both for council homes and those in the private sector.
The plan also examines effective ways to address impacts on the health and wellbeing including how to improve the support people have at home, tackling poverty and inequality while also exploring ways to combat loneliness and isolation.
There are also a number of proposed ways to both prevent and address homelessness and rough sleeping. Early intervention and setting up effective partnerships to support rough sleepers are part of the suggested approach.
Cllr Helen Whitehead, Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods, said: “I would urge everyone who lives or works in Thanet to review the proposed Housing Strategy. Planning for our future housing needs is vital if we want to ensure that all of our residents have access to good quality accommodation.
“We want to be transparent and collaborative, and so your input is essential as it is a plan for housing in Thanet, and it needs to reflect the wishes and concerns of the residents of Thanet. This is a community effort, and it is essential to secure input from the people that the Housing Strategy affects.
“Giving your viewpoint now will help to shape the decisions we make in the future and mean that we are all invested in the outcome.”
People are invited to give their views on the plan via a questionnaire. The consultation is open to everyone that lives in Thanet whether they are renting or own their home. Views are also being sought from local businesses, community groups and voluntary organisations that operate in the district.
Consultation responses will be considered and the final Housing Strategy will be adopted by full council on Thursday, March 26.