Seven new homes in Manston have been bought by Thanet council for £1.6 million to house families on the district housing list.
As part of the effort to get residents into suitable homes the authority has undertaken a build and buy programme. TDC is also creating a council housing company, targeting local residents with exclusive marketing for home ownership, using disabled facility grants to adapt housing for older residents and improving working across agencies.
There are 67,000 homes in the Thanet district area with 3016 in council ownership. It is estimated that 1 in 7 people in the district live in a deprived area and 1 in 5 children in the district live in poverty.
As of September 2019, there were 2,354 households on the housing register with 109 listed as in urgent need and 200 in serious need, with the remainder listed as ‘reasonable preference.’
Just over half of those on the register need a one bed property with the next highest need for two bed properties. A third of those needing one-bed homes are over 60 years of age. Some 502 households on the housing register have a physical or mental health condition, made worse by their housing circumstances.
Some 51 new homes have been or are currently being built in the New Build Programme and 159 empty properties have been brought back into use through direct council intervention 2019/20.
Cllr Helen Whitehead, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Safer Neighbourhoods at Thanet District Council, said: “Genuinely affordable housing is the keystone of a healthy society. We are determined to help families in the district who need a home, and it is our duty to make sure that those homes are both of a high quality and genuinely affordable.
“We address this need in every way possible; and it is why we approach housing provision in three separate ways; by having a new build programme, bringing empty properties back into use and also having an Acquisition Programme.
“As part of this Acquisition Programme, we have purchased 20 homes. The latest seven properties in Manston have been acquired directly from the developer. These have been built to a high quality design and we are targeting a family market both to ensure we have a balanced mix of homes in the area and to address the housing needs of those on our housing register.
“As pleasing as it is to be able to put these homes forward, acquisition is only part of the story. The most important aspect of this purchase is that we will ensure that the resulting housing remains within the reach of residents, providing affordable and secure housing for families in the area who need and deserve good quality housing.”