Thanet council buys seven new homes in Manston for isle families

Thanet council has bought 7 homes in Manston

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.”


    • My reaction entirely. A great new approach but so much more is needed.
      Interesting to see how many of the homes needed are just one-bed properties, and those for older residents.
      Many older people, including myself, may prefer smaller homes as we get older and , if we have the option of affordable small homes , rented or bought, we might jump at the chance and, so, leave our three-bed semis for younger families.

      It just needs initiatives like this to make it possible.
      No doubt , though, there won’t be enough money coming from central government to make a REAL difference. This time round, the excuse will be “the cost of coronavirus” just like the last ten years of stagnation blamed on “the bail-out after the Credit crunch”.
      Yet, in 1945, when owing billions of pounds for both world wars , we didn’t hesitate to build millions of new homes and to create the NHS and the modern Welfare State. The money will be there but only if the will is there!

      • Considering so many 1 bed properties are needed it astonished me and my neighbours that Orbit South Housing Association are selling off lots of 1 bed bungalows and flats on St Peter’s estate. To date 5 bungalows have been sold or are up for auction. They have also sold off 16 1 bed flats and a few 2 bed. Beggars belief

  1. One of the answers of course is fixed term tenancies to all tenants. Once someone is allocated a property their circumstances are reviewed regularly. The single parent who has then had someone move in who earns good money or they themselves have found a good job gets notice to leave and the property is reallocated to someone else in need.

    The elderly person living in a 3 bedroom house as the children have grown up and left home is allocated somewhere else of a smaller size.

    Council houses are a precious commodity and we need to stop thinking of them as a house for life for people regardless of how their circumstances change.

  2. Fine, if you treat people as commodities. Not so fine if you treat people as people, with emotions, sensitivities, feelings. Why should an elderly person, for example, be turned out of the home they were married in, brought up their children in, buried their husband or wife from, when they very likely only have a couple more years to live?
    Do you think the same principle should be applied to home owners: require them to downsize, willy-nilly?
    Worth considering that there was far less of a social housing problem before Thatcher flogged it off.

    • Very simply Andrew, because it’s not their house. It doesn’t belong to them. They never bought it. They were allowed to live there during a time of genuine need in exchange for rent payment. If that genuine need no longer exists then why shouldn’t they be asked to move if there is an overwhelming need to house more people?

      Homeowners bought their house. It’s theirs. They can do with it what they want.

      • The irony is that people renting, rather than buying, almost always pay far more overall for the roof over their heads than someone who buys.
        Even more ironic that so many of the homes bought were ex council houses, now let out by unscrupulous landlords (on shirt term rents) to families who ought to be housed by the LA.

        • Tosh, as renters they don’t pay for the maintenance and repair, new boilers etc, don’t pay building insurance etc, plus as the state of thanets social housing shows the rents are too low to be able to maintain them properly instead the properties are eventually reliant on further handouts from the taxpayer.
          We hear endlessly about the inadequacies of the private landlord, but satisfaction amongst private tenants is higher than the social sector and where were the calls for prosecutions and declarations decrying TDC and EKH over the failures in respect of gas, electrical and fire safety? councillor Whitehead and her predecessor are amazingly quiet. Then there’s the proposed 14 million for the “reprovision” of insulation on the tower blocks. Not that many years since it was done.
          As for landlords owning ex council stock, thats because private owners don’t want them , those that do nest out of it are those that received the discount. Why doesn’t the council buy these properties back when they come on the market? Probably because of the huge backlogs of outstanding works needed.
          Around 300 pieces of legislation to control the private rented sector , why doesn’t TDC start using them?

          • I expect the council can’t afford to buy back ex-council properties that are for sale on the open market.

          • Marva , if they can afford to buy or build new houses they are quite capable of buying ex council properties that are on the open market, In the case of flats especially it would give the council more control over the mix of tenants etc. These properties are cheap in comparison to new builds.

  3. Good (not) to see that TDC are still supporting SHP. However I am pleased to see that TDC are purchasing homes.

    • Not such a star when it comes to dealing with the issues of the drug addicts that tdc have placed in properties in the st.johns road area through paramount property services ( who are also working on the old british legion with as yet no approved,planning permission. Given the commercial ties between tdc and paramount , planning via tdc may be considered a conflict of interest).
      Local residents having junkies knocking on their doors with ludicrous stories in attempts to get money , plus the cases of entering rear gardens. Councillor Whitehead showed a bit of interest as the shadow member, been spectacularly evasive since having the big chair.

  4. affordable homes on Ramsgate sea front still waiting for offshore leaks company to build homes
    same with Miles and Barr estate agents here in Cliftonville
    arson happened to the holly tree and when I did my homework the estate agent likes a BARBARA KAHAN an 83 year old woman to set up their banking system offshore leaks

    affordable homes please do a survey on what is affordable in Thanet?

    With the new housing rates set on £473 if you are in one bed tell me dear folk who rents a property of that amount?

    Most rented affordable homes are £600 upwards so the council fall short and people have to dig into what they have to live off

    Or even those who work on the £8.72 an hour half wages go on rent the other half on paying the council tax and bills with bare minimum to live off.

    This current situation though is not helping us at all it is pushing us all into more and more poverty which is after all an Agenda 2030 plan of sustainability?

    Tell me one thing why do we have a council who love to give planning permission to offshore estate agents who are one connected here in Thanet?

    Offshore leaks to me is money laundering but then the chosen auditor of this council is also offshore leaks, Grant Thornton. Also money laundering or any other kind of offshore leaks criminality ….
    The stock of houses we did have, have been turned into dirty slums just walk down Edgar Road or Athelstan Road here in Cliftonville. This selective licensing does not seem to work and I will be doing a freedom of information on this shortly to find out how much Thanet council has had in money from selective licensing and I want to know where that tax goes. You charge landlords to keep properties in order but I still see filth and slums round here shame on the council not being able to look after what we have and to land bank Ramsgate seafront. Affordable homes the labour leader said at the time, people paid a 10% deposit to another agent who did a runner with most of that!

    One day I will write a book on all the wrong doings of this council …

  5. Well done THANET district Council. Thatcher done untold damage with the madness of selling off council houses to those who just so happened to be living in them. It deprived the council taxpayers of millions upon millions of pounds of assets and robbed council throughout the UK of rental income 30 years on the housing market for those who need it has never recovered, millions of families forced into high priced rents in the private sector On short-term contracts families is not knowing from one six months to next six months if they will have to uproot their children from their schools and move on yet again for another six month contract all thanks to Thatcher. I hate to think of how many billions of pounds Thatcher wasted. The effects will still be felt for many years ahead.

  6. It is also worth mentioning the figure of just under 1000 long term empty properties in Thanet which saw a big increase from last year’s figure and is one of the worst figures in Southern England. These are properties which could and should be used to deal with our housing problems. Whilst 7 new houses is good news it’s a drop in the ocean of what could be done getting these empty properties back in use.

    Not sure Thatcher can be blamed for that but I’m sure some on here will give it a go.

    • I don’t suppose the council can afford to buy many empty properties, if any. Let along repair them and renovate them to the required standard.

  7. Thanetian Blind, I don’t know if you are blind, if you are then I will forgive you for not seeing the real damage that evil Thatcher done to the UK housing market. Many of those who did buy the council houses regretted that they did. Many were encouraged to take on interest only mortgages, at first they could not believe their luck to be able to buy nice 3 bedroom homes many with nice gardens for less than half their true value. However 25 years down the line at the end of the mortgage companies wanted the capital sum that the households had been paying the interest on. Most did not have enough to pay the capital sum off so they have been forced to sell their houses to clear the debts and many are now living in caravans on holiday parks up and down the U.K. . On the other side of things some tenants never actually purchased the house themselves it was done with others “help”. Not only were the houses sold off at much less than their market value the money from the sales had to go to the government to make tax cuts for the rich. Blind or not anyone can see what damage Thatcher caused.

  8. What has any of that got to do with the large number (and increasing) of long term empty properties? I knew someone would be along soon to make a tenuous link to Thatcher and I wasn’t disappointed.

    • The link to Thatcher is not tenuous. The reason that social housing is in such short supply can be laid firmly at Thatcher’s disastrous “right to buy” policy.

  9. Oh I get it THANET blind, lets skip the embarrassment that lost the U.K. council’s billions of pounds. Let’s look at the empty property’s. Educate us tell us why they are empty and I will you the real reasons.

  10. I would’ve bought a council house 25 years ago on interest only terms, still would, sure the capital has got to be paid off, don’t see what the problem is. Nothing is for free in this life, or is it? educate me.

    • One problem with the right to buy was that councils were not allowed to the money from selling council housing to be used in building replacements.

  11. Just a minute. I think you are missing the point. Council house / flats tenants before Right to buy was introduced used to have water rates and in some cases services charges included in the their rents and also the upkeep of the building was the council’s responsibility. On the face of it when tenants were offered interest only mortgages it looked very attractive. However they were also sold endowment insurance and mortgage protection insurance to run along side.
    The interest only mortgages did not look quite so attractive each month especially as the water rates and building insurance and building upkeep was no longer the responsibility of the council. Rents at the time were on average £132 per month. Compared to the new monthly payments of above of £575 a month. Many on a low wage run into debt and thousands of homes were reprocessed. Indeed the PPI scandal has proved millions of the loans and insurance polices sold to tenants were mis-sold. Add to that, every council house sold was one less in the council stock.

    • Sounds like a cushy deal that, sure i’d like someone else to pay all my bills and most of my rent, how sustainable is that? & Where do I sign. The point is, with that mortgage thingy, at the end of those payments that you mention – there is an asset, a considerable one, buying your council house looked attractive back then because it was attractive. Economic bumps occur, most of us are impacted, some sort of contingency is wise for grown ups, why should any group be immune. If we’re honest we have it pretty good here, few go hungry.

  12. Thanet blind, yes of course it was as was the banking crises. Sell sell sell debt debt debt. I’m all right jack polices.
    It might surprise you to know Jonathan Aitken was and is a personal friend of mine and I voted for him. I also like Boris Johnson. However if the hat fits wear it. If I don’t agree what the party is doing I soon let them know. I am not blind to bad management and incompetence.

    • This is the same Jonathan Aitken convicted of perjury, admitted perverting the course of justice and allegedly involved in dubious arms deals? No offence but given your views on culpability seems a strange choice to be a friend.

  13. Just wanted to point out a few issues with what some posters have mentioned.
    Even if have a single person living in say a 3 bed house, if the person refuses to downsize the council have no grounds by which to force them to so that ‘scheme’ only works if people actually want to move esp as these people have generally lived in that house for many decades, raised their children there, maybe lost their spouse in that house etc. So many want to keep the familiarity of that 3/4 bed house so nothing offered will make them change their mind. My neighbour is one of these people living in a house that is too big for him, as is only him living there but as he likes having a garden and may end up in a flat he won’t under any circumstances move out of this house and council can’t force him to, his rent is up to date, house and garden in decent condition, and except for revving his motorbike at stupid hours of day and early mornings, same as mowing his lawn but nothing the council can ‘mark’ against humanity. He does nothing but moan and threaten kids to be quiet or he’ll pop their balls, paddling pools etc and pops balls if accidentally end up in his garden but considering he lives on a council estate with several kids on each side of his house and many more playing out the front IMO why live around things that drive you crazy, if hate kids so much now he’s older and very very grumpy why continue to live on a council estate, esp as a family are in desperate need of a house like his. So the council need to add a ‘clause’ into the leases that when occupancy in the house falls below a certain amount, making tenants ‘under’ capacity they will be required to leave the property with the council agreeing to find a suitable place to move to. Think that’s the only way you’ll ever get anyone who’s under capacity to move. If they have to!!!

    Also what’s being done for those families that are overcrowded and have had to live in cramped conditions for years as the council ‘don’t make 4/5 bedroomed houses or so they say. At one point I had 8 kids between me and my new husband all living in a 3 bed house with 1 toilet!!!! My house was originally just a 2 bed but I planned and paid for one room to be made into another bedroom as had no possible way to fit bunk beds into that one larger room as had only so much wall space. It then took another 6 years to get the council to come and convert my larger bedroom and make another 2 rooms out of the 1 room. And despite now having 4 tiny bedrooms it did make it easier to spread the kids out, my boys (we had 4 boys and 4 girls luckily, having to all share a room due to age of the girls meant the 4 boys ended up in a room smaller than a prison cell, you could almost touch each side of the room at the same time by putting your arms out, with maybe an inch or 2 gap between fingertips and wall, but in that ‘room’ we had to have 4 boys in 2 sets of bunk beds with no room to have anything else in that room, and having to shuffle into the room sideways as walking straight in would mean you’d get stuck as the gap between the beds was so small!!!! We had no doors on any of the bedrooms as council took all of them when split back bedroom into 2 then ‘forgot’ to return them and despite fighting for 5 years now they say I now have to pay for new doors which I simply cannot afford,
    Now a few of my older kids have moved out I am still in the same boat, my son and daughter are at an age where they have to have their own rooms, which leaves 2 younger boys to have to share a room. Which under normal circumstances would be do able, however my 10 year old has autism/aspergers and doesn’t mix well with others even his own siblings and can be violent when he’s off on one and he needs his own room to ensure his siblings are kept safe and can have a place that is safe and away from my son until he calms down. The brother he is having to share with is 9 (M) and tiny compared to the 10yr old so often gets hurt by him and anyone in the way when G (10yr old with asd) despite our best efforts to placate G and it’s been recommended to give G his own room for the safety and sanity of all of the other kids living at hone, however by giving G his own room it means my 13 yr old girl is now forced to share with a 9yr old boy which isn’t allowed, or the other alternative is put the 9 yr old in with my nearly 18yr old son which wouldn’t work as G tends to break things when having a meltdown and as my eldest boy works doing a casual summer job to buy his own things and he saved and brought himself an Xbox S (meant nothing to but if an argument happened and G was in a frenzie he would think nothing of throwing the Xbox and many other breakable items across the room or down the stairs as he has done before. But still the council won’t help us get a more suitable house that will give us what we desperately need which is to protect each of our children and to ensure they have a room to be able to escape to that means they’re safe.

    And by helping us get a more suitable home the council of outdoor end up with a 3/4 (depending on how many rooms needed) bed house for a family that’s in desperate need of one. So would be a pat t of a chain I think, as do many others, the council need to do to help all families in need, not just the homeless living in b&b’ sets.

    The council desperately need to look at things in a realistic way and then find a clear cut way to help everyone that is in need of help and to also purchase bigger homes with 4/5 bedrooms for all of these mixed families as that in itself is now the norm with many parents already having their own children being with a new partner who also has children so where is the help from the council to help ensure these families are not rammed in like sardines and like us with 10 people using 1 toilet and 1 bathroom between us as let me tell you it’s definitely not fun!!!!!

  14. A lot of today’s social problems can be traced back to Thatcher’s government but the diehard Tory voters here will probably never acknowledge this.

  15. Local chap. Yes I can understand your surprise. Jonathan Aitken carried the can for others who were never shown in their true light. He never dropped anyone else in it. Less said the better on that matter.

    • But as a man elected to help lead a country and stand up for whats right , being prepared to take a fall for others is hardly setting a good example he should have had the backbone to reveal the truth. Unfortunately just another example of the rot in politics.

  16. Marva. Yes I fully agree with you. I vote Conservative but only if I agree with the manifesto, I will not be treated like a sheep and vote for the conservatives regardless of the polices. I have a mind of my own when I agree with mostly what they plan I will vote for them if not I won’t. I have voted for Labour in the past as well. I pay a membership to join the party and if they do something that in my opinion is out of order I tell them in writing and if I am not happy with the response I cancel my direct debit. I don’t normally hate anyone but I hated Thatcher and May. Thatcher was evil and May useless. I like Boris Johnson but I will see how things go.

  17. I really don’t know how TDC housing can gloat; their figures in respect of affordable housing are atrocious. We also have one of the highest figure in respect of empty houses which is a CRIME. Do more with that and you’ll earn the respect of Thanet folk . Your ‘so-called’ achievements are quite frankly an embarrassment. And what is the ‘definition’ of ‘affordable’ housing please? What does that really cost because I am intrigued to know.

    • There’s a whole raft of varying definitions of rent, social, affordable and market being the main ones, but some social providers bump up these numbers by adding on service charges, there arehousing associations that have a mantra of “ profit for purpose” to give reason for higher rents in some areas, then more modern developments generally have higher rents than older ones.
      A good basis to work from are the “Local Housing Allowance” rates set by government and basically the rates used for benefit claimants, these are meant to be set at the 30 percentile of local rates for each property band. These were frozen in 2016 and until this april lagged market rents considerably, however they were uplifted and now do reasonably reflect the 30 th percentile. So many on benefits will no longer be topping up their rent from their incomes.
      Currently in thanet the benefit rate for a 1 bed property is 475 and a 2 bed 650 per month. Council rents are well below this but are really too low for the council to maintain and repair properties properly hence the star of much of the Isles council property.
      The private sector too has some awful property but the council is reluctant to do anything about it, (mainly as if the force landlords out of business the council would be responsible for tenants no one wants in many cases , junkies , alcoholics and the antisocial) preferring to try and improve cliftonville from behind a desk using selective licensing, now 9 years in and hardly made a huge difference. Last time I looked the last report on the scheme was 5 years old, no doubt they are busy cooking the figures to see if they can renew the scheme again in 2021. Or having allowed other areas to go socfar downhill use it as an excuse to extend the scheme further. Empire building at its TDC best.

  18. Affordable housing includes social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to specified eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. It can be a new-build property or a private sector property that has been purchased for use as an affordable home. › collections › a…
    Affordable housing supply – GOV.UK

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