Mum sharing bedroom with teenage sons in elderly parents’ home after frustrating five-plus years on Thanet council housing list

Katie has been bidding on council properties for five years but still cannot secure a home for herself and her two sons

In 2016 Katie Croud and her two sons had to leave their St Peter’s home because the landlord sold up.

Katie and the boys moved into her elderly parents’ home in Margate, sharing one bedroom, while she began bidding for a new property.

More than five years on and Katie and the boys, now aged 15 and 18, are still on the housing waiting list unable to secure a new council home, outpriced from the private lettings market and unable to risk being sent out of area by going into temporary accommodation because of Katie’s youngest lad’s ‘open access’ to the children’s ward at QEQM Hospital in Margate due to renal kidney disease.

The 39-year-old’s oldest son suffers from PTSD following a terrifying armed burglary at his grandparent’s house – the same property they are now living in – when he was just seven. During that incident his nan threw herself over him after a gang burst in and ordered her husband at gunpoint to open a family safe.

Katie, who receives PIP due to poor mental health, says she is bewildered as to why despite the mental and physical health needs in the family she remains graded at band C – listed as ‘reasonable preference’ but not priority bands A or B.

She said: “I have been on council waiting list since 2016, my priority moving date was July 31 2017. In the beginning I was bidding for two-bedroom properties but now my sons have grown so I am having to bid for three-bed homes.

“My parents were trying to downsize to a bungalow because mum is riddled with arthritis and struggles to get up the stairs but they have had to stop because we’ll become homeless.

“I can’t go into temporary accommodation as we’d probably get sent out of area and my youngest son has open access to Rainbow Ward. He has renal kidney disease and has already had one kidney removed, he has had more surgeries than I have in my lifetime and is very poorly. He had been misdiagnosed as having a bladder problem but was then blue-lighted to hospital with toxic shock and sepsis. He had his kidney removed and has a catheter.

“My eldest has PTSD from witnessing the armed burglary and I have bad mental health but Thanet council told me they no longer take this into consideration.

“I can’t afford private rents which are astronomically expensive, the top up is more than I have and I need to make sure I always have a little bit of money in case my son needs to go back to hospital in London.

“I’m not being fussy about what I bid on or where, although I’d prefer to stay as close to the QEQM as possible because I don’t drive, but I’m still only band c even though there are five of us are living in a three-bed house with my parents currently sleeping in separate rooms because of my mum’s disability.

“I’m not here through choice, my ex-landlord sold the last property for development and we have literally had no help.”

Katie says she has contacted North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale but was told he does not deal with housing matters and she now has no idea where to turn next.

She added: “I’m not the only person in this position. There are a lot of families struggling for housing. It is so frustrating.”

A council spokesperson said: “While we cannot comment on individual circumstances, we can confirm that the medical issues of our clients are taken into account regardless of whether they are physical or mental.

“We will always continue to support people who require assistance, and liaise with other services and agencies to ensure anyone who is vulnerable gets the assistance they need.”

Thanet council currently has 1,740 households on the housing register waiting for an affordable rented home. Of these 923 are individuals and 817 are families.

The council is landlord of 3034 properties, 888 of these are three-bed properties.

Those eligible to join the housing list are placed into one of four bands, -A, B, C and D. Applications in band A will be given the highest priority for rehousing, band B the next highest, then C with band D applicants having the lowest priority. Bids are made on properties through Kent Homechoice. Once bids have been made they are sorted in order of priority, and once verified the person with the highest priority will be offered the property.

However, demand is  outpacing supply and many isle tenants in the private sector are spending half their income on rent. The National Housing Federation says only 30% of income should be spent on housing costs.

Thanet council housing allocation policy

Band A – Urgent housing needs
Factor 1 Urgent medical or welfare needs.
Factor 2 Management transfer.

Band B – Serious housing needs
Factor 1 People occupying very overcrowded housing or otherwise living in very  unsatisfactory housing conditions.
People leaving supported housing.
Factor 2 Social housing tenants in Thanet who are under-occupying by one bedroom or more.
Factor 3 Armed Forces Personnel.

Band C – Reasonable preference
Factor 1 All other homeless households.
Factor 2 People occupying unsanitary or overcrowded housing or otherwise living in unsatisfactory housing conditions.
Factor 3 People who need to move on medical or welfare grounds, including grounds relating to a disability.
Factor 4 Key workers with a housing need

Band D – General housing needs
Factor 1 People who are intentionally homeless, or who have deliberately worsened their housing circumstances.
Factor 2 People who are homeless by another local authority
Factor 3 Households that have a housing need but owe a former tenancy debt or are deemed to have unacceptable behaviour

How do we increase affordable housing in Thanet?

46 Comments

  1. This country still hasnt recovered from that evil PM Thatcher.

    I hope your luck changes soon and you and your family can find a council property locally.

    Good luck

    • Spot on.
      Thatcher’s scheme to flog off social housing at a knock down price removed hundreds of thousands of council homes.
      And now, because of cuts by central government, councils can’t afford to build new.
      And if they did, the tenants would just exercise their “right” to buy.

      It’s good of the IoTN to highlight this tragic case: but what about the others?

    • Maggie was a real PM, took on the unions who brought the country to a stand still , She put Authur Scargill in his box. She was a women of immense courage & fortitude . High standards too.

  2. Ye God’s! An MP who won’t deal, with housing issues – time for Sir Windy Gale to retire. Try your local councillors, who may be more helpful.

  3. Our Council has so many empty houses on its list. Renovation, to make them comfortable residences, should only take little money, and they could recover this from the Rent.
    Get on with it. Ms Homer is long gone!

  4. some spot on comments ,what a sad reflection of thanet council and the tory government in general , lets hope at the next election we can rid the country of these evil millionaire tories and get some one in with a bit of compassion and humanity. and yes old rog needs putting out to grass – but he keeps drawing huge sums of money when he should be retired.

    • Like who? Maybe the millionaire sir keir starmer or the millionaire sir Ed davey or even the millionaires carla denyer and Adrian ramsay. Take your pick,because no matter who gets in at the next election it’ll be SSDD.

  5. How many of the 1740 on the housing list are there for no other reason than they’d like a council house?

    • I don’t understand your question.
      A Council house means a fair rent and secure tenancy. Private rental means that (as we’ve read on here) long standing responsible tenants can be evicted on a landlord’s whim.

      • A council house means a home at a tax payer subsidised rent. My question was how many on the list are in genuine need rather than those who’d like a cheaper home. I’d quite like my housing to be cheaper but i don’t expect others to subsidise it.

  6. Andrew – long standing responsible tenants in private rental accommodation are not necessarily required to leave due to a landlord’s whim. 11 years ago I moved in with my mother who needed care and so I rented out my own flat and have been fortunate to have a wonderful tenant. But my mother has recently passed and so her home is being sold as is inherited by four of us siblings and so I have had to give my tenant notice as I need to move back into my flat. I feel really bad for my tenant but have no option as otherwise I will be homeless.

    I too blame Thatcher for the massive lack of social housing. But I also question why Labour didn’t reverse this policy all the years they were in government.

    • But that’s precisely my point.
      A council tenant, as long as he or she pays the required rent, and doesn’t break the rules, can look forward to living in their home as long as they wish.
      A tenant of a private landlord (no matter how principled that landlord is) can be evicted from their home of many years, because the landlord’s circumstances have changed.

    • A good question. WHY did the Labour government of Blair and Brown not reverse the dreadful policy of selling off Council homes once they had the chance?
      Probably because they believed that they had to be a lot like Tories to get elected. So they didn’t take the railways or utilities back into public ownership, even though such policies were, and remain, very popular.
      The Labour Party (future government probably)is exactly the same under Starmer. “Scared of its own shadow” as it is sometimes put. Expected to return major utilities to public ownership. Expected to build more homes for a reasonable rent. Expected to invest in new industries. But it will do none of these things as the Tories wouldn’t do it, so Starmer’s Labour will refuse to do it as well.
      “Scared of its own shadow”, just waiting for the Tories to blunder from scandal to scandal until even the most dedicated Tory voters won’t turn out to vote. THEN the Labour Party will get back into power without having to really promise to do anything much at all, apart from look serious in grey suits and not do anything too drastic. And THEN, after a few more years of nothing much at all, the Tories will get back in and the Labour Party will spend ages trying to work out why the voters turned away from them. Eventually, the Starmer wing will conclude that they had been TOO RADICAL and that, next time, they should be even MORE like the Tories if they want to be elected! And so it goes on!
      Until ,maybe, we get a form of Proportional Representation in this country and different groupings can put forward a whole range of different policies and can end up in Parliament.

  7. Contact Shelter. Extremely good advisory charity. Find and email govt housing minister and shadow housing minister, send photos of bedroom, details each family members current health issues. Contact youngest son’s paediatric team, school SENCO, ask they provide letter with reasons as to how your son’s well-being is being adversely affected, why moving is vitally important. Good luck.. When the Tories (1980’s) created the buying up of council properties they deliberately didn’t factor into the policy the ability for councils to build replacement council stock. This was deliberate.

  8. Being as an estimated 3 million people settled in UK in the last 15 years , [ some say the real figure is over 5 million] problem is the government doesn’t really know would you believe. Still they are letting 10000s cross the channel every year . Where are all these people ? Where are they all going to live ? I do know that services Inc housing, GPs , local services have literally fallen down. KCC cannot even cope with chid services anymore. That’s why local people who lived here for many generations cannot find a social housing property . Stop kidding us .

      • You do talk some utter rubbish Phyllis Quot.
        A very left leaning socialist methinks.
        I read the Daily Mail!

        • Thanet was and is the only Authority ever to elect a UKIP council.
          UKIP, and its various leaders, is well known for its racist and xenophobic sentiments.
          It’s not a huge leap of faith to work out that if the majority of the electorate vote for a party which supports racism and xenophobia, then the electorate at large is also that way inclined.
          If you want more evidence, just look at some of the postings on IoTN.

          • Your stupidity dumbfounds me. With initials like yours you would have thought that you would have respected the ‘mind your P’s & Q’s’ cliche
            Your previous comments have been highly racist and toxic, just like your remarks above!

      • PQ why do you feel the need to instantly make accusations of people being xenophobic and racist in response to concerns voiced over how the nation copes with the numbers wishing to come here and who need support? Most of our welfare systems work on a “needs” based allocation basis, and as such having large numbers arrive on our shores with nothing to their name means they are pretty well instantly classified as having the greatest need and so go straight to the top of the list. Delaying the chances of those with lesser needs being helped.
        There are many ( myself included) who aren’t overly enamored with seeing the considerable numbers turning up with their hands out , no identification and little proof ( other than prescripted responses) as to who they are and where they came from and why. As with everything in life its those that take advantage of others that make things difficult for those in genuine need.
        Why not make a more considered and thought out response to the concerns of others than insults and derisory dismissal which seems to be the only answer the more left orientated seem to have in such matters?

        • I too am concerned about “how the nation copes with the numbers wishing to come here”. But some people commenting on these threads express themselves in words which indicate that they are indeed racist and xenophobic.

      • that’s exactly the problem , Calling any criticism, no matter what, you call it racist or xenophobia, it silences open debate , [ cancel culture] exactly what happened to Laurence Fox, !000s are now waking up to this culture . Laurance has now started a forum for open debate away from the left wing cancel culture . The fightback has started.

  9. Phyllis Quot is right. There is a good deal of evidence on these comments that Thanet has many xenophobic residents.

    • Yes – Quot and Rees are correct.

      A significant number of people in Thanet (and many other areas of the OK) are xenophobic. One has to ask the question as to why that is ?

      Could it be anything to do with the fact thousands of people already in Thanet are finding it increasing difficult to find somewhere to live ?

      Could it be anything to do with the fact that thousands of people already in Thanet find it increasingly difficult to access medical services ?

      Could it be anything to do with the fact that an increasing number of acres of farmland are disappearing each year to provide housing for the increasing numbers of persons arriving on our shores each year ?

    • Peter Jews are not a race, thats been well proven, and to say they are falls into the anti Semitism trope! This has been Israeli policy for decades, criticise Israel and your anti Semitic, NOT!

  10. My daughter is in temporary accommodation after fleeing domestic violence. She is on Thanet housing but moved to chatham. It is overrun by rats. Poison is put down, makes no odds, they reappear. My grandson is in school in Thanet. I wonder how many others are in this position.

  11. Only one thing to blame for the current private rentall shortage is the government which seems to have a anti landlord mentality. Thats why so many are selling their rented property

    • I think you will find that it is the exponential rise in property prices that is causing most landlords to sell. They bought cheap 20 or 30 years ago and are now cashing in their pension.

      The demand for housing outstrips supply so it is a sellers market.

      Once again, one has to ask oneself where all this additional demand has come from in recent years ? ? ?

    • And more will as the antis ramp up their rhetoric. Without doubt as with any group un society there are poor and unscrupulous landlords, but these make up a tiny proportion of the sector. (No one calls for all benefits to be stopped because there are some that abuse the system). The country can’t afford to provide social housing for all those that want it ( there are far too many who want to live off the taxpayers largesse and do nothing) , the large corporat elandlords will only want the best tenants and as ever the poor quality, antisocial element will end up in the worst accomodation.
      Attacking landlords is an easy win for politicians as it costs them nothing and even brings in a bit of tax in the form of capital gains when they sell, the losers are those seeking rented accomodation in an ever shrinking market where the increased competition is forcing up prices, a situation exacerbated in margate by the draw it has for the arty / creative crowd who are drawn here and are able to pay what to locals are seemingly high rents.
      However local rents are only finally catching up with years of decline in the area when rents reflected that no one wanted to live in cliftonville etc. Then add on the legislative changes and standards added over the years that mean landlords have increased expenditure , which is no problem but as in every business the customer ultimately bears the cost of an improved product. There’ll be lots of squawking when rents go up to cover the cost of energy efficiency works that drive rents up £100 a month but only save the tenants a few pounds a month. But that’s how business operates, similarly rents will increase as and when the rental reform bill goes through . The private rented sector is slowly shrinking in thanet and things will get a lot worse for those tenants looking for a home especially if they are not working, have a less than perfect credit rating, have guarantor etc etc. Those landlords remaining in the sector aren’t too worried they’ll adapt as needed and will always have plenty of enquiries for any property thay have available.
      It should be remembered that “shelter” have never given anyone a home , their leader earns over £130,000 a year and talks utter tripe at times. This week it was complaining that tenants who have energy costs included in their rent won’t be getting the energy rebate , which is hardly surprising as its the landlord that pays the electric bill.

  12. The magic of the Free Market was supposed to cure all our ills, that has been the Tory mantra for decades! Thats why they have cut back on social housing, cut back the police, the NHS is not just on its knees, it barely functions! Britain has one success story though, we have more Food Banks than many other developed countries.

    The Tories thought Johnson was so great because he managed to win elections by lying! They are not interested in whats good for the people of this country, they are only interested in power, power to bleed tax payers of their money, in order to give it to their business friends. The two has beens vying to be prime minister will not change anything, they both believe the Free Market will provide all our social/welfare needs. Oh, yes, what did Blair do for me, well he stopped people smoking in pubs, and allowed them to stay open longer, I can’t think of anything else!

    • The NHS is on it’s knees as you put it, because it is now abused, by people who come to this country knowing they have serious health problems, end up in hospital, racking up huge bills, go back to their country of origin without paying a penny.
      We are now the International Health Service.
      I for one, object to paying my taxes, which help to fund all these people when I cant’ even get a ‘face to face’ appointment with a doctor.
      We must be the laughing stock of the world.
      No wonder so many want ti leave France a ‘safe country’ to come here.

      • exactly james , These people on here shut there eyes to what is going on. They think 5 million people [ even more pouring over the channel every day] [ not counting the ones walking up beaches at night] its having a mass effect on housing

    • Oh Dumpton,
      What about your lying Labour Leader Sir Tony Blair, taking us into war on a pack of LIES. Our young soldiers dying because of this action with some returning with dreadful injuries.
      Now, equate that to Boris Johnson?

  13. Thanet has had a housing problem for decades.

    We had landlords advertising ‘dole by the sea’ to fill their hotels with dippers ( scousers ) back in the 80’s.
    Thatcher sold of OUR council houses and never replaced them than allowed mortgage rate to go through the roof making families homeless. This allowed Thatchers mates to buy these repossessed properties at a knocked down price and than relet them to the families who couldn’t afford the mortgage but now had to pay higher rent.

    Now like many seaside towns around Britain, City folk arent now moving in pushing up house prices and private rent. Locals on local wages cant afford to buy or rent and are being pushed out. Cornwall has had this problem for decades.

    Does the government care of course not this people are Tory voters.

    Do people remember how unfair the pole tax was ? People in massive houses paying less than a family of 4 in a two up two down.

    The Tories ruined our coal, steel, ship building etc industries. Thatcher hated the northerners.

    I am baffled as to how thanet is a tory stronghold.

    • You really do need to get
      your facts straight.
      I have just googled to see if the Conservative party besides Margaret Thatcher closed more mines than Labour.
      Not so,
      You probably won’t want to hear this, but Labour closed more mines than the Conservatives, right up to champagne socialist Anthony Blair, who has with his wife a vast property portfolio not as VAST as their son Euan.
      Have a google and you will see.
      Always best to research figures, don’t you think?

      • I didnt say closed I said ruined.

        She started the closures by important dirty polluting foreign coal. And the industry never recovered from that.

          • Do you really believe that Thatcher played not part in the closure of the pits.

            That’s up to you. I really disliked what Thatcher did you may not

  14. A friend of mine lives in a small Cul de Sac in Cliftonville, built about 5 years ago.
    The largest house has 4 bedrooms and is owned by TDC.
    The family who have moved in are an Eastern European family with 4 children.
    How can this happen, when many on this thread are saying, that families who have been born in this country, pay taxes are on the waiting list for a home for many years?

    Will Phyllis Quot, Ms. Rees and all the other left leaning people on this thread, now call me a racist for sharing this story?

    Should the people on the list for years not get priority, no I am sorry, it does not appear so.

    I could not believe it when my friend told me recently.

    This country has lost the plot!

    • lots of these locals seem to ignore the facts about how immigration has effected life for the indigenous English/British . It seems to elude them !! they rather go along with the left wing mantra . Only problem is we cant get housing at all now . We are a tiny Island , we cannot keep taking immigrants at this level . in the last 9 years the population has shot right through the roof . We dont have the services or housing to cope.

      • Hence, this poor lady and her two teenage sons, are having to live as they are, through the kindness of their family.
        It really does not make sense.

        You are correct, the left do not want to look at the broader picture.
        Uncontrolled immigration.

  15. There are loads of empty houses by margate train station some been left empty for over 3 years .

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