A resident-led housing trust which aimed to buy and provide homes at housing allowance rates has been dissolved.
Thanet Community Housing – a Community Land Trust started in 2019 and established in 2020 – had been in negotiations to buy a plot of land in Cliftonville which had planning permission for four family homes and was also in talks with Thanet council about building on land in Minster, off St Mary’s Road, that has planning permission for three small bungalows.
The hope was to provide affordable housing with rents matching Thanet’s Local Housing Allowance rates.
But it has now been announced that the Trust is disbanded after the Cliftonville purchase encountered a dispute over parking and then, before this could be resolved, the covid pandemic and other issues hit.
In explanation Trust vice chairman Rowan Dickman said: “Having appointed the architects and completed a survey in readiness for planning permission, we were confronted with a dramatic rise in in costs for materials, due in part to the pandemic and possibly Brexit. Having put a great deal of time, effort and resources into the project, it came as a major blow to the Trustees.
“The combination of pressures of work commitments and the stress of keeping the Trust functioning throughout the pandemic, via Zoom meetings, became untenable for a number of our Trustees. Subsequently our Chair, Secretary and Treasurer had to take a step back from their duties as Trustees.
“Given that this left the Trust with only three active Trustees and another two active members, we were confronted with prospect of not having enough Trustees to make the running of the Trust tenable.
“As the Trust is a membership led organisation we were aware that members / supporters may have strong views regarding the future of the Trust and may be prepared to fill any vacant Trustee roles, thus allowing the Trust to continue to function.
“It was decided to organise a meeting on March 25 which would be a general meeting and a chance for any members/ supporters to have a voice in the future of the Trust, to that end all members and supporters were contacted.
“On the day only three trustees and two members attended the meeting. As the decision to dissolve the Trust can only be made at a general meeting and the obvious lack of interest and support, we felt that the Trust could not run for another year in limbo and therefore the sad decision to dissolve the Trust was made by those present.”
Mr Dickman thanked all those involved and said he had “no regrets.”
He added: “The vision still remains worthwhile and given the present economic circumstances, I would suggest vital. A community is only as good and healthy depending on how it looks after its most vulnerable and at least we can say we tried.”
The Trust had aimed to become a registered housing provider and had pledged to create properties that were low impact, carbon efficient.
Sounds about right with the current economic crisis we all are experiencing. Let’s face facts here, the time this was set up, almost all local authorities were remote working.
Nobody is getting away with simplicity managed housing when all rents are climbing high now day’s.
This is a shame. Worth a try. But we are not living in a society that values humanity. There is no support from central government if you are struggling for the basics, like a home. Unless, of course, if you already own one, in which case you can sell it and buy another. Otherwise you have to “stand on your own two feet” while they kick away your legs from under you.
It’s got worse and worse since Thatcher facilitated the selling off at knock-down prices of vast swathes of Council housing.
And for a bit of balance
Does your ire extend to those that sported red rosettes? For whatever reasons the UK has pursued a policy of admitting millions of low earning migrants into the country , adding considerable pressures to the need for low cost housing ( though there is really no such thing, it has to be subsidised by the taxpayer) , in the absence of increased gdp and more importantly per capita domestic product, the mation does’nt earn enough to pay for it all.
As the article shows providing housing at low cost is rather problematic and relies on cheap land / grants.
Just look at the social housing provision in recent years in thanet, built on ex authority/ gov land.
The development at the top of dalby square was funded to the extent that only 48k per unit was needed in capital funding, so at the time around 60% of the build costs were subsidised one way or another. The flats on the site of the old tax building near Aldi in cliftonville, land effectively gifted and we’ve ended up with a mini sink estate that has endless issues. Burlington place on the site of a previous specialist housing facility, meant to have been a mixed tenure development, but the housing association was allowed to turn much of the part rent part buy to rent only, so instead of creating a more stable community with greater “ownership” the developer was allowed to avoid the realities of a poor business model ( ie, was able to avoid lowering its prices in order to get interest in the units).
Whilst well meaning the group in the article bumped into reality, which means that in the current economic climate providing housing at LHA rates is night on impossible, the council only does it because it has property that was built for very little many years ago and is long paid for. In addition they forever have their hand out for external grants to update and maintain their property.
Labour should certainly have restored the right to buy when they returned to power. However, despite that, I will be voting Labour in the May election because the Tories and their policies are much, much worse.
Societies have never valued humanity. It’s a thin veil of pretence that rapidly disappears once the basics like food and shelter become unavailable.
The people on this forum seem to comment only on issues of housing and no else. True humanity is doing your bit by feeding or housing someone without a hypocritical pointy finger.
Laudable point of view, but as with everything falls in contact with human behaviour. If everyone was scrupulously honest the world would be a very different place, but human nature means thare are those that will choose to cheat and scam the system at every opportunity, be that outright criminals, the fat and obese who needlessly use the resources of the nhs, those that choose not to work, those that fiddle their taxes, economic migrants that pretend to be asylum seekers, the list is endless.
The result is the society we now have, effectivley a trade off that acknowledges all our failings and the tangled web they weave.
The notion that it can all be solved by taxing any and everyone that is deemed to have too much is absurd, as the saying goes. “ he problem with socialism is you eventually run out of other peoples money”.
Perhaps the people who live in “council homes “ who can afford to should move out and let the ones who need a home move in
Given that very few can afford to buy, even if they want to, that’s not much of an idea, is it?
You might say the same of home owners. I know of several people (mostly widows) rattling around in their 4 bedroomed family homes, all on their own. Shouldn’t they give up their large properties and move into a nice bungalow in Birchington?
Anyway, we live in the UK, not Communist China.
Have you looked into the costs of downsizing from a big rattly home to a smaller one? Plus having very likely struggled to buy and pay for their family home with all the memories and comfort it gives them why should they downsize unless they choose to do so, in which case should there not be incentives to do so?
A lot of council house occupants live very comfortable lives , with good jobs , a car apiece and enjoy all the trappings of overseas holidays etc, should they live in houses that were meant for people who can’t afford such luxury.
I think Fred means “a lot of ex-council house occupants”.
I don’t. Fred is on the money.
There is no obligation on the tenant to move out if their fortunes change. But wait, should they even have bought their council homes if (shhhh) the RTB now seen as deplorable?
The right to buy has always been seen by some to be deplorable. And now everybody knows why.
Why should taxpayers pay for rent payers to get new wiindows or bathrooms or kitchens or whatever when they can afford to have two cars per house among other of life’s luxuries, and many of those residents have well paid jobs. And probably go on foreign holidays.
Aren’t the only people currently living in council houses alcoholics, drug dealers and generally incompetent, then? I’m sure I’ve read several comments on IoTN which state confidently that this is the case.
Here you go
As for crime , in cliftonville a foi request from kent police showed that there was twice as much crime associated with social housing than the private rented self contained housing, and 36 times as much crime associated with hmo’s, childrens homes, care homes ( mable reports her teeth have gone missing home has to report it ) half way houses, emergency housing .
I don’t care what the crime rate in social housing is. I am still going to vote Labour, and never vote for the heartless, greedy, almost completely dodgy Tories.
I’ve no interest who you choose to vote for, you were querying opinions proferred so i put up some properly researched data. All politicians are crooked it’s seemingly part of the job description. The only difference is that one lot seem to think you can tax the productive part of society to buy ever more votes , whilst thinking it won’t put people off being productive or create a moral hazard of encouraging more people to just rely on the state, the other lot believe in ( or used to) basic state provision for those that struggle in order to encourage people to provide for themselves. Both sides are utterlly deluded when it comes to net zero and how it’ll impoverish all but those who rely on the “green industry”, they both also seem to think that endless inward migration is a good thing , but conveniently forget to work out how they’ll provide housing and services ( as those coming here will never be productive enough to cover the costs).