5 July, 2023

Council to consider accelerating Thanet’s new affordable housing provision

A proposal to support changes to the council’s affordable housing development programme will be considered at a Full Council meeting on Thursday 13 July 2023. 

A report will be presented, which recommends that the Council agrees to an accelerated programme of delivery. It sets out a revised target for Thanet District Council to buy or build at least 400 new affordable rented homes by 2027.

The current target is to buy or build 160 new affordable homes by 2027.

To kickstart the delivery of 400 new homes, the report identifies two new projects that would provide 51 homes this year.

To achieve this, an investment of an additional £7.485 million is needed. This funding would come from the council’s Housing Revenue Account (HRA). The HRA is ring fenced solely for housing provision, maintenance and management. 

Should Council members agree the proposals in the report, the draw down of additional funding would then be subject to Cabinet approval. This would take place at a meeting planned for Thursday 27 July 2023. 

Thanet District Council is one of the main providers of new affordable housing in the area. Since 2015, the council has added to its existing housing stock by building or buying 144 new affordable rented homes. This represents over 60% of the 313 new affordable homes provided by the council and its housing association partners in that period.

Councillor Helen Whitehead, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing commented: “Having access to genuinely affordable housing is a huge concern for many Thanet residents; if we can provide that, we relieve many of the pressures that residents are currently facing, and as an administration we are determined to do so.

“Regeneration brings many positives; but without key infrastructure, such as affordable housing, regeneration can quickly become gentrification, and it is residents within the private rental sector who are often most affected by this; we can and will work to support residents in need, and provide genuinely affordable housing at a rate that will make a difference.

“An increasing number of residents are now facing homelessness, and many are having to be supported in temporary accommodation. Establishing our in house temporary accommodation service at Foy House to keep as many residents in area and near their support networks was a significant step; we will continue to deliver further in house temporary accommodation, but we also need to provide homes; and we will deliver them at a faster rate than we have ever done before, because protecting and supporting all of our community in Thanet is essential.

“Between 2015 and 2023 we delivered an average of 18 homes per year as a council; we are pledging now to deliver at least 100 a year for the next four years so that we can support residents at a time when they most need support.

“I know that Members understand the importance of delivering housing to support residents; I look forward to working together as a council to take this programme forward.”

As part of the on-going new build programme, the Council has already approved the funding and delivery of 47 more homes. Sites have been identified and construction is due to start early in 2024. This is in addition to the 144 homes already delivered. 

The full report is available on Thanet.gov.uk

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