The council has been successful in securing funding (£226,100) from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to better protect vulnerable Thanet residents from being exploited by rogue landlords.
In 2017, the council secured £557,630 and was the only successful bid in the South East to secure funding from the government’s Controlling Migration Fund in round one. On Saturday 13 July, the MHCLG announced the beneficiaries of a further £28m and Thanet Council’s bid to extend the Task Force for an additional year until 31 March 2020 was successful.
The Rogue Landlord and Community Cohesion Task Force was set up to take a proactive approach to improving housing conditions, with the focus being on houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), flats above shops, and deprived neighbourhoods.
Over 2,000 suspected HMOs have been visited, and more than 5,000 other properties have been targeted by door-to-door investigations. Hundreds of homes in the private rented sector have been subject to enforcement interventions and over 500 households have benefited from multi-agency assistance.
Cllr Lesley Ann Game, Thanet District Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods said:
“Over the last two years, the Rogue Landlord and Community Cohesion Task Force has helped improve the living conditions and well-being of vulnerable Thanet residents. The fact that this Task Force works holistically, within a multi-agency environment, ensures that the wider health and social care needs of residents are met.
“I am delighted to have received this extra funding from central government to help tackle rogue landlords and poor housing conditions in the private rented sector, where migrant families can often suffer the most.”
Communities Minister Lord Bourne said:
“Whether its tackling rogue landlords who exploit vulnerable migrants, helping new arrivals learn English or supporting care leavers to access education, the Controlling Migration Fund is delivering results across the country and providing services for the benefit of all.
“Each community is unique in the challenges it faces, but the projects we’ve funded have shown that positive change is possible when people come together and think innovatively about how to support the whole community.”