Wednesday, 11 January 2012

SOCIAL HOUSING CRISIS DEEPENS IN KENT

Kent Green Party has have warned of 'housing chaos' in Kent and Medway as housing waiting lists are shooting up from their already record high level following the introduction of further housing benefits changes and the intention to end subletting. Stuart Jeffery, Chair of Kent Green Party, comments:

“Last year the social housing waiting list in Kent and Medway rose to 45,102 households(1) -- a record level, 2.1 times higher than in 1997 and up from 36,000 on the previous figures. Research by the Chartered Institute of Housing (2) suggests that about 20,000 across the County will lose out through the housing benefit changes, potentially increasing the social housing waiting list by as much as a further 50%.

“While Kent Green Party does not condone the practice of subletting, plans to make it a criminal offence(3) for the estimated 160,000 people who do this across the country will also potentially mean that a further 160,000 people need to find accommodation, adding to the housing crisis. At present, 1.8 million households or 4 million people are on council house waiting lists. The government is building towards housing chaos rather than creating good quality affordable homes from the 22,000 empty homes in Kent and Medway. If we add long-term empty shopfronts to this, and derelict industrial sites, then there is clear potential to meet housing need, create more useful construction jobs and regenerate our urban centres. But the Coalition Government apparently prefers homelessness and unemployment to decent housing for all.”

ENDS c254 words

FURTHER INFORMATION: Stuart Jeffery, Campaigns Officer, KENT GREEN PARTY
07970 436029 or 01622 808370. Contact address as above. http://www.stuartjeffery.net KENT GREEN NEWS, free monthly ezine, is available at www.kentgreenparty.org Published by Kent Green Party and promoted by H.Dawe, both at 27, Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF.

Notes:

1. Social Housing Waiting List statistics:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/xls/2039614.xls

2. CIH Map here:

http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2012/01/01/Housing_Benefit.pdf

3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16378153

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