At the November meeting of the Full Borough Council on Wednesday, the Labour Leader, Roger Truelove called for special meetings to consider the threat to rented housing in Swale, as a result of tenants dispersing from the London Boroughs.
With many tenants in London being unable to meet current rent levels as a result of changes to housing benefit, it is expected that there will be dispersal to Kent, with areas such as Thanet and Sheerness being likely recipients. It is feared that London Boroughs will attempt to overcome their homelessness problems by offering incentives to landlords, putting up local rents and squeezing out local people.
At Wednesday’s Council meeting Cllr Truelove asked the Council Leader what problems were anticipated by the ruling administration. As a follow up discussion, he also called for special meetings to help guide all members of the Council through what are bound to be very difficult times.
“We are at a very critical stage. We already have a chronic shortage of rented properties at affordable rents and if it becomes the norm for London Boroughs to decant hard up tenants into Kent, it is going to lead to a whole range of serious problems.”
“I am sure we have cross party agreement on this and I welcome the fact that Swale is talking to other Kent boroughs in an attempt to monitor this critical situation.”
(Details of the question and answer are on the Swale Borough Council Website)