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Call for former sites to be earmarked for affordable housing

Published Monday 18 October, 2021
Last updated on Monday 18 October, 2021

Swale Borough Council is calling for former care home sites in Faversham to be earmarked for affordable housing for local people.

The former Kiln Court and Osborne Court social care facilities have been advertised for sale by Kent County Council.

Cllr Ben Martin, cabinet member for housing at Swale, has written to the deputy leader and cabinet member for finance at Kent, asking the county council to give weight to offers that could help deliver higher numbers of new homes for affordable and social rent.

Cllr Martin said:

“Given the history of the site, as a workhouse and later as a social care facility for the benefit of the people in the area, I would like to request that when considering offers from prospective purchasers, that significant additional weight be given to any proposals which deliver higher numbers of new homes for affordable and social rent.

“There are approximately 1,200 families on the housing register within Swale. A 100% affordable housing development with a mix of dwelling types on this site could make a huge difference to the quality of life for many of these families.

“In addition, the provision of increased volumes of truly affordable housing can have impacts on other service areas.

“Having the right types of truly affordable housing can allow for people to remain in their homes longer, reducing the pressure on social care, having security of tenure can reduce anxiety and other mental health issues and can help to reduce the risk of residents who are currently stuck in private rents from becoming homeless as a result of section 21 evictions or issues with unaffordable rents.

“In July 2020, Kent County Council’s Affordable Housing Select Committee produced a report which outlined eight recommendations, including that ‘KCC should explore ways of releasing more of its land for building genuinely affordable housing’.

“This is the perfect opportunity for Kent County Council to implement that recommendation and make a real contribution to increasing affordable housing provision.”