Homeless people could drop down housing list in Thanet

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Homeless people in part of Kent may be bumped down housing waiting lists under plans being considered by a council.

Thanet District Council is consulting on proposals to change the way it allocates social housing.

One of those is to move homeless people from the top priority band A to band C, where they are categorised as in "reasonable need" of housing.

David Green, cabinet member for housing at the council, said the authority wants to be "fair to everybody".

However, Mike Barrett, from housing charity Porchlight, described the proposals as a "knee-jerk" reaction to the housing crisis.

'Severe housing need'

"Thanet has to ration what they've got, which isn't very much," he said.

"But there needs to be a well thought out, well researched piece of work, which goes into coming up with a fair allocations policy."

There are 340 social houses in Thanet for which the authority receives more than 6,000 applications every year.

Mr Green said if the proposals are agreed the first two bands will be for people who have severe housing need, usually through medical complications.

"The reason we're proposing change is that we want to be fair to everybody," he said.

"Not only to people who find themselves homeless but to people who find themselves with huge housing problems even though they're in some sort of accommodation."

Other proposals under consideration include giving priority to local people on the housing list and having tighter rules on people not paying their rent.

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