Friday, 8 October 2010


New figures show the full impact the recession is having on homeowners in Thanet, with a dramatic increase in the number of people on the housing register over the last year.

By the end of August 2010, they were 5,917 households waiting for homes owned by the council or housing associations. This is an increase of more than 20% from a year earlier, when only 4,653 were on the waiting list. On average, over the last year, the council’s Housing Options Team has received an average of 310 housing register applications each month.

Cllr. Chris Wells, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Britain may have been officially declared as being out of recession, but despite that, there are more evictions and repossessions in Thanet than ever before. The situation is clear. Housing options for people in Thanet are reducing. Some of that’s down to the sharp fall in mortgage lending, but house prices still remain out of reach for many on an average salary.”

The council has recognised the problem and successfully attracted government funding for its innovative Home Debt Help service to try and help tackle this problem. The service is free and confidential.

Cllr. Wells added: “The human cost of recession is known to impact some year to eighteen months after the technical measures have declared there is a problem. This is when the real misery begins for most people and we are in the middle of that period right now. We’re here to help people through the Home Debt Help service, but we do need people to come to us at the earliest possible opportunity, so we have the best chance of being able to keep you in your home. We’ve already had a lot of people contact us and the stories are all very different.

“One example is a woman who contacted us, after seeing the service advertised on our website. She had been taken ill and could not work and her husband also had to stop work to care for her and their children. At the same time, their fixed interest rate came to an end, meaning a big increase in their mortgage repayments. As a result, they fell into arrears with their mortgage. Our Home Debt Help service was able to advise her on how she could increase her income and what additional benefits she may be entitled to. We’re now working closely with her and her mortgage lender to see if the family could be eligible for the Mortgage Rescue Scheme, which aims to help people, who have seen their income change dramatically and need help in paying their mortgage. That’s just one example of how we can help.”

If you think you could benefit from the Home Debt Help service, you can contact them on 01843 577277 and you can learn more at

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