Thanet District Council has been granted over half a million pounds to protect migrant families and other vulnerable residents from being exploited by rogue landlords.
The Department for Communities and Local Government granted the council the sum of £557,000 over two years. The town hall’s housing team is the now first in the south east to have had such a bid approved. The funding is set to enhance the Margate Task Force with a Rogue Landlord and Community Cohesion Team. This will focus on specific activities in order to improve housing conditions for the most vulnerable in the area.
There will be particular focus on the migrant community, who frequently fall victim to exploitation by rogue landlords, yet often lack knowledge regarding how to improve their situation.
Deputy leader and cabinet member for community services at Thanet District Council, Lin Fairbrass, said: ‘Those born outside of the UK are almost three times more likely to be in the private rental sector than UK-born, leaving them exposed to rogue landlords and poor housing conditions. What’s more, they often lack the knowledge or basic language skills to improve their situation. We are delighted to have received funding to set up a Rogue Landlord and Community Cohesion Team to improve housing conditions, carry out more enforcement action and inspect all Houses with Multiple Occupation and flats above shops. We will also provide additional English language support to help migrants engage effectively with the local community.’
Communities secretary, Sajid Javid added: ‘This new funding will help councils rise to the challenge of reducing the impact of migration on local communities in a variety of ways – whether that’s tackling the small minority of rogue landlords who damage neighbourhoods with overcrowded properties, providing English language classes to ensure effective integration rather than reliance on translation services, or boosting the number of teaching assistants in schools to ensure all children get excellent teaching.’