Concerns over wait for homes

Concerns have been raised that Rye people on the housing register are being overlooked in favour of people from outside the area.

Rye Town Council and the Rye Neighbourhood Plan steering group have been seeking information from Rother Council and social housing groups but have not had answers to questions they raised.

There are 105 local people on the housing waiting list.

Cllr Mary Smith said: “Rother’s housing plan talks about people having a local connection to the Rother area but not to Rye.”

Rye Town Council has asked Rother if there is a way by which vacant social housing in the Rye parish can be prioritised by those with a local Rye connection.

Rother Council’s housing needs officer Martin Bolton said: “The simple answer is yes, with the exception of persons who we have accepted as homeless who do not need to have a local connection because they are fleeing violence.

Cllr Smith said: “The high prices of houses in Rye makes it particularly difficult for young people to find homes in Rye.

“We are hearing lots of anecdotal evidence of people moving into Rye from a very wide area and we can’t seem to get the facts and figures on it.”

Colonel Anthony Kimber, vice-chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan steering group, said: “It is frustrating trying to get answers. We got shoved down the chain and the local officer was reluctant to answer. We don’t want to have to be told to build extra houses in Rye simply to satisfy a housing register elsewhere and funnel more people into Rye.”