Refugee Housing

melissa made this Freedom of Information request to Kent County Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Kent County Council,

100 Victoria Street Gillingham
17 Saunders St Gillingham
35 Burnt Oak Terrace Gillingham

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I believe the above properties are being used to house refugees.

I therefore would like to know the following:

1 How much is each respective landlord being paid (monthly) for each property for housing the refugees ?
2 Are KCC paying the landlord?
3 Is the landlord being paid per person or a monthly rental income? Please provide figures if per person at each of the above properties? If the payment is a monthly rental is this capped by LHA?
4 How much is being paid (monthly) for the utilities consumed by the refugees (Gas, electricity and water) - 5 Who is paying for the utilities used?
6 Is each refugee receiving a living allowance, if so how is being paid to each refugee?
7 How many refugees are being housed in each of the properties mentioned? What are their nationalities (if this cannot be provided, the continent of origin will suffice). What is the age or estimated age of each person?
8 I noticed damage to the property at 35 Burnt Oak Terrace, Gillingham - I therefore wish to know what deliberate damage has been caused to the property by the occupiers at each of the properties as above including the cost to make good?
9 I wish to know what routine maintenance work has been carried out, please list and the cost. I noticed a boiler replacement and a window pane being replaced at [address removed].
10 Are the houses being inspected by the authority for damage caused by those occupying them?
11 Do the refugees have support workers and what level of support is being provided? When are the refugees going to be integrated into British life? Are they going to school/college/looking for work?
12 How long are the properties going to be leased to house refugees?
13 Why are these properties not being used to house British families in need and refugee families with children who would benefit with these types of accommodation?
14 If the properties are to be returned back to their respective owner, what would be the current cost to make good each property
15 Are the refugees given a contract regarding their behaviours i.e loud music etc as part of their tenancy agreement - If so, I would like a copy of the contract and a contact who to report any such incidents.
16 I would like to know who is responsible to furnish the properties, the costs of white goods, beds, crockery, providing clothing? Are the goods new or pre-owned?
17 How many refugee properties are now being used in Medway? I would like a breakdown by family , or single same sex house share?

If any of my questions breach s.12 of the act, please advise me under s.16 how to get my request in scope. I believe the questions will NOT breach the cost element.

Melissa

Yours faithfully,

melissa

Kent County Council

Dear Melissa

 

Thank you for your email below.

 

Kent County Council acknowledges your request for information under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. Assuming KCC holds this information, we
will endeavour to supply the data to you as soon as possible but no later
than 28th October 2016 (20 working days from date of receipt).

 

We will advise you as soon as possible if we do not hold this information
or if there are exemptions to be considered and/or any costs for providing
the information. Please quote our reference - FOI/16/1572 - in any
communication regarding this particular request.

 

Best regards

 

Laura Pronger | Information Access Officer | Information Resilience &
Transparency Team | Kent County Council | Room 2.71, Sessions House,
Maidstone, ME14 1XQ | 03000 416590 |
[1]http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council...
|

 

 

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Kent County Council

Dear Melissa  

 

Thank you for your request for information made under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) 2000, relating to refugee housing.  Please accept
my sincere apologies for the slight delay in responding to you; I
appreciate that the Council has not complied with statutory timescales on
this occasion; however our response is provided as follows:  

 

1) How much is each respective landlord being paid (monthly) for each
property for housing the refugees?

2) Are KCC paying the landlord?

3) Is the landlord being paid per person or a monthly rental income?
Please provide figures if per person at each of the above properties? If
the payment is a monthly rental is this capped by LHA?

Properties are provided through Kent County Council’s contracted property
providers. I can confirm that the amounts are paid per room in each
property and are paid weekly.

 

Kent County Council is unable to release the details of how much it pays
to providers or any other details of the arrangements because it considers
the information to be commercially sensitive under section 43(2) of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.  

 

Disclosing the amounts paid to our providers and those arrangements could
potentially have a detrimental impact on the Council’s commercial
interests by affecting adversely its bargaining position during
contractual negotiations which would result in the less effective use of
public money. Also the disclosure of this information would prejudice the
commercial interests of the landlords in a competitive market because
others may be able to gain a competitive advantage.

 

Kent County Council considers the public interest in maintaining the
exemption is greater than the public interest in disclosure.

 

4) How much is being paid (monthly) for the utilities consumed by the
refugees (Gas, electricity and water)

5) Who is paying for the utilities used?

The utilities are paid by the contracted property providers and the costs
are incorporated into the contract price.   

 

7) How many refugees are being housed in each of the properties mentioned?
What are their nationalities (if this cannot be provided, the continent of
origin will suffice). What is the age or estimated age of each person?

 

Occupancy is dependent on the number of bedrooms available at each
property; there are 10 single occupancy bedrooms at these properties.  

Kent County Council is unable to release any information relating to the
occupants of the properties because that information is considered to be
3^rd party personal information. If disclosed it would amount to a breach
of the Data Protection Act 1998 (relating to unlawful processing of
personal data) and accordingly falls outside of the scope of this
Authority’s disclosure obligations by virtue of section 40(2) of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.

  

15) Are the refugees given a contract regarding their behaviours i.e loud
music etc as part of their tenancy agreement - If so, I would like a copy
of the contract and a contact who to report any such incidents.  

 

The tenancy agreements are between the tenant and the contracted property
providers and contain details of behaviours expected which are re-enforced
during visits by the individual social workers or Personal Advisors.
 House meetings take place if unacceptable behaviour is identified.

 

Any concerns about behaviour can be reported to
[1][email address]

 

16) I would like to know who is responsible to furnish the properties, the
costs of white goods, beds, crockery, providing clothing? Are the goods
new or pre-owned?

Furnishings, crockery and white goods are provided by the property
provider under the contractual agreement with them. The goods were new at
the start of the contract.  

 

A clothing allowance is given if the needs led assessment identifies
clothing is needed. They are mainly expected to purchase any clothing from
their living allowance or benefits.

 

17) How many refugee properties are now being used in Medway? I would like
a breakdown by family, or single same sex house share?

 

The contract does not specify how many properties or where they should be
because this number fluctuates as required, this is to cater for looked
after children and care leavers.  The additional information you are
requesting would reveal information that is considered to be 3^rd party
personal information. If disclosed it would amount to a breach of the Data
Protection Act 1998 (relating to unlawful processing of personal data) and
accordingly falls outside of the scope of this Authority’s disclosure
obligations by virtue of section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act
2000.

 

If you are unhappy with this response, and believe KCC has not complied
with legislation, please ask for a review by following our complaints
process; details can be found at this link
[2]http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council...
on our website. Please quote reference FOI/16/1572.

 

If you still remain dissatisfied following an internal review, you can
appeal to the Information Commissioner, who oversees compliance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. Details of what you need to do, should
you wish to pursue this course of action, are available from the
Information Commissioner’s website [3]http://www.ico.org.uk/concerns

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Pauline Banks | Information Governance Specialist | Information Resilience
& Transparency Team | Kent County Council | Room 2.71, Sessions House,
Maidstone, ME14 1XQ Telephone 03000 415811 |
[4]http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council...

 

 

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