For those of you who are not aware Paramount provide nightly lets to Councils to house people who are homeless, at rates which start a £30 a night rising to £65 a night. Clients as they are called can stay up to 31 nights from which Paramount will collect up to £1,705 in rent. One can see that Clients stay for a varying number of nights from these invoices provided by Folkestone & Hythe District Council.
As you can see Thanet District Council are by far the most reliant on Paramount’s services and have spent in excess of £2 million with them. Payments to Paramount by Thanet District Council make up 37% of the whole spend (£5.6 million) across all Councils in Kent. This definitively proves there is a significant homelessness problem in Thanet.
Mr De-Negri (pictured) is the owner of the Paramount group of companies. He worked as a Private Sector Housing Technical Officer at Medway Council (1998 – 2002). As an Empty Homes Consultant at Swale Borough Council ( – Private Sector Housing Officer for Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council ( – Senior Private Sector Housing Officer at Dartford Borough Council ( – Paramount Independent Property Services in
Also on the list of payments is Kent County Council who have paid Paramount £112,411. These payments are what are known as s17 payments.
Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 (s17) defines the duties of a local authority in safeguarding and promoting the general welfare of a child in need and her/his family within their area.
Assistance given to families under s17 includes financial assistance. Any s17 payment must be a grant, not a loan.
Paramount we stress are NOT doing anything wrong. They are simply the symptom not the cause of not enough homes being built and completed across Kent, whether they be Social Housing, Shared Equity or Private. Is this the price of NIMBYISM, or our Councils failing to build sufficient social housing? Is it due to the rising price of land and land banking? Many factors feed into this substantial issue.
In the mid 60’s Britain built over 400,000 homes annually. In the 1970s councils built 40% of all houses. After 1980, this annual rate halved to seldom more than 200,000 homes. Under Margaret Thatcher Councils were stripped of their ability to borrow and to raise local taxes, rendering them incapable of acting as major developers. In 2013, the UK saw the lowest level of house building for any peacetime year since the 1920’s. According to official statistics, new housing completions in 2017/18 reached 163,250. Over 50 years the number of housing completions has fallen by 62%.
Permanent dwellings completed in the UK per year from 1950-present compared with the Government of the day
Source: Office for National Statistics Table 241 House building
Should our Councils across Kent and the UK become major developers once again as they were previously? Or do we continue to pay companies like Paramount vast sums of money to house the homeless? There is we believe, no easy answer.