Why Hackney is building
Hackney is facing an unprecedented housing crisis. Today there are thousands of families waiting for a Council home. More than 3,000 of these are living in bed and breakfasts, hostels and other unsuitable temporary accommodation.
Another 34,000 households are part of the borough’s ever-growing number of private renters, where rents have increased by more than a third since 2011.
Buying a home, for those who can afford it, now costs seventeen times the average household income.
Since 2010, the government has provided no funding to build Council housing, and the limited funding now available from the Mayor of London is unfortunately not enough to tackle the full extent of the problem.
But, despite the challenges facing us, Hackney is building. Since launching in 2011, our cross-subsidy, direct-delivery approach has delivered more than 1,000 new homes, with almost 1,800 new homes started, completed or granted planning permission between 2018 and 2022.
More than half of the homes we build will be genuinely affordable – whether social rent Council homes for those who need the most, low cost home ownership options for those struggling to get on the housing ladder, or new living rent homes that give private renters a more affordable way to rent a high-quality home while saving money towards a deposit or household bills.
With the lack of funding, these are paid for by building and selling some homes outright and renting a small number of homes at market rates.
And it goes beyond just housing. The government has cut our core funding in half since 2010, and plans to wipe out another £30million by 2022. In the meantime, demand for our services continues to increase.
So building and selling some homes outright won’t just fund more than 1,000 genuinely affordable homes – they’ve also funded high-quality facilities and infrastructure that residents in Hackney deserve, including three brand new secondary schools and a state-of-the-art leisure centre.
With current demand, it sadly remains the case that many families waiting for Council housing will never receive it.
That’s why we’ll continue to take advantage of every opportunity to increase the number of the homes we build that are genuinely affordable, find innovate ways to increase housing supply, put measures in place to ensure that more of the homes built by other developers are affordable to local people, and most importantly put pressure on government to tackle the underlying causes of the housing crisis.
But still, every new home that Hackney is building is an opportunity for a local family to have safety, security and long-term roots in the borough, keeping it a place for everyone despite the borough’s rapid transformation.