Council grant to save Hackney Wick families £9,000 per year in rent

Prospective housing association tenants in a new Hackney Wick development will see their rent bills cut in half after a Hackney Council grant to boost social housebuilding was agreed. 

Six homes under construction in Wallis Road, originally planned to be let at near-market rent levels, will instead be for a lower social rent after Poplar HARCA was awarded more than £370,000 to make the change.

The Council grant means the average rent for the properties will be between £165-£173 per week, rather than the planned rate of up to £340 per week.

The money was granted from the Mayor of Hackney’s Housing Challenge fund – money made up of receipts from Council homes sold under the Government’s Right to Buy scheme – which is available to housing associations to help them build more homes for social or living rent. The latest agreement will mean 23 new homes have been converted to social rent through the programme.

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney
Hackney is building hundreds of new homes – with the majority for genuinely affordable social rent and shared ownership – but we’re also determined to support housing associations who want to do the same.

This agreement with Poplar HARCA will see rents cut to a level that families in desperate need of somewhere to live can afford, and is part of our commitment to ensuring new developments in Hackney Wick deliver real benefits for local people.
Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney

The six homes will be managed by Poplar HARCA and are part of a wider project by developer Telford Homes.

We’re very grateful to Hackney Council who we have been working with to ensure these much-needed new homes are affordable to the local community.

This is our first scheme in Hackney, which is very exciting for us. We haven’t strayed too far though. Stone Studios is very much a local project – literally just a stone’s throw from the rest of our homes
Steve Stride, Chief Executive, Poplar HARCA

Cash from sales under Right to Buy – the Government’s policy of allowing council tenants to buy their home at a discount – is usually reinvested in Council housebuilding programmes wherever possible.

But arbitrary restrictions placed on local authorities by ministers mean the money can only pay for 30% of a new home – leaving councils to fund the remainder of the cost. Surplus money must either be given back to the Government, with interest, or deposited with the Greater London Authority for use at a future date. 

To ensure this money benefits the borough’s residents now – at a time when social housebuilding is vital – the Mayor of Hackney’s Housing Challenge makes funds available to housing associations to deliver homes for social rent and living rent by March 2020.

The Mayor of Hackney’s Housing Challenge is open for applications. For more information, visit the Regeneration webpage.