Former Council homes bought back for use by families on Hackney’s housing waiting list
Ten former Council homes lost to the Government's Right to Buy policy will be brought back for use by families on Hackney’s housing waiting list after a £4.25 million investment was given the go ahead on Monday.
The purchase, approved by the Council’s Cabinet, will see the properties let out at social rents, complementing the Council’s housebuilding programme to help tackle the borough’s critical housing shortage and provide genuinely affordable homes for local people.
The homes are some of the thousands of Council properties lost in Hackney through Right to Buy – a government scheme introduced in 1980 to give Council tenants the chance to purchase their home at below market rates – with an average of 50 Council homes still sold in Hackney each year at discounts of up to £112,300.
Part of the income from homes sold under Right to Buy is used to help fund the hundreds of new Council homes in the Council’s in-house, not-for-profit housebuilding programme, with some also made available as grants to housing associations to deliver additional social housing through the Mayor of Hackney’s housing challenge programme.
Hackney is in the midst of a housing crisis; the lack of affordable accommodation within the borough is having a significant impact on the wellbeing of Hackney residents, with over 3,000 households in temporary accommodation, and many, many more on the Council’s housing waiting list.
These 10 Council homes were built to provide a safe, secure and genuinely affordable place to live for local families who need them most, and I’m delighted to be bringing them back for this purpose. However, they are only a fraction of the thousands of properties we’ve been forced to sell due to the Government’s dysfunctional Right to Buy policy.
It’s a tragedy that we’re paying many times more than what we were forced to sell them for, and we’ll continue to make the case for reform of a policy which fails to give councils the funding and flexibility they need to replace lost social housing which has contributed towards the huge housing shortage we have today.
In the meantime, we’ll keep doing what we can to support local families – whether it’s buying back former homes like these or delivering the hundreds of new Council homes that Hackney is building through its pioneering, not-for-profit development programme.
The homes have been bought as a bulk purchase from the registered provider Local Space, who will use funds from the purchase to buy additional affordable homes for homeless families in temporary accommodation.