Genuinely affordable homes for Dalston – Council funding saves families £4,500 a year

Residents living in new housing association homes in Dalston will save nearly £400 per month in rent after a Hackney Council grant to increase the amount of social housing being built in the borough was approved.

Ten homes under construction in Selsea Place, originally earmarked for near market rent levels, will now be let at much lower social rents after Newlon Housing Trust was awarded £945,000 by the Council to make the change.

The rent cut means the average rent for the properties will be around £820 per month, rather than £1,200.

The grant is part of the £16 million 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. Seventeen new homes for social rent have so far been delivered through the programme – with millions in funding still available.

Seven homes being built by Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association in Hackney Central were the first to see rents lowered through the programme earlier this year, and are expected to be completed in 2019.

Rising land values and changes in Government policy mean that without Council support, fewer than 300 new properties are expected to be built by housing associations in the borough in the next two years – a 90% drop since 2011.

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney
While I’m proud that Hackney is building thousands of new Council homes, it’s vital that housing associations and other providers play their part in responding to the housing crisis by building more social housing.

I’m delighted that Newlon are doing just that – and our funding will ensure that these homes in the heart of Dalston are at a genuinely affordable social rent for families most in need of somewhere to live.
Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney
We are really pleased to be working with Hackney Council to provide more new affordable homes for local people and to reduce rents, which is great news for residents.
Caroline Pennock, Director of Business Development, Newlon Housing Trust

The homes managed by Newlon Housing Trust are part of a wider development by Fairview New Homes, which also includes six properties for shared ownership.

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 must be spent within three years of a sale and can only pay for 30% of a new home – leaving councils to fund the remainder of the cost. Often this makes it very difficult for councils to spend the money in reality, and after three years the government takes it off them, along with an interest charge, to use for itself.

To try and ensure this money actually benefits Hackney residents, the Mayor of Hackney’s Housing Challenge will make funds available to housing associations to deliver homes for social rent and living rent by March 2020, instead of being forced to hand it back to the government.

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