Hackney is building genuinely affordable Council homes, figures show

Nearly two-thirds of the hundreds of new homes delivered directly by Hackney Council since 2010 are for genuinely affordable social rent and shared ownership – despite receiving little Government funding.

Through its unique approach of funding and building homes itself, rather than selling off land to private developers, the Council has completed more than 550 homes at nine sites across the borough, figures show.

The vast majority – 62% – are for social rent and shared ownership, with the rest for outright sale to help pay for them. All were directly built and funded by the Council, and will continue to be managed by it on Council-owned land.

Hackney Council will more than triple this record in the next four years, delivering nearly 2,000 new homes, three schools and a new leisure centre itself – with over half of the new housing for social rent and shared ownership.

Local authorities receive barely any direct Government funding or support to build social housing. Despite this, the Council’s approach of selling some homes outright to help pay for the genuinely affordable new Council homes and public facilities that it is building has resulted in projects with a much higher proportion of social housing than those delivered by private developers.

With 13,000 families on Hackney’s housing waiting list, the Council could deliver a bigger programme of genuinely affordable homes more quickly if plans to relax arbitrary borrowing rules and reform restrictions on how income from homes sold under the Government’s Right to Buy scheme is reinvested in housebuilding go ahead.

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney
Despite ministers stumping up barely a penny, Hackney is building thousands of new homes for the people who need them, alongside first-class public facilities for their families.

Because we’re building ourselves rather than selling off our land, we can make sure that local people have first dibs on new homes – rather than overseas investors or buy-to-let landlords.

We have proven that local authorities can and should be at the forefront of building social housing. As these figures show, our approach of selling some homes outright to fund genuinely affordable Council housing delivers results.

After nearly a decade of policy designed to restrict council housebuilding, the Prime Minister has finally recognised what councils like Hackney have said for years – it makes no sense to put an arbitrary cap on the amount we can borrow to build these homes. It is vital that this commitment is immediate and not watered down in this month’s Budget.
Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney

Prime Minister Theresa May announced earlier this month that the Government would scrap the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap, which restricts the amount councils can borrow against their assets to invest in housebuilding, limiting the number of homes being delivered at any one time. Further details are set to be revealed in the Budget.

The Council's completed projects since 2010 include the multi-award-winning regeneration of the Kings Crescent Estate in Stoke Newington – which provided hundreds of new homes for local people, as well refurbishment of existing tenants' properties. Schemes set to be delivered by 2022 include major regeneration projects at Tower Court in Stamford Hill, Bridge House and Marian Court in Homerton, and the Nightingale Estate in Hackney Downs.

In addition to homes delivered directly by the Council, it has worked with local residents, Notting Hill Genesis and Berkeley Homes to enable 1,500 more homes to be built in the last six years as part of its award-winning Woodberry Down regeneration project – with more than half for social rent or shared ownership.

Find out more about why, how and where the Council is building on the Hackney is Building pages.