More than 160 temporary homes set to be secured for next five years
More than 160 temporary homes for homeless people across the borough are set to be secured for the next five years under an agreement negotiated by Hackney Council.
The Council is finalising a joint lease covering the privately owned Metropolitan and neighbouring St Peter Way hostels - which can provide temporary accommodation for 163 households.
Under the agreement, backed by the Council’s Cabinet last night (Monday), the owners of the two hostels - Blue Chip Trading Ltd and Hezi Zakai - will also invest in a rolling programme of refurbishment works over the next two years to bring the 110 units at the Metropolitan hostel up to modern standards.
This will include upgrading ensuites and kitchenettes, providing laundry facilities and wi-fi connections, improving the energy efficiency of the units and creating units suitable for disabled people.
Hackney is in the middle of a housing crisis and the Council has seen a 19% increase in the last four years in the number of people approaching it regarding homelessness. Currently the Council has more than 3,000 households in temporary accommodation.
Hackney Council has the largest temporary accommodation hostel stock in London, but it is not enough to meet the level of demand. While the Council seeks to provide temporary accommodation in Hackney an increasing number of people are having to be offered homes outside the borough. In January there were 1,100 households placed outside the borough compared to 293 in September 2014.
When finalised this agreement will mean 163 homeless households will be able to stay in the borough in secure accommodation rather than having to move away from their families, schools and wider support networks at a very vulnerable time of their lives.
It will also mean the quality of the temporary accommodation available at the Metropolitan will be enhanced at no cost to the Council.
This in turn will help us continue our efforts to improve the quality and range of temporary accommodation in the borough while we work to increase the supply of permanent genuinely affordable homes in Hackney.