Hackney,
02
September
2019
|
18:24
Europe/London

Rehousing families in temporary accommodation at Marian Court

Hackney is facing a critical housing crisis, and Marian Court is one of dozens of places where our pioneering, not-for-profit housebuilding programme is delivering hundreds of desperately needed new Council homes to help the more than 13,000 families on our housing waiting list.

The permanent residents at Marian Court have been rehoused in new social rent Council homes close by. Meanwhile, the existing homes - which don’t meet modern standards and need to be replaced - have been used them to house some of Hackney’s 3,000 homeless families on a temporary basis. This has helped them to remain in the borough and out of hostel accommodation while we work with them to find a suitable home.

Despite the huge housing shortage in Hackney, we’ve been able to move all but two of the more than 40 of these families from these temporary homes to permanent social housing in Hackney.

Every one of these families has received the same treatment and level of support in finding them a permanent home. The remaining two families have been living in temporary accommodation since they approached the Council as homeless and we have been determined to find them safe and affordable places to live in the borough as well. Details of the rehousing process are outlined in the frequently asked questions below.

Most recently, one of these families was offered a terraced house with a garden for social rent on a permanent tenancy in Hackney, and we have carried out extensive work to ensure it meets the family’s needs before they move in. Despite concerns raised otherwise, we of course do not tolerate discrimation of any kind, and have listened to the family to discount parts of the borough where they have previously been victimised and liaised closely with the police to fully understand their concerns around whether they would be safe in this home. Safety is always a top priority when we allocate homes, and we would never house a family in a home where we have any evidence that they would be at an increased risk of abuse or harassment. 

As they are entitled to do, this family has submitted a review of the suitability of this offer of accommodation, and this is now being considered.

The other remaining family has been offered high-quality, self-contained and fully accessible private accommodation within a larger hostel. This has been specifically identified and adapted for their complex medical needs, is a short walk from their existing medical appointments, and includes four en-suite double bedrooms with private living and kitchen facilities and 24-hour CCTV and security.

We know that hostel accommodation is never ideal for any family, and it’s a sad indictment of the acute housing crisis facing Hackney that, despite working closely with them over many months, we have so far been unable to find this family the permanent home they deserve. 

However, with 370 families waiting for a wheelchair accessible home in the borough, we are confident that this is the best option for the family while we continue to help them find a permanent home.

Frequently asked questions

What’s happening at Marian Court?

Marian Court is one of more than 20 sites where Hackney is building desperately needed new Council homes. As part of the wider transformation of Bridge House and Marian Court, we are building 275 high-quality new homes to replace the existing homes which are in poor condition and uneconomical to refurbish.

Once complete this will include 81 homes for social rent, 117 for shared ownership and eight for living rent, with the remaining 69 sold outright to help pay for them. Find out more

What’s happening in the meantime?

Hackney is facing a severe housing crisis, with more than 3,000 homeless families living in hostels and temporary accommodation and a 40% increase in the number of families asking for help with homelessness since 2018.

With the permanent residents rehoused in new Council homes close by, before demolition takes place some existing homes at Marian Court have been used to help some of these families on a temporary basis .

This is allowing these families to remain in Hackney without having to live in hostel accommodation while we work with them to find a permanent place to live.

How are these families being rehoused?

We have committed to housing as many of the families in long-term temporary accommodation at Marian Court as possible, directly into permanent, genuinely affordable homes in Hackney, instead of asking them to move to alternative temporary accommodation.

To ensure this, all families were placed on the “urgent” band to bid for permanent social housing in Hackney in March 2018. This gave them the highest chance of successfully bidding for an available permanent home of their choice, provided they are flexible in the type and location of property they bid for. Most of the families in temporary accommodation at Marian Court were able to move to a permanent home of their choice this way.

For the remaining families who had not yet found a home, the Council has made direct offers of permanent, settled social housing in Hackney which met the families needs. 

We are pleased to say that all but two of more than 40 homeless families in temporary accommodation at Marian Court have now been moved to a permanent, genuinely affordable home in Hackney that meets their needs, despite the huge housing shortage in the borough.

How do we make offers of housing?

All the families in temporary accommodation at Marian Court have received the same treatment and level of support in finding them a permanent home. Where it has taken longer to rehouse some families than others, this is usually because the family has specific requirements that are more challenging to accommodate.

We will also take into account a family’s preferences for any alternative home, though this must be balanced against the shortage of accommodation in the borough and the need to find homes that are suitable for a family’s needs. Where a family feels a property offered to them is unsuitable, they are entitled to request a review of the suitability of this offer.