Social housing in Hackney: Have your say on how we allocate homes and support people in housing need
Local residents are being encouraged to have their say on changes to how social housing is allocated in Hackney, as part of Council plans to ensure that the support available for people in housing need meets the challenges caused by the borough’s housing crisis.
With house prices in Hackney growing more than in any other part of the country, private rent levels rising quicker than earnings, and the number of households living in temporary accommodation increasing year-on-year, the proposals aim to simplify the allocation of social housing and ensure homes for social rent go to those who need them most.
Current housing demand means that many people on the housing register will never receive social housing and those who do may wait many years. This wait has increased despite Council efforts to tackle the housing shortage through one of the most ambitious programmes of Council housebuilding in the country and its pioneering #BetterRenting campaign to provide more stability and security for private renters.
The plans will therefore also aim to ensure that those who miss out don’t get left behind, but instead receive more advice and support to find suitable accommodation through other options.
Hackney is on the frontline of the national housing crisis. We are doing everything we can to try and match the demand for social housing, but without concrete action from central Government we cannot fix this crisis on our own.
At the moment, there are 11,000 bids for every 100 properties that become available. As a result, a household waiting for a two bedroom home in the general band faces an average wait of nearly two decades.
The system as it stands is misleading and means we are not delivering honest advice and support to our residents in housing need. That is why we’re proposing to create a simpler, more transparent housing register, while at the same time, investing in meaningful advice and support for those unlikely to ever be successful in their bid for a social rent home.
Our proposals are intended to make sure that we continue to allocate social housing based on fairness and to those in greatest need. But they also aim to avoid raising expectations that can’t be met.
Doing nothing is not an option. We have residents applying to join the housing register who could face a wait of decades before successfully bidding on a home. We need to ensure that the homes we do have go to those in greatest need and we need to create a more meaningful offer for those unlikely to ever be successful in their bid for social housing. These proposals seek to do that and we want to work with residents on how we now take these forward.
What the changes mean
The new allocations policy will mean:
- Households with an emergency housing need will no longer be able to bid for accommodation, but will receive a direct offer of accommodation that meets their needs.
- Households with a significant housing need will still be able to bid for accommodation, as part of a more simple bidding system.
- Households with a lower housing need – and therefore very little chance of getting a home for social rent – will no longer qualify for the housing register. This will allow us to refocus more of our resources away from administering a Housing Register unlikely to benefit them by providing more dedicated advice and support to find suitable, alternative accommodation through other options.
Have your say
You can also speak to Council officers at Q&A sessions that we will be holding on the following dates and times:
- 12 January 2021 7-8:30pm
- 27 January 2021 12 noon-1:30pm
- 9 February 2021 6-7:30pm
- 24 February 2021 4:30-6pm
Please pre-register to attend one of the sessions. If you would prefer to speak to someone on the telephone, you can call 020 8356 2929.