Search

Council stops government from snatching £16m of social housing cash – by giving it away to developers

PUBLISHED: 12:36 01 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:16 02 August 2017

The Woodberry Down estate is the council's flagship regeneration project. Picture: Hackney Council

The Woodberry Down estate is the council's flagship regeneration project. Picture: Hackney Council

Archant

Hackney Council has hit on an innovative way of stopping millions of pounds of Right to Buy cash being snatched by the government – it’s going to give it away.

Mayor Phil Glanville on site at Aikin Court. Mayor Phil Glanville on site at Aikin Court.

Housing associations have been invited to bid for £16m the town hall has in its back pocket but cannot spend – so long as they use the cash to ease the council’s 12,000-plus waiting list.

A bizarre rule gives councils just three years to spend the money they receive when someone buys their council home, or they must hand it over with interest.

What’s more, only 30 per cent of any new development can be funded with the Right to Buy money – so the dough can only be used when cash comes in from elsewhere too. And they can’t spend it on anything apart from housing.

Hackney is the 11th most deprived borough in the country, but gentrification means it also has some of the highest house prices.

Woodberry Down Estate. Picture: Hackney Council Woodberry Down Estate. Picture: Hackney Council

The council has so far managed to plough all £45m of its receipts back into its huge estate regeneration, building 3,000 homes, but is now running out of ways to spend it before the three-year cut off.

Mayor Phil Glanville told the Gazette: “We’re always looking at new and innovative ways of delivering more affordable housing in the borough. Housing associations are suffering too.

“Homes are badly needed. we’ve sold around 200 through Right to Buy each year since 2012 and though the model is one-for-one, all the restrictions on funding to replace them are hard to meet.

“We’ve seen the receipts return to government in other boroughs and that’s the last thing we want to do.”

Hackney sold 213 of its homes through Right to Buy in 2015/16 and from April 2016 to January this year sold another 120.

Mr Glanville said he was “really keen” to see the money from the Mayor’s Housing Challenge used solely for social homes or “genuinely affordable housing”, which could mean Sadiq Khan’s new London Living Rent – averaged at one third of a household’s salary.

Regarding where they could be built, he said: “We are very clear we don’t want to build on green space. We are consulting on building on car parks, garages and depots and it’s proved quite popular.”

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

11 minutes ago

At Hackney Showroom, $elfie$ by Malik Nashad Sharp, aka marikiscrycrycry, talks about issues of nationalism, gun violence and the black, queer aesthetic

21 minutes ago

FA Youth Cup second round: Leyton Orient 5 Sholing 0

09:30

James Vince blunted the much-hyped Australia attack but fell foul of England’s new number one enemy Nathan Lyon just when he was all set to tame the Gabba on a rain-hit day one of the Ashes.

09:00

Hackney Wick cruised to a comfortable 4-0 win in a bottom of the table clash against Burnham Ramblers.

08:18

Two goals from Sophie Bray sent England’s women into the semi-finals of the Hockey World League Final in Auckland, New Zealand.

08:00

Zoe spends a stylish weekend in Paris, visiting the newly opened Yves Saint Laurent museum

07:00

A seven-year-old boy was hit by a car on a zebra crossing outside his Hoxton school – where drivers are already banned from dropping their kids off.

Detectives are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a man was stabbed in the chest by a gang outside a busy bagel shop in Stoke Newington, leaving him with life-threatening heart injuries.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists