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Hackney Council given ‘laughable’ £36,000 by the government to solve the housing crisis

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 January 2017 | UPDATED: 11:53 06 July 2017

An aerial shot of south Hackney. Picture: Alan Denney (flickr.com/alandenney)

An aerial shot of south Hackney. Picture: Alan Denney (flickr.com/alandenney)

Alan Denney (flickr.com/alandenney)

Hackney Council has been given £36,000 – 5 per cent of the cost of a single house – to solve the borough’s housing crisis.

The “laughable” government allocation has since been slammed by Hackney South and Shoreditch MP Meg Hillier.

Whitehall’s Community Housing Fund aims to create more housing in areas where the impact of second homes is crowding out first-time buyers.

The south west has shared £20million of the £60m pot, which has been raised from higher rates of stamp duty on second home purchases.

But the MP said the community fund championed by housing minister Gavin Barwell would have absolutely no benefits for Hackney.

“Average prices in the borough are well over half a million pounds,” she said. “Rent is soaring, with overcrowding and demand for social housing the highest seen in 20 years.

“What is the minister’s response? To allocate Hackney £36,740.

“This is a laughable amount. In contribution to Hackney’s housing problems this won’t do anything.”

The minister’s letter to Ms Hillier, seen by the Gazette, reads: “You will be pleased to know that we have allocated funding to one or more local authorities in your constituency [there is only one – ed].

“We would welcome your support in making sure the local authority and delivery partners identify suitable outlets for this funding so as to boost delivery of community-led housing.”

When contacted by the Gazette, the town hall press office was unaware of the sum, which some might say speaks volumes. It then declined to comment.

RightMove’s latest house price index put the average asking price for a Hackney home at an eye-watering £732,500 – a 13pc rise on last month.

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