Opinion: Mayor of Hackney demands freedom for councils to build new homes to tackle soaring temporary accommodation bill

PUBLISHED: 04:30 19 January 2017 | UPDATED: 17:20 08 February 2017

Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville. Picture: Hackney Council/Gary Manhine

Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville. Picture: Hackney Council/Gary Manhine


Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville says the council is doing all it can to address the homeless crisis.

The council has increased its supply of temporary accommodation by 1,700 units over the last six years, including buying three hostels and expanding premises it already works with.

It also plans to build 3,000 new affordable homes and is bringing as many empty council properties as possible back into use as temporary housing.

But this will not meet growing demand.

Cllr Glanville says hostels were only ever meant as a “sticking plaster” and not a permanent solution to the growing housing crisis.

“Hostels weren’t designed for what is turning into medium-term accommodation,” he said.

“It should have been short-term use. But even bringing in regulations saying people should spend no longer than six months in temporary accommodation won’t help, because where will these people go?

“The homes don’t exist and that’s the tricky thing. We need a long-term housing solution. There is no way of cutting the existing figures by tinkering at the edges.”

He believes the government should allow councils to build new affordable homes.

“Housing associations have never built at the same rate that councils did and the private sector never matched that supply either,” he said.

“Councils are still part of that solution and we have to be given the freedom to build. We’ve got the ambition and the experience to do that.”

This opinion piece is part of our Hidden Homeless campaign to shine a light on the issue of temporary accommodation in Hackney. Read more news, stats and opinion at our Hidden Homeless microsite – and find out how you can tell us your story or add your name to our manifesto.

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

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

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

Contract speculation seems to be never ending at Arsenal – and with Mesut Ozil’s improved new deal completed in January, attention now turns to Jack Wilshere.


A day after we revealed an Arsenal Legends side would take on a Real Madrid side at the Bernabeu this summer it has been confirmed there will be a return match later this year at the Emirates.


The latest news from the local boxing scene

The Argentine wants his players to remain focused despite reaching the last four of the competition on Saturday

A four-metre statue designed by street artist Stik will be unveiled in Hoxton Square later in the year after being granted planning permission by Hackney Council.

Radici is the perfect spot to while away the weekend hours finds Emma Bartholomew - especially with bottomless prosecco at £15.

The 20-year-old Clark and 19-year-old Ochieng both made over 10 appearances each for the Brisbane Road club

Tottenham’s planned Premier League fixture at Brighton on Friday April 20 has now been postponed


To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.

Education and Training


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