Search

Welfare reforms mean Hackney families in temporary accommodation have ‘no real prospect’ of getting home in borough

PUBLISHED: 14:11 17 November 2017

An aerial view of Hackney around Mare Street. People in temporary accommodation have no real prospect of being able to afford a home in the borough, officers said at a town hall meeting. Picture: Google Maps

An aerial view of Hackney around Mare Street. People in temporary accommodation have no real prospect of being able to afford a home in the borough, officers said at a town hall meeting. Picture: Google Maps

Archant

Many of Hackney’s 3,000 families stuck in temporary accommodation have no real prospect of getting an affordable home in the borough, according to a council chief.

A file image of estate agent's boards in London. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA ArchiveA file image of estate agent's boards in London. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive

The average wait for a permanent home in Hackney for anyone in a hostel or other short-term arrangement is three to four years.

But at a town hall meeting last month officers said the benefits many of the families were on meant they would be unlikely to ever secure an affordable home – and that the welfare reforms and introduction of Universal Credit were only making things worse.

Kay Brown, the director of customer services, said the crisis had led to the need for “difficult but honest” discussions with households about their options. It was also revealed almost a third of Hackney’s families in temporary accommodation – 900 – had been placed outside of the borough.

They are being housed in areas including Croydon, Essex and Broxbourne because of the lack of available homes in the borough – itself a consequence of families having to stay longer in Hackney’s own temporary homes.

Heather Kennedy of Digs on the steps of Hackney Town Hall. Picture: James PitmanHeather Kennedy of Digs on the steps of Hackney Town Hall. Picture: James Pitman

Heather Kennedy of Digs, which campaigns for renters in Hackney, commended the town hall for being upfront and said more councils should speak out against the “inhumane” government welfare reforms.

“We applaud Hackney for being honest about this and would really like to see much more of councils in London being honest about what people living in temporary accommodation can expect,” she said.

“Having to leave is terrible for people who have been in these communities their entire lives. It’s everything they know.

“What’s really galling about it is every piece of government policy being passed is making the situation worse, not better.”

Heather is holding out hope the government backtracks on Universal Credit in Wednesday’s autumn budget.

A Camden officer also spoke at the “Living in Hackney” scrutiny meeting about a scheme in his borough that works to prevent families in the private sector becoming homeless.

The “prevention” route sees them offered alternative homes in the private sector in exchange for more points on the housing list should they later end up homeless. It’s a model Hackney said it would be looking at.

Latest Hackney Stories

53 minutes ago

Middlesex batsman Max Holden believes his side can go on and win their County Championship Division Two match at Northamptonshire on Wednesday.

Yesterday, 18:46

County Championship Division Two, day three: Northamptonshire (346) trail Middlesex (187 & 374-9) by 215 runs

Yesterday, 18:27

Four former friends on trial for murder have turned against each other in the dock at the Old Bailey, with one accused of calling another a “snitch” in graffiti on a prison toilet wall.

Yesterday, 18:00

London Lions have captured six foot ten inch big man Kervin Bristol in a massive coup for the club following his season with Vytautas in Lithuania last year.

Yesterday, 17:00

The former Spurs striker enjoyed a two-and-a-half year spell at White Hart Lane

Yesterday, 16:59

Gillett Square in Dalston hosted an annual skateboarding festival at the weekend, raising £1,750 for a charity that aims to bring boarding to Palestine’s youth.

Yesterday, 14:00

The left-back talked up the potential of Myles Judd, Dan Happe and Marvin Ekpiteta after Saturday’s win

Yesterday, 13:56

As students picked up A-level results at BSix College, one former pupil was on hand to inspire those that weren’t in a celebratory mood.

PROMOTED CONTENT

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

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now


Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists