Hackney rents set to ‘skyrocket’ after housing bill is passed

Hackney campaigners march last month

Hackney campaigners march last month - Credit: Archant

Council tenants could see their rent “skyrocket” after the government’s controversial housing bill was given Royal Assent.

That is the view of Hackney’s housing chief Cllr Philip Glanville, who fought the act from day one.

The town hall will be forced to spend an extra £18million a year on housing families in temporary accommodation as it sells 700 homes over the next five years.

And the money from the sales will go to government to cover the Right to Buy extension to housing associations.

Rents could also increase by up to 300 per cent overnight if tenants have an annual household income of more than £40,000. Again proceeds will leave the borough and go to government.

The council has also said “genuinely affordable homes” will be a thing of the past as it is pressured to build unaffordable, £450,000 “starter homes” instead.

Cllr Glanville, who has marched against the bill, said last week’s decision would be hugely damaging to the social fabric of the borough.

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He said: “The bill does nothing meaningful to address the capital’s housing crisis, improve the stability or affordability of private renting or deliver on the homeownership aspirations of residents, the vast majority of who are currently priced out of a market which all too often serves developers and overseas investors at the expense of Londoners.

“As it stands, Hackney will be forced to sell off hundreds of homes to private buyers and many of our tenants could see their rents skyrocket.

“The act’s content has been criticised by housing experts and providers on all sides, and it’s disappointing government chose to ignore the many sensible amendments proposed by the House of Lords.

“Very few people outside of government think the content of this act is a credible way of achieving its supposed aims, and even fewer think it will address the housing challenges faced by boroughs like Hackney.”

He said the council would continue to push the government to alter finer details of the policies to address the borough’s needs.