Hackney set to join temporary accommodation company that buys private homes on behalf of London councils

Hackney Town Hall. Picture Ken Mears

Hackney Town Hall. Picture Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

Hackney Council wants to become a member of a temporary accommodation company jointly owned by councils across London.

Capital Letters is a not-for-profit company that buys housing from private landlords across London for use as temporary accommodation for homeless families.

An initial 13 councils, including Haringey, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest, were on board when it launched last year, backed by a £38million government grant. The aim is for it to eventually include all London boroughs.

The idea is that by cutting down competition between boroughs for suitable homes, it improves management of temporary accommodation across the capital, as well as costs for the councils.

Now Hackney wants a piece of it as it looks to help the 3,000 homeless families living in temporary accommodation find a settled home. As a private landlord itself, Capital Letters is eligible for 100 per cent of Local Housing Allowance, which is used to determine housing benefit levels for private renters.

A report explains: 'Hackney will be able to secure more [private rental sector] and leased properties in London within or close to Hackney, thus reducing the need to place families in B&B and hotel annexes, in distant areas of London or outside London altogether.'

It comes as the council announces plans to start buying back homes lost to Right to Buy for use as 'genuinely affordable' housing.

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