Sadiq Khan gives Hackney Council £45.5million to pay for 949 ‘genuinely affordable’ homes

Phil Glanville in a hard hat. Picture: Sean Pollock

Phil Glanville in a hard hat. Picture: Sean Pollock - Credit: Archant

Sadiq Khan has given the town hall a whopping £45.5million towards the building of 949 new “genuinely affordable” homes.

The huge sum forms part of a £1billion pot being shared out between London boroughs under the mayor of London’s Building Council Homes for Londoners project.

In Hackney, the homes will be built by 2022 on sites where planning permission is in place or designs are under way. They won’t all be council – or social rent – homes. They could also be shared ownership.

Councils had to bid for the funding and despite being given the eighth highest grant, Hackney will be able to build the third highest number of homes – an achievement mayor Phil Glanville put down to its in-house approach.

By funding and building homes itself, rather than selling off land to private developers, the council has built 550 homes since 2010 – almost two thirds of which were genuinely affordable. By 2022 that figure will have risen to 2,000 homes.

Mr Glanville said: “Despite ministers stumping up barely a penny, Hackney is building thousands of new homes for the people who need them, alongside first-class public facilities for their families.

“Because we’re building ourselves rather than selling off our land, we can make sure that local people have first dibs on new homes – rather than overseas investors or buy-to-let landlords.

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“We have proven that local authorities can and should be at the forefront of building social housing. As these figures show, our approach of selling some homes outright to fund genuinely affordable council housing delivers results.”

Announcing the pot today, Mr Khan said Theresa May’s decision to lift the borrowing cap for councils must be the “first step of reform, not the last”.

He said: “We need at least four times the amount of money we currently get from government for new social and affordable homes, and we need far greater powers to step in and buy land for new council housing.

“The scale of what I have announced today shows the ambition is there in London to build a new generation of council homes – ministers now urgently need to step up and go the distance too.”

His words were echoed by Mr Glanville, who said: “We’ve always said given the right resources we could do even more, and our bid requested a further £35m that would have helped us deliver another 1,300 social rent and shared ownership homes for those who need them most.

“That’s why I’m joining the mayor of London’s call for government to do more to fund the council homes we desperately need and follow through on it’s promise to remove the borrowing cap and grant us the freedoms we need to build even more.”