Mayor Phil Glanville slams government’s social housing green paper over absence of cash for council homes

Hackney mayor Phil Glanville. Picture: Gary Manhine/Hackney Council

Hackney mayor Phil Glanville. Picture: Gary Manhine/Hackney Council - Credit: Archant

Hackney mayor Phil Glanville has wasted no time in slamming the government’s social housing proposals for the complete absence of funding for new council homes.

The green paper is part of a “fundamental rethink” on social housing following the Grenfell Tower tragedy. In September, then-communities secretary Sajid Javid it would be the “most substantial report of its kind for a generation”.

And a potentially devastating plan to force councils to sell off high value homes, which was included in the Housing and Planning Act in 2016, has been dropped. It means 700 homes in Hackney have effectively been saved.

But the new proposals do not include any money for councils to build social housing, which has been met with fury by Mr Glanville, who said it was yet another missed opportunity to help solve the housing crisis. More than 13,000 people are on Hackney’s housing waiting list, and 3,000 of those are in temporary accommodation.

“Ministers have made another announcement that comes without a penny of extra funding for social housing,” said Mr Glanville. “The government is right that social housing tenants face stereotypes and stigma – problems it has all too often created through years of damaging policy and hostile rhetoric aimed at marginalising communities and putting up barriers for families desperately in need of somewhere to live.

“I welcome the news that ministers have finally abandoned their counterproductive plans to force the sale of council homes – the latest damaging proposal to be scrapped after years of campaigning by Hackney Council and local tenants, as well as councils and charities across the country.

“120,000 children spent last Christmas in hostels, bed and breakfasts and other types of temporary accommodation. Instead of warm words, ministers should take action to let councils like Hackney build the genuinely affordable homes our residents desperately need.”