On Wednesday 27th January at Full Council, Hackney Tories voted against the motion defending affordable homes.
On Wednesday night at Full Council, Hackney Council passed a motion opposing the Housing and Planning Bill currently going through the House of Lords. The motion, which was supported by Hackney Labour Party, highlighted the damage the Bill was likely to do to the supply of genuinely affordable housing in the borough.
The Hackney Tories rather than supporting this action to defend affordable housing in Hackney, voted against the Council taking action to oppose the Bill and inform residents of how it will impact Hackney. During the debate on the motion they shamefully supported the Housing Bill saying it will help private tenants become homeowners. This shows just how out of touch they are with Hackney residents struggling to afford good quality housing, given the Bill systematically undermines the supply of genuinely affordable housing, while doing nothing to tackle high rents, rip-off fees or insecure tenancies in the Private Rented Sector.
If the Housing Bill becomes law it will end life time social housing tenancies, force Hackney to sell ‘high value’ council homes, introduce Housing Association right-to-buy, transfer funding from social and affordable housing into new ‘Starter Homes’ - which at £450,000 will be unaffordable for many in Hackney, and introduce pay-to-stay which means that council tenants with a combined household income of £40,000 or more will have to pay market rents.
The knock on effect of these changes will see the potential loss of 700 council and housing association homes in Hackney that could be let to homeless families, meaning the 2,300 families in temporary accommodation risk having to wait even longer for a permanent home. Under Pay-to-stay families in work, but on low incomes could see in one year rent rises of more than 300%, but none of this increased rent will be kept in Hackney or spent on new homes.
Cllr Philip Glanville, Cabinet Member for Housing said: “The Tories in opposing this motion, shamefully suggested that the Bill will be good for Hackney and support renters to buy their own home. We know that these new unaffordable ‘Starter Homes’ built on the back of the sale of Hackney’s council homes will do nothing of the sort. We will continue to build more council homes to rent and buy in Hackney and fight this destructive and ill thought-out Bill.”
Cllr Caroline Selman, who brought the motion said: “The Housing Bill will increase homelessness and force families to live in temporary accommodation for longer if the very homes they need are sold off and not replaced.”
The full text of the motion can be found here:http://mginternet.hackney.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=112&MId=3232