Hackney Council’s plans to set up its own house-building company “by the end of the year” have yet to be brought before the cabinet five months later, the Citizen can reveal.
A consultation on the council’s Housing Strategy, including plans to “set up a local housing company to deliver new homes, with the advantage that the company would operate under different regulations and financial rules and could enable more homes to be built” closed on 22 May.
At a scrutiny meeting on 5 April, council officers confirmed plans were in place to set up the company “by the end of the year”.
But five months on, Hackney Council now says the plans will be brought before cabinet “in the coming months”, and called the scheme “one idea among many”.
A spokesperson for the council’s Housing and Regeneration team, when asked about the plans, said: “The plans for a housing company, wholly owned by the council, are in development and will be brought before the cabinet in the coming months.
“Just to be clear, the consultation that closed earlier this year was on the council’s wider Housing Strategy, of which the company was one idea among many.”
They added: “The Housing Strategy will come forward as a separate report to the cabinet, also in the next couple of months.”
Mayor Philip Glanville, Hackney’s former cabinet member for housing, has promised action to tackle the borough’s housing crisis.
“With 13,000 households on the council’s housing waiting list and house prices increasing sevenfold in twenty years, Hackney is facing an unprecedented housing crisis”, he said last month.
“We’re already doing all we can to tackle this. This year alone we’ve launched the #BetterRenting campaign to help Hackney’s 30,000 private renters, set up an innovative fund to build homes using income from council homes sold to tenants under right-to-buy, and kick-started a programme of housebuilding on underused council land – part of almost 9,000 homes being delivered by the council and its partners.”
The Mayor praised London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s housing strategy, and called for central government to remove the cap on how much council’s can borrow, which “limits the number of homes we can build at any given time”.
You can read Hackney Council’s Housing Strategy here.
Update: This story was amended at 4.20pm to clarify that the consultation ending 22 May was on the council’s Housing Strategy including plans for a house-building company, and not soley on the plans for a house-building company.