Work has begun on Hackney Council’s new and improved Tower Court – replacing the old block overlooking Clapton Common where the homes were no longer suitable for modern requirements.
The development, which will feature 50 new properties for social rent and shared ownership, has been worked up in close collaboration with Stamford Hill’s Orthodox Jewish community.
Previous residents of Tower Court will get first option on the new homes, with the remainder offered to those on the council’s 13,000-strong waiting list who need them the most.
The properties – suitable for all local residents – have been designed with larger families in mind, along with kitchens that can adapt to Kosher requirements and balconies that allow for a sukkah to be built for those celebrating Sukkot.
The block will also house a new base for volunteer-led ambulance service Hatzola, and balconies that allow for a sukkah to be built for Jewish families celebrating Sukkot.
The building’s lifts will also have a special mode that allows Jewish people to comply with the requirement not to operate electrical switches on Shabbat.
Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, who was joined by members of the Stamford Hill community for the start of construction work, said: “With Hackney facing a severe housing crisis and over 13,000 people waiting for a council home, this milestone is further proof that we’re doing everything we can to deliver the genuinely affordable housing we need to help families who need it most.
“Just as importantly, by working hard to understand the needs of local people here in Stamford Hill, our plans for Tower Court show that the homes we build are firmly rooted in their communities and available and accessible to everyone who might need them.”
The homes also aim to bring Stamford Hill’s community together by incorporating artwork which complement the area, including courtyards with bridges for children to play on inspired by the Lea River.
Local artists have also been invited to create mosaics with residents in the communal parts of the buildings.
The project, which is being built by contractor Countryside, is one of more than 20 sites where the Town Hall is creating around 2,000 new homes between 2018 and 2022.
The council says more than half of those homes will be for genuinely affordable social rent or shared ownership, with the remainder sold outright to help pay for social housing in the absence of significant government funding.
For more information on the Tower Court development, visit hackney.gov.uk/tower-court