AS HACKNEY council publicises its homebuilding scheme, Loving Dalston finds that house prices in the borough have risen by 621% since 1995.
Which means that so-called affordable housing, retail or rental, has become less and less affordable over the last two decades.
Hackney’s idea of affordable housing is up to 80% of the rental rate that landlords are getting.
It is a meaningless concept in an overheated market. Certainly, it’s meaningless for young people, let alone struggling families, trying to find homes in Hackney.
The council, however, says: “Affordable rent is still cheaper than the rent charged on properties in the private rented sector in the local area and therefore more affordable.”
The house-price rise in Hackney is, however, almost twice the average for London as a whole, according to the Land Registry.
Hackney council has been claiming it is building more homes than any other local authority. That comes down to a plan to build 350 a year.
Half of them will go on sale – giving a new meaning to the term “council housing”. One can only hope the council finds a way to discourage speculation by the buyers.
The 1968-vintage Nightingale Estate on the north side of Hackney Downs, main picture, top, is one property being rebuilt to provide new flats. Old flats are also being demolished and new homes being built at the Colville Estate, right.
The council has been praised for findings ways to overcome the restrictions imposed by the last three governments, which have all been ideologically against local-authority home ownership.
In the light of a possible less-capitalistic Labour government in the imminent general election, could Hackney go further to build more social housing?
Stokey is, incidentally, where a rundown garage has just gone on sale for £360,000. A new buyer is likely to renovate it not for car storage but for renting. At market rates, no doubt.
David Altheer 260312
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