Our response to Hackney Council’s Consultation: Help Keep Hackney Building

 DO YOU CARE ABOUT HOUSING IN HACKNEY?

IF SO, READ ON AND RESPOND TO THE CONSULTATION before the DEADLINE of midnight on Thursday 28 April 2022

Our response is divided into WHAT ARE THE ISSUES and HOW TO RESPOND

WHAT ARE THE ISSUES?

Our campaign has been around the Tesco site at 55 Morning Lane – a large site owned by the Council in the heart of Hackney. We have consulted thousands of people, and they say they need a big supermarket  and if there is any housing it should be social rent housing. 

We can use this consultation to demand that the council don’t sell out to private developers.

The consultation title ‘Keep Hackney Building’ implies building is always a good thing. This is not the view from the 1400 Hackney residents who filled out our survey. 

From 2015-19, the council came close to hitting its five-year target of building 7,995 new homes. But over 5,200 were for sale or rent at market rates and just 227 were for social rent. This year, thousands of families have been taken off the housing waiting list. They were not given homes. They were removed without their consent from a housing list that they had been on, in hope, often, for years. 

Building expensive flats, shops and cafes is displacing Hackney residents. It is social cleansing. 

We think our Council should NOT be consulting us about how they can ‘Keep Hackney Building’ but about ‘What Hackney Should be Building’?

This consultation is only about land that the council owns, not private land. Hackney Council is already committed in its planning policy to ensuring that at least 50% of all new homes are ‘affordable’. But this ‘affordable’ category contains shared ownership housing that is not affordable to most Hackney residents. 

On public land, a minimum of 50% of all new homes must be for social rent as this is the only housing that most people can afford. 

If you agree with us, it’s important to respond to this consultation.

HOW TO RESPOND

Click on this link. The Council’s questions are in bold and our responses in italics.

1. The Council is committed to investing in existing Council homes alongside delivering new Council homes for local people. Do you agree or disagree with this?

This question is written to try to make it impossible for anyone to disagree. We suggest leaving it blank because it is misleading. Only some council housing is for social rent. Hackney now uses the phrase ‘council homes’ to include expensive tenures like shared ownership and even housing for market sale. 

2. What kinds of sites should the Council look to build new homes on?

This question is about building new housing, not social rent or even so-called ‘affordable’ homes. We left the tick boxes blank and used the ‘Add something else’ option to focus on social-rent homes. We put: “Refurbishing NOT replacing outdated council homes; Building where the local community consents AND to provide social-rent housing”.

3. To provide the number of new homes we need should the Council build: Taller buildings, with more open space; Lower-rise buildings, with less open space

4. Why did you choose this answer?

Again these questions are about building new housing, not social rent or even so-called ‘affordable’ homes. We left question 3 blank and replied with this to question 4: “Whether lower rise or high rise, the priority must be social-rent housing”.

5. What should the Council’s priorities be when building new homes?

6. What features are most important for successful new home projects?

These are yet more questions about ‘new housing’. So again we left the tick boxes blank and used the ‘Add something else’ options to focus on social-rent homes: “1. Providing social rent housing to provide homes for people on the waiting list. 2. Not gentrifying Hackney”.

Questions 7 to 10 provide a chance to demand social-rent housing at 55 Morning Lane. 

7. Do you have any suggestions for locations that we could consider for new Council homes?

55 Morning Lane

8. What is the current use at the location?

A large one-storey Tesco and a car park

9. Why have you suggested this location?

Add something else: “It’s identified for development by the Council and owned by them, there is space to build up and down”.

10. What would you like to see delivered at this location?

At least 50% social-rent council housing while retaining a cheap supermarket of at least the same size and town-centre parking. 

2 thoughts on “Our response to Hackney Council’s Consultation: Help Keep Hackney Building

  1. Thank you for this campaign.
    I am from E5 baby bank and visited several homes in such terrible conditions with high rents.
    i will forward this to all my volunteers
    And will gather support.

    Thank you

    Like

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