More than a quarter of all Hackney social housing lack standards

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Courtesy by HoxtonCouncillors/Creative Commons

By Antonia Molloy

Courtesy by HoxtonCouncillors/Creative Commons
Courtesy by HoxtonCouncillors/Creative Commons

More than a quarter of all social housing in the borough does not meet the minimum standards defined by the Government’s Decent Homes Programme.

Hackney Council promised to ensure that council homes met a set standard by 2012, but has achieved this in less than 75 per cent of cases.

A council spokesperson, speaking to the Hackney Citizen, said: “As of December 2012, 73.83 per cent of our rentable stock was ‘decent’ (as per decent homes definition). This equates to 16,798 homes.”

The Decent Homes Programme was introduced by the Labour party in 2000 and originally aimed to ensure that all social housing, as well as vulnerable households in the private sector, met fixed standards of decency by 2010.

However, in November 2009, the completion date was extended to 2018-19 after the National Audit Office claimed that there were weaknesses in the Government’s programme, which created a risk to value for money.

In a 2010 report, Hackney Council vowed to achieve this benchmark by 2012, but a new bidding system saw the council receive £61m of funding covering the years up until 2015, which was £40m less than the amount required for completion.

A council spokesperson said: “The council is proposing to allocate £10m of its own capital resources in 2013/14 to top up the backlog funding”.