Key Facts about affordability and availability  in Hackney and the City

  • Despite Hackney Council building the second highest number of homes in London between 2011 and 2015 (the third highest number of affordable homes), the borough faces significant future housing challenges. The City has projected a shortfall of affordable housing supply to meet its needs.
  • Increases in housing costs, the selling off of many council homes under Right to Buy and further government housing and welfare reforms (see Box 2) have all created a situation where housing supply is struggling to meet the needs of many vulnerable residents (including older people and low income families). According to the latest Hackney housing needs survey, over 30% of households report housing costs are either difficult/a strain or just about manageable.1
  • Inadequate supply of affordable housing is expected to impact on levels of homelessness and tenure insecurity in the private rented sector, with many living in inappropriate accommodation without any real prospect of moving to more suitable housing. As of January 2016, there were 11,189 households on Hackney Council’s social housing waiting list, a slight increase on the previous year.A In the City, a total of 781 households were registered on the City of London Corporation’s general needs Housing Register in January 2016
  • Private rents in Hackney increased by an average of 27% between April 2013 and September 2015 (for bedsits the increase was 62%). Median private rented sector (PRS) rents in the City have risen by 23% since 2012.

The current housing crisis is having a major impact in Hackney and the City, as a result of increases in all costs associated with housing combined with reductions in welfare payments (see the ‘Living standards’ section of this JSNA chapter), and fuelled by population growth that is putting pressure on existing housing stock. Younger single people, larger families and low-income households are most sensitive to these pressures, which may lead to a widening of health inequalities as the effects of the crisis are played out (for further discussion of housing-related inequalities see the inequalities section).

Problems with housing availability and affordability are linked to mental health problems as well as fuel and food security. 2 The stress and anxiety associated with struggles to meet high housing costs tend to accumulate over time, typically affecting men more than women. 3

Notes

  1.   This figure can be quoted with confidence, following a recent review of the housing register http://mginternet.hackney.gov.uk/documents/s48009/CDM-16832187-v1-Housing_Register_Review_Update_Report.pdf (PDF document) 

References

  1.  Opinion Research Services, “London Borough of Hackney: Strategic Housing
    Market Assessment 2014,” March 2015
  2. S. Burgards, K. Seefeldt and S. Zelner, “Housing instability and health: findings from the Michigan Recession and Recovery Study,” Soc Sci Med, vol. 75, no. 12, pp. 2215-24, 2012.
  3. R. Bentley, E. Baker and K. Mason, “Cumulative exposure to poor housing affordability and its association with mental health in men and women,” Epidemiol Community Health, vol. 66, no. 9, pp. 761-6, 2012.