Hackney council is planning to spend £36million on a 148-room hostel on Seven Sisters Road to avoid having to send homeless people to accommodation outside the Hackney borough.
According to a recent survey, the housing crisis in Hackney has not slowed down. As of February, there were around 2,850 Hackney families living in temporary accommodation, which is an increase of 446 families since last year.
Of these families, 877 of them have had to be placed outside the area due to the borough’s shortage of temporary housing.
The town hall is currently organising housing for 10 to 15 homeless families a week so the opportunity for them to buy a 15-year lease in the Finsbury Park hostel has become very attractive.
The hostel is owned by Top Class Investments, which owns the Metropolitan and St Peters in Hackney, and its development is expected to be completed during this spring on the old Royal Park Hotel site.
The new hostel will provide 148 rooms for single adults and families, which includes 104 double rooms, 38 triple rooms and six rooms for wheelchair use.
Hackney’s planning officers have already given the agreement for this purchase, but the papers are still waiting to be signed by cabinet members.
A council report reads: “The cost of the accommodation is competitive and reduces Hackney’s reliance upon expensive nightly paid annexe emergency accommodation of similar sizes.
“Such accommodation is becoming increasingly hard to acquire and the property offers Hackney the ability to continue to provide this type of service managed by the in-house council team.”