This month the Council started work on replacing the vacant buildings at Marian Court so that we can begin to build the much-needed new Council homes planned for the site as soon as possible.
We have worked with all the Council tenants formerly living at Marian Court to rehouse them directly into new Council homes in the area, and are now starting work on replacing the vacant buildings so that we can begin to build the much-needed new Council homes planned for the site as soon as possible.
We have also fulfilled our commitment to giving permanent social housing in Hackney to the families who, having approached the Council as homeless, had been living on the estate temporarily while we finalised our plans.
The last remaining of these families has been a permanent tenant of a home in Stoke Newington since October 2020 which they are already able to live in.
The initial demolition will not impact the building where the last remaining family on the estate is still choosing to live, and we have undertaken full health and safety assessments to ensure that the work will not cause any health risk to the family.
This family has been aware of the timescales for replacing the existing buildings at Marian Court and that enabling work and demolition of the other buildings would be ready to commence this month.
However, living close to a construction site and in temporary accommodation is of course not ideal. We are continuing to support them to make the move so that they can enjoy their new permanent home, and we can get on with building more Council homes to give other families that same opportunity.
Why Hackney is building at Marian Court
Hackney is facing a severe housing crisis, with more than 13,000 households on the Council’s housing register awaiting social housing. 3,400 of which are in temporary accommodation such as hostels and more than 1,200 of which we have no choice but to place outside the borough.
Marian Court is one of more than 20 sites where Hackney is building desperately needed new Council homes. As part of the wider transformation of Bridge House and Marian Court, we are building 275 high-quality new homes to replace the existing homes which are in poor condition and uneconomical to refurbish. Once complete this will include 81 homes for social rent, 117 for shared ownership and eight for living rent, with the remaining 69 sold outright to help pay for them in the absence of sufficient government funding for social housing. This includes 32 homes for social rent in the final phase which is now commencing.
While not a permanent tenant at Marian Court, the remaining family is one of many households that had approached the Council as homeless who were placed in vacant homes here on a temporary basis after permanent residents had been rehoused. This allowed us to make use of the empty buildings while we finalised plans for the estate, and ensured these families could remain in the borough and out of hostel accommodation while we worked with them to find a permanent place to live.
This family accepted an offer of permanent social housing last year and signed a tenancy agreement in October 2020. This follows a long period of working with her to find a property that both met her needs and which she would be happy to move into, meeting our commitment made in March 2018 to move families in temporary accommodation at Marian Court directly into permanent social housing in Hackney.
This new permanent home fully meets both the needs of the family and the standards we would expect for all social tenants in the borough. Recognising the disruption this family has faced while in temporary accommodation, we did as a gesture of goodwill offer to go beyond the usual specification for social housing to make changes to the property at their request. However, the extent of improvements sought by the resident has changed significantly since a tenancy agreement was signed, and their failure to engage with us on the work they would like to see means that, four months after they signed a tenancy agreement, we are no further forward in being able to make these changes.
We have a duty of care to all our residents and, with Marian Court bringing forward 32 new Council homes desperately needed by other residents in the borough, it would not be right for us to delay these plans further.