Tories ‘not interested’ in social need, claims Hackney councillor

The Conservatives have no interest in building affordable housing, said Hackney councillor Guy Nicholson on Tuesday.

“They’re not interested in delivering on social need,” said Nicholson, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration. “The government have opened the floodgates to enable developers to build what they wish.”

Hackney’s high-rise Bishopsgate Goodsyard commercial housing development was “a classic example of this”, he said. The 11.6-acre site is one of the largest left in central London.

“Where is the affordable contribution?” he asked. “Locations such as this could be rented before you’ve even finished building them. And what are you doing? You’re building two fifty storey housing blocks [there]. Crazy, absolutely crazy.”

Nicholson saw little prospect of a solution to the spiralling cost of rent and the squeeze on housing benefits that was making residents unable to pay their rent.

“What the government are talking about in their housing bill will do absolutely nothing in terms of building decent affordable homes in Hackney,” he said.

“And if the government say that it will, then they’re in cloud cuckoo land or they’re telling fibs.”

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