Hostel needs refurbishment after council agrees lease for 163 houses – Hackney Citizen

The Metropolitan Inn – formerly a hospital. Photography: Alan Denney/Flickr

Hostel accommodation will get a facelift after Hackney Council agreed to a new five-year lease for 163 temporary accommodation.

The deal includes renovating the Metropolitan Inn into a converted 1836 hospital in De Beauvoir.

The town hall will also rent rooms at the nearby St Peter’s Way hostel, built in 2014.

The redesign of the 110 housing units of the Metropolitan will take place continuously over the next two years, which means that it will be able to remain open during the works.

It will include upgrading bathrooms and kitchenettes, providing laundry facilities and Wi-Fi connections, improving the energy efficiency of homes and creating disability-friendly units.

The work will be paid for by the hostel owners, Blue Chip Trading Ltd and Hezi Zakai, and will be overseen by hostel management and the Hackney Council team of caretakers.

In his report to cabinet, Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville said: “The lack of affordable housing in Hackney is having a profound impact.

He added that “some of the biggest increases in house prices in the country mean that privately buying or even renting a home is out of reach for most low and even middle income families.”

The number of single people at risk of homelessness who contacted the council in October 2021 increased by 19% compared to 2018.

The council saw its spending on temporary accommodation rise from £7.38m in 2017/18 to £12.7m in 2020/21.

Glanville said: ‘It’s a constant struggle to find suitable accommodation to house these households. Hackney has the largest fleet of temporary accommodation hostels in London, but it is insufficient to meet the level of demand.

It comes as the council revealed it had 1,013 households living in other London boroughs on a temporary basis, and a further 78 outside the capital, as of December 2021.

This figure rose from 293 households in September 2014.

The council said it could not reveal the number of council tenants in temporary accommodation in the borough due to the October 2020 cyberattack.

According to a cabinet report this week, there were 3,000 families in temporary accommodation.

Hackney Council group finance director Ian Williams said: ‘Once finalised, this deal will mean that 163 homeless households will be able to stay in the borough in secure accommodation rather than having to move away from their families , schools and wider support networks at a very vulnerable time in their lives.

Philip Glanville is running for Labor mayor in the May 5 election. Oliver Hall is the Conservative candidate, Zoe Garbett is running for the Greens, Helen Baxter is the Liberal Democrat candidate and Gwenton Sloley is running for Hackney People Before Profit.

To learn more about the candidates, watch our recent online hustings here.

Linda G. Ibarra