£40m for council house-building in Islington budget

Islington Council’s 2017/18 budget proposals include £40 million to build badly-needed new council homes.

The council claims that the authority is facing a housing crisis, with a desperate shortage of affordable homes. Therefore, schemes, like those at Dover Court in Canonbury and King Square in Bunhill ward, will receive an allocated £40 million for new council housing in the borough.

The council, which estimates that it needs to make £21.4 million savings in 2017/18, will also pay £3 million a year to continue the work of the Islington Employment Commission, which has helped more than 2,700 unemployed local people into paid work since 2014. The authority will also scrap council tax for young people leaving care, meaning that young people in the borough will not have to pay council tax in Islington until they are 25.

In order to address the savings target, the council proposes to increase council tax by 1.99 per cent to help pay for essential local services and apply the government’s social care precept of three per cent on council tax to help pay for adult social care in Islington.

Cllr Andy Hull, Islington Council’s executive member for finance, performance and community safety, said: “We are determined to focus on dealing with Islington’s top priorities, despite ongoing government cuts to our funding, the sheer scale of which places massive pressure on budgets and services.

“Our 2017/18 budget includes funding for our new council-home building programme, the biggest for a generation, which will provide badly needed new homes for local residents. We are also committing to maintaining our employment services, which otherwise would no longer be funded because of government changes to the New Homes Bonus. Also, in a new move, we will scrap council tax for young people in Islington who have left local authority care.”