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Islington's slow struggle against housing crisis continues with seven new council homes

PUBLISHED: 13:09 26 October 2017 | UPDATED: 13:48 26 October 2017

From left at the opening of the new Blenheim Court homes in Upper Holloway: Ugur Icli, Islington leader Cllr Richard Watts, housing leader Cllr Diarmaid Ward and Tollington ward Cllr Flora Williamson. Picture: Steve Bainbridge/Islington Council

From left at the opening of the new Blenheim Court homes in Upper Holloway: Ugur Icli, Islington leader Cllr Richard Watts, housing leader Cllr Diarmaid Ward and Tollington ward Cllr Flora Williamson. Picture: Steve Bainbridge/Islington Council

2017 Steve Bainbridge

Islington Council has finished building seven new council homes at “genuinely affordable” rent – but it’s just a drop in the ocean as it tries to overcome the housing crisis.

The town hall has opened homes in Blenheim Court in Upper Holloway and Morton Road in Canonbury.

People currently face a wait of up to several years for a council home in Islington. The government is currently forcing Islington to sell 300 homes a year, and the recent sale of Clerkenwell’s Mount Pleasant sorting office to a private developer was labelled a “scandal” by leader Richard Watts.

It means the town hall is forced to get creative to offer homes at social rent – the seven new homes were built on the sites of 12 underused garages and a car park. Four families have already moved in.

Ugur Icli, 25, has lived in Blenheim Court all his life but until he got his new flat in the same estate, he was still living at home with his mum.

He said: “It’s very tough in London for people my age. Young people need to be given a chance to live independently. It’s so nice to know my family are nearby and I get to see my niece as she grows up.”

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