Gatekeeping is the term used to describe the practice of councils turning homeless people away when they request help. This practice is unlawful, but we hear examples of it happening every time we leaflet outside the housing office.
Our sister group Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth (HASL) has been campaigning against gatekeeping at their local housing Office. They have prepared a Pledge to End Gatekeeping and Disrespect at Southwark housing office.
Every local authority is different, and while we don’t have exactly the same experience of gatekeeping as HASL, we have certainly encountered gatekeeping at Haringey Council and other local authorities. Read the rest of this post »
Tenants and residents at Northumberland Park are meeting up to discuss privatisation and demolition plans affecting as many as 1,900 homes.
Haringey Council wants to sell the estate, without a ballot of residents, to a new joint venture company which would aim to make a 20% profit on the new homes that it would build.
Northumberland Park Decides was launched by a group of residents from the estate and other campaigners from around Haringey. The group is meeting on a monthly basis then contact Haringey Defend Council Housing.
Haringey Housing Action Group supports the efforts of local residents who are trying to defend and improve their housing situation in the face of “regeneration” threats. Below is a callout from community groups on Broadwater Farm about an upcoming meeting and their request for support.
Object now! Public Meeting Wed 24th Feb!
From: Broadwater Farm Residents’ Association, Broadwater United Sports And Football Academy, Broadwater Farm Enterprise Centre, Somerset Close residents group, Lordship Lane petitioners, Moira Close petitioners, Back 2 Earth @ BWF Community Centre, Friends of Lordship Rec, Rockstone Foundation
Broadwater Farm Area estates under ‘red-zone’ threat
LORDSHIP REC SAVED! LET’S CONTINUE TO SUPPORT EACH OTHER!
DEFEND OUR LOCAL ESTATES
DURDURUN BROADWATER FARM’IN YIKILMASINI.
Object now to shocking ‘second stage’ proposals by the Council which could lead to future blight, demolition and ‘redevelopment’ of parts or all of Broadwater Farm, Somerset Close, Lido Square, Moira Close, the Broadwater Farm Community Centre, and nearby homes along Lordship Lane. The official ‘consultation’ is on until March 4th – please support the local residents’ campaign…
Public Meeting @ Broadwater Farm Community Centre Read the rest of this post »
We recently supported one of our members, M, who faced gatekeeping from Haringey Council when she attempted to apply as homeless. This was not a one-off incident. Our previous experiences show that the council consistently fails to do its duty, and the comments made to M by a housing officer confirm this. We’re calling on Haringey Council to stop its unlawful gatekeeping practices.
M first reported her homelessness in July, and was moved back and forth between advisers. She told them she was due to be evicted in October, that she couldn’t afford a deposit for a new home, and that she is vulnerable because of her physical health. This should have given the council reason to believe M was homeless, meaning that they had a duty to offer her a homelessness assessment. At the very least, if they refused to do so, they should have given her a S.184 letter explaining why. Read the rest of this post »
M is a Haringey resident. She is due to be evicted by the council this Tuesday (10 November). When she came to our meeting last week, she told us that the council want to evict her because of rent arrears, despite the fact that she has already put a plan in place to pay her arrears off, and has been steadily paying them off since earlier this year.
Because M made a verbal agreement with the council to pay off her arrears, and because she has followed that agreement completely, we think it would be utterly unreasonable for Haringey Council to evict her. It would also cause considerable hardship to her and her daughter, not only putting them through the stress of an eviction, but effectively forcing the family off the council’s waiting list and denying them the permanent home they have been waiting for for over a decade. Read the rest of this post »
We are regular users of Apex House, which is where the council’s housing office is based. And we were alarmed to hear the plans for it – both to re-build it as a 22-storey eyesore with most of it being let as privately rented homes by an institutional/commercial landlord. We’ve spoken to staff at the Housing Office who are also shocked that this is what the land will be used for. In their informed opinion, the area needs more genuinely affordable social housing – not housing at market rent levels! But there are no plans for social housing on the site, and who knows what kind of affordable housing. Possibly only Shared Ownership, which as many of us know, is generally not affordable to current residents of Tottenham.
You can read our previous article about the development here. But the rest of this article is a plea received from the Friends of Marcus Garvey library to register your objections (or support) by this Friday (30th October). We have pasted it in full – the only small thing we would disagree with is the idea that Grainger has thrown any crumbs our way – what about the sweeteners they got for the area around Wards Corner? And just how much have they paid for the Apex House site? They are building an empire in Tottenham, and it is being gifted to them by Haringey Council. Read on for how to stop them (at least for now). Read the rest of this post »
Focus E15 fought an inspiring campaign for better housing for their members, after Newham Council pulled the funding on their homeless hostel. They faced eviction and the prospect of being dispersed around the country, but using a variety of tactics, including occupations of the housing office, a march and weekly street stalls, they managed to get re-housed locally around Newham. Read the rest of this post »
UPDATE: Success! Ms L was offered accommodation starting from 23 June. Separate report of the action to follow.
At our group meeting last week, a friend of one of our members came along – Ms L. She is a single mother of two, and is due to be evicted on 2 July from her flat in Tottenham which she has been privately renting for seven years.
Ms L has been in touch with Haringey Council throughout her eviction process, from being served a section 21 notice at the beginning of the year, through to the possession order in May 2015 and then, at the beginning of this month, when she was given an eviction notice. At each stage, the council have told her that they will not house her until the date of her eviction.
However, the date of the eviction is now set to happen just five days after she is due to give birth. Read the rest of this post »
This evening, 27th May, the council is holding a Development Management Forum at CoNEL presumably to “consult” with the public over the plans for Apex House. Some have questioned why the meeting has been arranged with so little publicity. Others will be only too familiar with the way in which the council likes to keeps its dealings with Grainger under the radar.
Apex House is a three-storey building on the corner of Seven Sisters Road and Tottenham High Road. Many local residents will know it as South Tottenham Customer Centre. Many more will just know it as “the housing office”, because this is where you have to come if you are homeless, facing eviction or having trouble paying your rent. Read the rest of this post »
Protest outside the £300-a-head ‘regeneration and redevelopment’ event at our Town Hall
Thursday 26th March, 1pm – 2pm
Tottenham Town Hall, Town Hall Approach Rd, London N15 4RY
Protest called by the Our Tottenham Coordination Group, Haringey Housing Action Group, Taxpayers Against Poverty, and Haringey Solidarity Group. All supporters are welcome to bring relevant placards and banners…
We believe that those who live and work in Tottenham should be driving forward the decisions about the future of our communities. Instead we have unaccountable property developers, Councillors and private companies trying to impose their top-down, profit-led mass ‘regeneration and redevelopment’ schemes all over our neighbourhoods.
As the Tottenham public are excluded from this elitist event for so-called ‘key stakeholders’ [see below], we call on local people to attend the protest/rally outside to make our voices known…We invite all the real key stakeholders to join in. Read the rest of this post »