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Crouch End hostel sales leave homeless cold

PUBLISHED: 10:31 16 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:49 07 September 2010

Robyn Rosen COUNCIL plans to sell homeless accommodation in Crouch End has been criticised by its opposition party. Haringey is advertising the hostel, a gothic-style mansion at 19 Crescent Road, for sale by informal tender. Crouch End estate agent, Nigel

Robyn Rosen

COUNCIL plans to sell homeless accommodation in Crouch End has been criticised by its opposition party.

Haringey is advertising the hostel, a gothic-style mansion at 19 Crescent Road, for sale by informal tender.

Crouch End estate agent, Nigel Ellis, of Prickett and Ellis has estimated the property, which is now open to bids, could sell for £1.5million.

A council report last week revealed plans to sell "a number of hostel properties that have been declared as surplus to requirements". In a separate document, it states that the council plans to spend more than £11million on refurbishing council offices by 2012.

The report has led opposition Lib Dem councillors to suspect that the council plans to spend the money raised from the sale of the hostel on council offices.

Leader Cllr Robert Gorrie, said: "Last year we forced the council to abandon plans to sell the civic centre and waste tax payers money on a new council chamber by making Labour understand that selling such an asset during the financial crisis would be a terrible deal for residents. But here we are again a few months later and Labour are hell bent on making a similar bad decision."

But the council has denied the accusations, stating that the money from the sale will go towards "other housing projects".

Cllr Charles Adje, head of resources in Haringey, said: "The money from the hostel will not finance office refurbishment.

"This will be funded primarily by receipts from selling existing surplus offices, reducing the council's daily running costs as well as the carbon footprint.

"The hostel sale will fund other housing and regeneration projects and money from other sales will provide investment in parks and open spaces, street lighting, roads and pavements."

But opponents have argued that, during the economic downfall, the council should not be selling off much-needed homeless accommodation.

Crouch End councillor, David Winskill, said: "It is not the right time to start selling off the family silver.

"There are still enough homeless people in the borough that need help. We need to question how surplus they are and if this is the best time to sell them.

"Haringey is suffering, as is the rest of the country, from a financial crisis not seen in seventy years. Why does the council want to refurbish its offices in the middle of all this and cut accommodation provision for the most needy in the borough right down to the bone?


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