View from the street: Use of temporary accomodation proves lack of affordable homes

Reverend Paul Nicolson

Reverend Paul Nicolson - Credit: Archant

There are more than 3,000 homeless families housed by Haringey Council in temporary accommodation in the borough and more than another 1,000 housed outside the borough according to Trust for London.

Neither Haringey Council nor the GLA has policies that will build, as a priority, 4,000 more council homes on Haringey Council land to meet the demand for truly affordable homes for the borough’s homeless.

The council makes deals for wealthy developers to profit from the inflated market prices of homes built for the private sector on council land.

We are currently working with and for a couple with two children aged 15 and 21.

They applied for social housing in 2007 when the children were two and 10.

Their application was accepted and they received a user name and PIN from the council. They were told it would take 10 years before they get a permanent home.

An estate agent helped them into three-bedroomed house with a garden. Two months later it was repossessed by a mortgage company. They were evicted into an assured shorthold tenancy for eight years.

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They were not informed by Haringey Council that their application for permanent accommodation had been destroyed.

In March 2016 the landlord wanted the property back to sell. They approached Haringey Homeless Advice who told them to come back on the day of eviction.

On the day, the bailiffs arrived and they went back as instructed with all the possessions they could cram into two suitcases. Their furniture went into storage.

They waited for eight hours before they were placed in the Northumberland Park Hostel. It is a dirty place in which homeless single men and families are on the same floor. It took a solicitor to get them moved.

When they arrived at yet another “home” it was empty. Their furniture had not arrived. Human waste from the upstairs toilet leaked through the downstairs light fitting.

Yet again solicitors intervened and they were moved into the Love Lane Estate, which is due to be demolished to make way for a new walkway from the new White Hart Lane station to the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

They, and the 170 other tenants in temporary accommodation in the Love Lane Estate, will then be moved on in the life-crushing experience of temporary accommodation in the UK and London’s housing market.

Taxpayers Against Poverty is supporting the newly founded Temporary Accommodation Group Love Lane, aka @TAGLoveLane.

The English picture reported by the House of Commons Library is scandalous.

The most recent official statistics, published on June 27, 2018, recorded 79,880 households in temporary accommodation at the end of March 2018, the 27th quarter that the number of households in temporary accommodation has risen.

That includes 123,230 children – a 65 per cent increase since the first quarter of 2010.

Some 54,540 (68pc) were placed in temporary accommodation in London.

And the number of families with dependent children placed in B&B-style accommodation increased from 630 at the end of March 2010 to 2,180 at the end of March 2018.