Haringey says Covid-19 delays mean council likely to miss flagship housebuilding target

Cllr Emine Ibrahim. Picture: Archant

Cllr Emine Ibrahim. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Haringey Council has admitted it is not now expecting to meet its longstanding pledge to build 1,000 new council homes by the May 2022 local elections.

The town hall has blamed delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and “challenges” which came to light around health and safety on the Broadwater Farm estate.

But its housing and regeneration chief Cllr Emine Ibrahim (Lab, Noel Park) said she was “very confident” that it would meet the target “very soon after the deadline we set ourselves”.

In her report to the council’s cabinet, Cllr Ibrahim wrote it was “currently looking likely that around 200” council homes would be finsihed by May 2022, with “800 delivered by May 2023”.

Asked at June 16’s cabinet meeting by Cllr Pippa Connor (Lib Dem, Muswell Hill) whether this meant the council had been behind its target before the pandemic, Cllr Ibrahim added: “Ultimately what we now face is a situation whereby the Covid-19 pandemic has put back our programme by at least six months. The majority of our completions would have been completed in the final six months of the administration.”

She also said the council would would have started more than 1,000 homes by May 2022 – adding: “After forty years of building nothing, if we get to the situation that by 2023 we have delivered our 1000 homes and are on the way to delivering the next thousand, I am sure that’d be something to be really proud of.”

The council has so far started 331 council homes across seven sites.

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At the cabinet meeting it was also agreed to add seven sites to the council’s housing delivery programme – local councillor Cllr Adam Jogee (Lab, Hornsey)’s calls for Stokley Court in Hornsey to not be added to the plans were ignored.

He told the meeting it was “not suitable” to include the block, currently home to supported accommodation, and said to move forward would cause “considerable distress” to “vulnerable people who have up to a year of uncertainty, that’s not right”.

Cllr Ibrahim reiterated that adding the sites to the plan was just the first step, that there would be extensive consultation with residents over any plans, and if opinion was against a project, that would be listened to.