Squatters move into Stroud Green house

SQUATTERS have taken over a three-storey council house after the authority left it empty for a year. Fed-up residents have blamed Haringey Council for neglecting the three-bedroom, family-sized home in Nelson Road, Stroud Green, and leaving

Rhiannon Evans

SQUATTERS have taken over a three-storey council house after the authority left it empty for a year.

Fed-up residents have blamed Haringey Council for neglecting the three-bedroom, family-sized home in Nelson Road, Stroud Green, and leaving it as a "sitting target".

Lib Dems branded the situation a "scandal", especially given the shortage of family homes in the borough. More than 17,000 households are currently on the borough's housing register waiting for a home.


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Last December, residents and Lib Dem councillors concerned about the house were told by Haringey that the property would be brought back into use by March 26.

But last week, it was occupied by the group of squatters.

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One resident, who refused to be named, said: "The council is at fault - they have only got themselves to blame. But it's not very fair for us residents."

Another, in a very similar property nearby, which is divided into three flats, said: "I think it's a crying shame the house was left empty as long as it was. I think it was a bit of a sitting target.

"We have not noticed any trouble. But we are a bit concerned about what might be happening because we have seen big gas canisters being taken into the house - so that's a safety concern.

"There are lots of elderly people on the street who might be particularly worried. Mainly, we have heard nothing from the council about what the situation might be and what to expect."

One neighbour, 86, said: "They have been perfectly quiet and they have cleaned up the front of the building. I think everybody is concerned. But what can you do with the law the way it is? It's not very pleasant."

The squatters occupying the home refused to answer the door on Tuesday.

Ward councillor Richard Wilson said: "We now need a clear plan of action by the council to see what can be done about the squatters and bring this home back into use. Given the huge shortage of family council houses in the borough, Haringey's failure to act is an absolute scandal."

A Homes for Haringey spokeswoman said: "In line with Haringey Council's corporate procurement guidelines, we issued tender documents to a number of contractors in early February.

"The tender documents included a specification of works required to bring this property up to Haringey's lettable standard.

"Tenders were returned in early March and have now been approved by the asset management team.

"We will be placing an order with the successful contractor and envisage that works will start in April.

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