Like all Haringey Councillors, I’m regularly contacted by families in desperately overcrowded or temporary accommodation looking for a family Council house. These families wait for years, and there are over 16,000 families on Haringey’s housing waiting list – with 566 looking for a home with more than 3 bedrooms.
So when residents alerted local Lib Dem activist Katherine Reece to a large 3-storey empty council house in Nelson Road (N8) I was determined to investigate why it wasn’t being used. I’ve now got a response which shows the house has been left empty and boarded up since April 2009, and will not be returned to use until March 2010 at the earliest.
Unsuprsingly the house now looks like a dump and the neighbours must be furious. But what is really scandalous is that Haringey Council is happy to let this house, which could be a wonderful family home, lie empty for nearly a year. No wonder we have such long housing waiting lists in Haringey, when our Labour-run Council is so wasteful with its own housing stock.
Co-incidentially, the national Lib Dems have just announced proposals to bring 250,000 empty homes back into use, to boost jobs and tackle our housing crisis. Ideas like this are clearly badly needed in Haringey.