Where is the love?

Newly formed campaign group asks: “how ‘temporary’ is temporary?”

By Luchia Robinson

Homes on the Love Lane Estate

A number of temporarily housed residents living on the Love Lane Estate, White Hart Lane, have formed a campaign group, TAG (Temporary Accommodation Group), which is calling for them to be permanently re-housed and for more social homes in Tottenham.

The residents were moved onto the estate following the issuing of an initial notice to demolish it in February 2015 as part of the regeneration of the Love Lane Estate.

The estate is situated between the building works taking place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and White Hart Lane Overground station.

The residents say that the uncertainty of not knowing when they will be permanently housed, combined with the ongoing noise of the construction works is having a huge impact on their physical and mental wellbeing.

“I have been in temporary accommodation on the estate for 3 years and we have received not a single conclusive answer as to what our future holds post demolition. We have received nothing that states what will happen to us,” said Tashan Bonner, Chair of TAG, Love Lane.

He added: “We have been left to assume that we will be shunted into the private housing sector (again) or moved out of the area into yet another temporary accommodation.”

A spokeswomen from the developer’s said: “Lendlease was appointed as Haringey Council’s development partner for the High Road West scheme in December 2017. Since then we have been working with the council to engage with Love Lane residents and the wider community regarding the scheme.

“We are currently running two drop-in sessions a week at The Grange and send out regular newsletters on the project as it progresses.”

Haringey Council has offered all secure council tenants on the Love Lane Estate new, high-spec homes, re-housing officers to support the moving transition, home loss compensation, long tenancies, social rents and reasonable moving costs. All private tenants have been offered one-to-one advice on their options and housing needs, but TAG says that the temporary residents do not know what lies ahead for them.

Tashan said: “Each week, we are witnessing more and more temporary accommodation tenants being moved in, on the estate- surely as a council you would know what you intend to do with these households in the event of demolition?”

“There are a number of house- holds in the hundreds that have been moved around the borough multiple times and have had to deal with the stress of this, as well as the worry that comes from not having a secure home.”

A spokeswoman for Haringey Council said: “As with the rest of London, Haringey has a desperate need for housing and we have committed to building 1,000 new council homes by 2022. Every resident deserves a safe and secure home, and we are doing all that we can in the face of huge budget cuts to provide this in our borough.

“The council has to balance the serious needs of Temporary Accommodation residents like those on Love Lane with the needs of other families on our housing list– each dealing with their own very difficult circumstances and many of whom have been waiting for many years for a secure council tenancy. We understand the uncertainty faced by residents and have committed to ensuring everyone on Love Lane is fully supported.”

The council plans to put together a ‘Landlord Offer’– a proposal to be presented to the Greater London Authority for funds, outlining a plan for the High Road West regeneration that includes council homes at social rents, new jobs and details of a resident ballot.

The council intends to hold a residents ballot next spring to determine whether the Love Lane Estate demolition should go ahead. This is because the GLA states that Land- lords seeking GLA funding for estate regeneration projects, involving the demolition of social homes, must demonstrate support from residents through a ballot.

Residents in temporary accommodation, however, are not eligible to vote in next year’s ballot unless they have been on Haringey Council’s housing register for at least a year, prior to the date the Landlord Offer is published.