Leader's vision for regeneration in Haringey
Councillor Joseph Ejiofor, Leader of Haringey Council, has set out his vision for regeneration in Haringey over the next few years and wants to deliver 1,000 council homes at council rents by 2022.
Many people have one single issue that they care passionately about. Not Councils. We have to house people, care for people, empower people, support people, protect people. And with less money year on year.
Haringey has 270,000 residents and 174,000 electors. It is our role to work in the best interests of them all. That often means balancing the agendas of stakeholders, and people.
In our manifesto last year we said “the biggest challenge we face is delivering the new, decent, genuinely affordable housing that local people desperately need”. Sixteen months into my administration, this remains our greatest test.
I have always believed social housing has to be the priority for local authorities. In Haringey we are working to deliver 1,000 additional new council homes at council rents by 2022. I am proud of the steps we are taking. Since my administration took over, we have increased our aspiration to deliver 50 per cent affordable homes and will be progressing this change through the Local Plan Review.
The housing crisis blights the lives of families in Haringey and in London every day. Doing nothing is not an option. We have to offer genuinely affordable housing and facilitate more market rent housing and homes for local people to buy.
This is the case for regeneration too. Far from the notion that regeneration forces people out, in Haringey, we believe change must be carried out with our communities, not “done to” them.
It is not just about shiny new buildings. There must always be social and economic benefits for our residents and communities.
At the Welbourne site in Tottenham we insisted on a new deal. We secured more than 130 new council homes which will go to families who truly need them. The Red House site – another site we’re delivering with partners – creates 46 council homes and we are building our own council homes on our land, starting on the Templeton site in Tottenham.
The Selby Urban Village Project is our gold standard – a brand new project that will see the council and local community exploring a new model of working together to deliver council homes and community provisions.
But I know there are a number of schemes that have been underway for many years that have been a focus for criticism and concern. Wards Corner in Seven Sisters, and High Road West in North Tottenham, come to mind
Wards Corner is the gateway to Tottenham. Nobody could look at what is there and believe that this should be the future for the next 20 years. New homes and an energetic town centre are the right ambition for Seven Sisters. And the market traders are an integral part of that future too.
Firstly, it is important to note, that the market is neither being closed nor destroyed. The current Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) is not “buying the market” because the freehold of the market belongs to TfL and they’ve already agreed to sell the site to the developer.
Haringey Council is committed to securing the future for this Latin Village market at Seven Sisters. During any redevelopment, there’ll be a temporary market just across the road, and when the market moves back to the original site, returning traders have a clear list of commitments, including reduced rent and the guarantee of equivalent space made by the developer, Grainger, and backed up by a committed council.
We understand that some traders want their own Community Plan for the market’s future, but there is no clarity as to its financial viability or the scheme’s overall deliverability, not least because any plan for the future of the market will have to be based on some kind of agreement with its owner, TfL. The Council’s priority remains the future sustainability of this market.
I also want to talk about the High Road West scheme. Haringey has around 3,000 households in temporary accommodation awaiting an offer of long-term/settled accommodation. High Road West is a key location where the council is aiming to address the severe housing shortage in the borough.
Our vision is for it to be a vibrant place to live and work, with high-quality homes, retail, community and business space and a new library. The original plan was for only 191 council homes, but my administration is working hard to deliver at least 500 social homes for local people plus 500 affordable homes on top of that.
Concerns have been raised around the impact on residents of the Love Lane estate, and businesses in the Peacock Industrial Estate.
My ambition is that all residents currently on the Love Lane estate in temporary accommodation will have the opportunity of a new social home.
At the same time businesses are also key stakeholders, and in discussions with them I have made clear we will be negotiating a deal that addresses as many of their issues and concerns as possible, and that we understand the significance of freeholds. That’s why we’ve also published a business charter, setting out our commitments to help those businesses find the best possible place to carry on their work, within our community, in the future.
I am determined to find a solution but if we cannot find a way forward together, my deep concern is the Love Lane tenants in temporary accommodation will lose out. We must all work together to ensure this does not happen.
As a council, we need to address and balance many different agendas. We are frequently criticised by business stakeholders – big and small – for not putting their interests ahead of those of our residents. 16 months ago, we set out a commitment to govern Haringey on behalf of the many. Nothing that we have done in the past 16 months has broken any of these commitments.
London is changing. Haringey is changing too. But what will never change under my leadership, are the values that drive us. Or whose interests motivate us – those of Haringey residents, Haringey businesses and Haringey’s diverse ethnic and social communities.