Liberal Democrats in Haringey have written to the Leader of the Council expressing concern at the administration’s response to a debate on the ongoing crisis in Haringey Council’s repairs to council homes service.
Earlier this year, the Housing Ombudsman criticised “a culture of apathy and acceptance of poor practice” in the repairs service, but, despite many residents agreeing with this assessment, the council’s leadership has rejected the characterisation.
At yesterday’s (20th November) meeting of the Full Council, residents Robert Randell and Marianne Larios were invited by the Lib Dem Opposition to speak and summarise their cases. Both have been living with serious housing issues for well over a year, and spoke about the toll of Haringey’s inaction on their physical and mental health.
Labour councillors failed to address the issues raised in the meeting, frequently speaking about their house building programme rather than the repairs service, suggesting they still don’t understand the significance of repairs issues to residents in existing housing stock.
Cllr Dawn Barnes (LD-Fortis Green), Opposition Spokesperson for Housing, said:
“Hundreds, if not thousands, of tenants and leaseholders in Haringey are currently living through hell, with repairs left outstanding by the council’s neglectful housing service.
“The Opposition has always wanted to work with council officers to ensure the best outcomes for our residents. However, we are consistently met with an adversarial style, with the internal culture prioritising the council’s finances and reputation as a landlord over its duties to residents. This needs to change, and change fast, or we will hear of more and more horrendous cases of disrepair, and people being forced to live in inhumane conditions.”