URGENT #HelpHaringeyHomeless

There’s still time. The next planning meeting is scheduled for 8th March. Haringey residents, please voice your support today.

People experiencing homelessness in Haringey urgently need your help. A proposal has been put forward to develop a series of modular homes to house those who have been street homeless in Haringey. The development is currently at risk – the vote has been deferred by the Haringey Sub Planning Committee twice. Whilst the development doesn’t progress, lives are still at risk. We’ve listed more information about the development further down the page. We URGENTLY need Haringey residents to let Haringey council know you support this development.

SUBMIT A COMMENT ON THE PLANNING APPLICATION HERE

You can also email the planning committee directly, the addresses are below. We encourage you to write in your own words, but we’ve also added a template you could use. In a year of crisis, do something amazing to support our community’s most vulnerable.

EMAIL TEMPLATE

Dear Councillors

I have recently been made aware that planning permission has been submitted to build modular residential homes (and an office) for use as accommodation by people who have been street homeless (Reference No HGY/2020/2794).

I am a Haringey resident. I strongly support this application and would encourage you to approve it.

I understand a number of Haringey residents spoke in opposition to the plans in previous planning meetings. I would like to make it clear that there are many Haringey residents who give the planned site their full support, myself included.

Street homelessness is unfortunately very visible in Haringey. We have the second highest level of homelessness in the country. According to reports over 970 people died whilst sleeping rough in the UK in 2020 – a 30% increase compared to the previous year. It would be a travesty if even one more person was to lose their life, particularly if it happened in my own borough. I understand that in building modular modular homes there is an opportunity to improve, or even save, 100s of lives.

I’m also aware that Crossrail will cross through the site when this is constructed in the future. As such, it wouldn’t be possible to build long term housing on this site. It would be a shame for this space to be under utilised when there are so many people in need, and I can’t think of a better use for this site than to house the most vulnerable in the time that it is available.

It appears some residents are worried about antisocial behaviour, but I can’t think of anything more ‘antisocial’ than leaving residents unhoused when we have the ability to provide them with safety. To assume that all those experiencing homelessness are inherently antisocial or criminal is discriminatory. Rough sleepers are more likely to be victims of antisocial behaviour than to commit ASB themselves.

I cannot think of anything that would make me prouder as a Haringey resident than to create housing for the people who need it the most. I am confident all planning considerations have been completed with due diligence, and that Haringey council have made plans to ensure a duty of care for the potential residents. I urge you to vote in favour of this site at the next opportunity.

Thanks,

[Name]

Haringey Resident

SEND IT TO:

sarah.williams@haringey.gov.uk,

gina.adamou@haringey.gov.uk,

dhiren.basu@haringey.gov.uk,

john.bevan@haringey.gov.uk,

luke.cawley-harrison@haringey.gov.uk,

justin.hinchcliffe@haringey.gov.uk,

peter.mitchell@haringey.gov.uk,

reg.rice@haringey.gov.uk,

viv.ross@haringey.gov.uk,

yvonne.say@haringey.gov.uk,

sheila.peacock@haringey.gov.uk

For more information on the proposed development, please see below.

THE PLAN

A planning application was put forward to Haringey Council to build 37 modular homes (+ 1 office) on Ermine Road. These will be used to house people who have previously been street homeless. Whilst shelters, B&Bs and hostels are a good way to get people off the streets in the immediate term, modular homes allow previously homeless individuals with a longer solution which better allows them to transition off the streets before finding permanent accommodation.

WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THE PROJECT?

The homes are being built by Hill Group and the project is being facilitated by Haringey Council. Streets Kitchen does not own this project, we are simply supporting it and advocating that others do so. You can read the full planning proposal here.

WHAT’S A MODULAR HOME?

A modular home is a home that can be built quickly and efficiently. They are not as long-lasting as regular house builds, but are still built as quality housing – essentially, they are homes which are built to last 20 years, rather than 100.

The proposed homes are going to be built by Hill Group. They are fire safe, carbon-efficient and can be erected in 7 days. Each home has a bedroom, bathroom, and living space with kitchenette, to allow for independent living. Here are the layouts for the Ermine Road site:

WHY NOT HOUSE PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS IN REGULAR HOMES?

Streets Kitchen advocate for the use of empty housing stock to be used to house those experiencing homelessness. Unfortunately, property developers, landlords and local authorities often do not allow this to happen. We believe that repurposing empty homes to house the homeless is the right approach, but whilst we are still fighting to make this possible a modular home development will allow Haringey to get 37 people off the streets and into safe, secure accommodation. Because residents will only be housed here for a few months until they transition to their own permanent housing, over the years 100s of people can be housed in this development – there is potential to save 100s of lives with these modular homes.

To be clear, the proposed modular homes (24sqm) are smaller than the recommended size for a one bed flat (37sqm). The planning proposal states that this is acceptable because they are not intended for permanent use but rather as transition accommodation before individuals find long term accommodation; because smaller apartments decrease the risk of ‘cuckooing’ (where people take over a vulnerable person’s home to facilitate exploitation); and because smaller apartments allow for more blocks to be built, and hence more people to be supported.

WHY HARINGEY?

Haringey has the second highest rate of homelessness of all boroughs in the country. There is a great need for additional homelessness support in Haringey. This particular development is planned to be in place on Ermine Road for 7 years. In 7 years’ time, Crossrail will pass through the site. The site is currently empty, and because of the plans for Crossrail, it is not possible to build permanent housing or any other permanent development on this site. As such, either we add modular homes to the site, or it remains empty. We see this is a great opportunity to utilise unused space for a good cause whilst it is available.

Currently, when rough sleepers in Haringey are offered support, they are placed in to emergency accommodation in the form of a hotel room. Hotel rooms are fantastic for providing immediate shelter, but are not an adequate long term solution conducive to independent living. They also cost £50 per person a night – building modular homes would be a much more efficient use of Haringey Council Tax.

WHAT IS THE CURRENT SITUATION?

The project is in the final stages of planning permission, however Haringey councillors sitting on the Planning Sub Committee have now deferred the final vote on this development twice. At both planning meetings where this development was discussed, some Councillors and residents cited concerns around antisocial behaviour.

Whilst the development is at risk of not proceeding, the potential to save 100s of lives is also at risk. This is an urgent, humanitarian crisis that needs to be resolved. 

HOW HAVE THE CONCERNS RE ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR BEEN ADDRESSED?

Representatives for the project assure that the site would be staffed 24 hours a day by a combination specialist support worker (during the day) and concierge (at night). Individuals will be referred to the scheme by the Haringey Homelessness Pathways Team to assess vulnerabilities and potential issues prior to being housed. The units were designed by Hill architects in conjunction with leading homelessness charities to best suit the needs of those who have experienced homelessness. The environment will be well lit with appropriate but not invasive CCTV. The scheme has been assessed by the Designing Out Crime initiative.

To assume that all those experiencing homelessness are inherently antisocial or criminal is discriminatory.

Streets Kitchen believe that the most ‘antisocial’ behaviour of all in Haringey is to leave people sleeping on the streets, exposed to the elements, and to increased risks caused by the coronavirus pandemic. We advocate for immediate housing solutions for Haringey’s street homeless, the alternative being increased likelihood of illness, injury, long term mental health impacts, and death.

HOW CAN I HELP?

Residents of Haringey can submit a comment as a Supporter on the planning application. If we can get as many residents as possible to supporting the development, our elected officials will need to act upon this support.

Haringey is a brilliant borough full of loving, community minded individuals, and we think a counter campaign could easily surpass this amount. We need you to contact your councillors in the first instance. A list of emails for those with a vote on this issue is listed at the top of this page.

I HAVE QUESTIONS

If you have any questions about the development, please contact Haringey Council.

WHO ARE STREETS KITCHEN

Streets Kitchen is a grassroots initiative providing food and support to people experiencing homelessness across London. We currently provide hot food and assistance in 27 locations each week.

Share our Facebook post!

Share our Twitter post!

Share our Instagram post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.