Council takes action after derelict flats left empty for six years

6:48pm Monday 19th November 2012

By Hermione Wright

Derelict council flats left empty for six years could be renovated in the New Year after an MP called for action.

On Friday, Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone called for Haringey Borough Council and Homes for Haringey to explain why two flats in Truro Road in Wood Green had fallen into disrepair.

The Liberal Democrat politician – who was contacted about the properties by resident Parveen Johal - claimed the flats remaining empty during a housing crisis was “typical” of the Labour administration.

She said many vulnerable families in Haringey were in "desperate" need for housing and criticised the council for not refurbishing the property. 

But a statement from the council said: “Homes for Haringey and Haringey Council have been made aware the properties at Truro Road are empty.

“The council is currently considering the best use for the dwelling.

“One option being considered is to convert the properties back into a single property. If this is approved then works will begin in the New Year.”

Ms Johal, who lives in Truro Road, contacted the council in 2010 after squatters descended on the property, but it failed to act.

She blamed the council for being “neglectful” in their care of the house and people living in the street by not reacting to the call for action. 

However, the council insists it has “proactive strategies” to bring empty private properties into use.

The statement said: “The council regularly reviews the council tax register to identify properties that are not in use and after a series of interventions will issue compulsory purchase orders.

“Typically the council is working to bring around 8 to 100 private properties back into use at any given time.”

Homes for Haringey manages 16,112 tenanted council properties and of those, 215 are currently empty – 1.35 per cent of the total number.

A total of 95 of the empty homes are being refurbished, 45 are with the council’s letting team ready for viewings by prospective tenants, and 33 have just been assigned to new tenants – with the council carrying out the sign-up and induction process.

The remaining 43 remain empty while the council decides whether to refurbish the properties.

According to the council, the average turnaround time for Homes for Haringey to refurbish empty council homes for reoccupation where no major work is involved is 15.93 days.

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