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Haringey to give more cash to help stop Stroud Green Road rough sleepers

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 June 2018

Joseph Ejiofor addressing the room after the Haringey local election results in May 2018

Joseph Ejiofor addressing the room after the Haringey local election results in May 2018

Archant

Haringey Council has confirmed it will be looking to increase anti-homelessness funding to tackle rough sleeping in Stroud Green Road, after the borough’s provision was criticised.

A homeless woman who asked to be identified only as Blue under the Stroud Green Road bridge last year. Picture: Loretta ThomasA homeless woman who asked to be identified only as Blue under the Stroud Green Road bridge last year. Picture: Loretta Thomas

There is a history of the homeless bedding down under the railway bridgethat straddles the border with Islington.

Jon Glakin, who runs the Nag’s Head Solidarity Centre in the Seven Sisters Road, said: “Islington Council came to an agreement that whenever they clean the area under the bridge they give us a notification in advance so they don’t take the homeless people’s stuff.

“Islington Council is far more proactive. Haringey have next to no homeless outreach.”

In 2017, Tottenham MP David Lammy had labelled the case of two women sleeping under the bridge as a “scandal”.

Possessions under the Stroud Green Road bridge. Picture: Loretta ThomasPossessions under the Stroud Green Road bridge. Picture: Loretta Thomas

He had raised their cases with the borough and police, who were “incapable” of helping them, he told the Gazette.

One of the women was being treated as “intentionally homeless,” which meant she couldn’t access council services.

But the new leader of the borough Joseph Ejiofor told this paper the council will be investing in tackling the issue.

He said: “We know there’s been a substantial increase in street homelessness around Finsbury Park over the last few years.

K, pictured last year, during her time sleeping rough under the Stroud Green Road bridge after fleeing domestic violence. Picture: Loretta ThomasK, pictured last year, during her time sleeping rough under the Stroud Green Road bridge after fleeing domestic violence. Picture: Loretta Thomas

“It’s in our manifesto that we’re looking to eradicate homelessness by 2022. We need to see how to put that into place.

“If that means putting additional money in, raising money from elsewhere, or working with the voluntary sector, then we’ll do it.”

With increasingly tight council budgets, Cllr Ejiofor said the borough should be able to find the cash to do it.

“With some of our housing issues, we’re talking to the GLA about how their priorities match with ours and whether there’s any additional funding.

“We’re going to consider income generation, including council tax.

“There’s going to be choices that we need to make and it’s going to be difficult. But it’s our ambition to deliver everything in our manifesto.”

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