A housing deal that recently led to a rift in Haringey’s Labour administration will go ahead as originally planned.Cabinet members have given the go-ahead to sell off land to developer Magic Homes in a deal that will provide 88 flats on the site of the former Red House care home on West Green Road, Tottenham.Under the terms of the agreement, Magic Homes will sell 46 homes back to the council that will be offered at affordable social rent levels.Backbench Labour councillors had called for a re-think of the deal, claiming it was at odds with their party’s manifesto pledge to build social housing on land owned by the council.
At a scrutiny meeting on July 29, several members raised fears there was no cast-iron guarantee that the developer would provide any affordable homes.The committee called for cabinet members to re-think the decision and asked them to draw up an alternative plan for the council to keep hold of the land and build the homes itself.
But at a special cabinet meeting on August 5, the council’s top decision-makers rejected the recommendations and decided to press ahead with the deal.They said the scheme would be the fastest way of meeting Haringey’s borough plan target of providing 1,000 new council homes by 2022.
Any delay could put that target at risk and even scupper the deal with Magic Homes completely, cabinet members warned.Several further recommendations made by the committee, such as providing greater clarity on legal advice received when making deals with developers, were accepted in principle.
Council leader Cllr Joseph Ejiofor said: “This cabinet and this administration has been clear from day one that we would work tirelessly to deliver a net increase of 1,000 council homes at council rents in Haringey by 2022.“To deliver this ambitious target, we are using a number of different delivery methods, including direct delivery.“The Red House proposal does not provide a blueprint for future schemes. For example, last month’s cabinet also agreed to move forward on the delivery of council homes on the Templeton site by appointing a contractor who will start building council homes on this site in the next few months.
“However, we believe that this proposal to work in conjunction with Paul Simon Magic Homes to deliver 46 additional houses is the fastest means to securing much needed council homes for Haringey residents at Red House, whilst still representing good value for money for Haringey taxpayers.“With thousands of residents still in temporary accommodation, we believe this is the best way to provide safe and secure homes which 46 families on the waiting list so desperately need.”
Thanks to The Tottenham Independent for the post: https://www.thetottenhamindependent.co.uk/news/17831904.haringey-council-press-ahead-housing-deal/