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‘Don’t sell our social housing’ protest

Activists aim to stop housing association selling property 'bought with public funds for people in housing need'

24 January, 2020 — By Calum Fraser

The property in Tollington Road, Holloway

ACTIVISTS have pledged action in a bid to stop a housing association from selling a property on the market for nearly £1m.

Clarion Housing Group has come under fire again after a home in Tollington Road, Holloway, that had been used for social housing, is set to be sold.

Clarion had planned to sell the house in May last year and went as far as holding a tour for potential buyers, but they backtracked on the plans after Italian national Erik Sanfilippo was found dead in a bin outside. Clarion decided to put the house back on the market this month following the conclusion of Mr Sanfilippo’s inquest, which found that he had died of an accidental overdose.

The building has been plastered with stickers on several occasions. Last Thursday a note was slapped on the front door saying: “This Clarion Housing Assoc. property was bought with public funds for people in housing need. Stop the sale.”

The Tribune understands that more protests are planned over the coming days if Clarion continue with the planned sale.

Erik Sanfilippo

Islington’s housing chief Cllr Diarmaid Ward has said: “I understand the sale is going ahead and that is disappointing. I have asked for a guarantee that any money made from the sale goes back into the borough. I am still yet to have that guarantee, which is very disappointing.”

Activist group Islington Homes for All have kept an eye on the property. They are demanding that the house be taken off the market and renovated as a home for the near-14,000 people on Islington’s housing waiting list.

The property is three storeys tall and split into three units with six beds.

Andy Bain of IHFA said: “We want to support any effort to keep the building as a social property.”

A Clarion spokes­woman said: “We are committed to social housing in Islington and investing more than £32m in the borough through our 2017-2023 investment programme. We offered the council the first option to buy 53 Tollington Road before it was put on the open market, but they declined.”

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