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Recovering Islington alcoholic ‘put at risk of relapse’ by council housing offer

PUBLISHED: 10:39 21 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:39 21 July 2020

Islington Town Hall. Picture:Ken Mears

Islington Town Hall. Picture:Ken Mears

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A recovering alcoholic has accused Islington Council of offering to house her alongside current drinkers and putting her at risk of relapse.

Lisa O’Connor misused alcohol for nearly three decades before she went to Better Lives in Kings Cross, received help and became sober three years ago.

The mum-of-three has also suffered from misophonia, a condition where certain sounds trigger a emotional or physiological response, since she was a child.

READ MORE: NHS project launches to co-ordinate mental health care for young people in north and east London

That’s why when the drilling of a construction site started up next door to her property, she sought help from Islington Council to relocate to another council house and was offered a room in a property near Essex Road.

However, when she went there for a viewing she was immediately approached by a drug dealer and says she saw evidence of excessive alcohol consumption.

Living in that property would have put her at risk of relapse, Lisa said, the “ripple effects” of which would destroy the stability she has built over the last three years.

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“Lots of people are using alcohol or cocaine there,” she said. “I was that close to be being back in that world - if I didn’t have my daughter with me, God knows what would have happened because I’m very impulsive.

“I would never trust them (Islington Council) to send me anywhere again.”

Officers at the council were informed of her history of alcoholism but did not take it into account, Lisa believes.

“I never want the same thing to happen to anyone else. I lay in bed at night thinking: ‘What if it happens to someone else?’

“I can’t walk away without doing something.”

A spokesperson from Islington Council said: “The safety and welfare of our tenants is an absolute priority, and council staff work tirelessly to ensure that each and every tenant is offered a safe, secure and comfortable home.

“It is not appropriate to discuss the detail of individual tenants’ cases, but we always ensure that, where necessary, tenants are consulted about their needs before being offered temporary accommodation.

“If a tenant is unhappy about the temporary accommodation offered and would like to be moved, our temporary accommodation team work to support this.”


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