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Drug users are buying master keys and ‘smoking crack on the stairs’ of Finsbury Park housing block

PUBLISHED: 09:32 17 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:10 17 February 2020

The stairwell in the block after one of the drug users was evicted.

The stairwell in the block after one of the drug users was evicted.

Archant

Drug users are buying master keys meant for firefighters and “smoking crack on the stairs” of a Finsbury Park housing block, fed up neighbours have said.

Drug users outside the block in Finsbury Park.Drug users outside the block in Finsbury Park.

The 7 Elms development near the Six Acres Estate is owned by One Housing housing association. Leaseholders say for the last month people have been getting into the Hollyfield block in Carville Street using a key and camping out in the stairwell.

One leaseholder named Lori has lived in a ground floor flat for seven years and says she now doesn't feel safe.

"There are families with children here," she said. "I live on the ground floor on my own. I don't feel safe. If I come back late at night I know someone is going to be there."

Lori says the group stopped coming for a couple of weeks when One Housing hired security, but when they left the drug users simply came back.

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She continued: "They are quite aggressive as well, some other residents have tried to confront them but they reacted aggressively. We think it's the people who were moved from under the bridge in Stroud Green Road.

"Some were moved into hostels but others didn't want to go to a hostel. Police have been called many times but don't really do anything. I called them at 8am this morning but they said they were busy."

Lori wants One Housing to intervene properly, not least because leaseholders living in the block pay about £250 a month in service charges.

"The service charge is extortionate," she said. "It's what you'd expect to pay if you had a swimming pool and a gym, yet we're having massive problems with rough sleepers."

Laura Corben, head of property at One Housing said: "We take the safety and security of our residents very seriously. Engineers were on site over the weekend installing a different locking mechanism which will take around three days to complete and should fix this issue.

"Unfortunately, we have found that keys for the current locking mechanism, which is London Fire Brigade compliant, can be bought very easily. We would also encourage residents to contact Streetlink if they see rough sleepers so they can get the support they need."

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