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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Haringey - long-term residents - is Haringey getting nicer to live in or worse?

Hello to all the long-term residents. 

I've lived in north London for a good few years now, and always been a Londoner, but only recently a resident in Haringey - I'm aiming to live here for a good few more years too!

I was wondering what your opinions are about the borough, in general, is it getting a nicer, more liveable place, or is it a bit like where I grew up, going downhill and increasingly run down?

I don't mind where you live around the borough, I'm just curious really!

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What does "nicer" mean?

There is definitely slow 'gentrification' taking place i.e replacement of existing residents by better off family units moving to these areas from previously gentrified areas, notably Islington and Hackney, because they have been priced out of these.

But there is a hardcore of rogue landords and unsympathtic developers who have a grip on quite a number of the properties and/or the resources to buy up the period homes and either transform them, very often into HMOs or unsympathetic, 'neo modern' renovations (hyper modern grey doors, grey render, dark pvc windows and hard paved front gardens) and conversions ingto pokey renatl flats. 

So a resident who would have previously felt 'at home'  here being able to go to their local pub with great prices, or shop in the local shops tat catered to their own purse, now find that the area has changed for teh worse.

The thing is though, that, both Haringey and Tottenham have great things going for them. When I first moved to Clapham North over 25 year ago, my colleagues told me "Oh that place is rough". Iccouldn't afford to live there when I wanted to rent my own place so I ended up in Brixton. Then I couldn't afford to buy in Brixton when I wanted to buy depsite people telling me that place was rough too and one colleague getting mugged there twice! So I moved to Brockley which I left to live in.....Islington!

Tottenham (Seven Sisters to Northumberland Park) has a great sense of communities, great diversity and BRILLIANT TRANSPORT into central London.  We have new renovated pubs, cafes and fancy groceries opening up but also several planning apps for 'adult gaming shops'. Of course we do not know how hard the COVID crisis will hit so if you are looking for short term investment then ???? For the longer term it would be a great place to be.

Ultimately chose your street well!

You so have a point about gentrification. My street used to have all kinds of people from different countries (Hungarians,  West Indians, Italians, Lebanese, etc) living on it, including English people, of course, who were mostly working or lower middle class (I hate this English shorthand to describe people, but needs must). It was great, especially since I too was an immigrant (from Canada over 40 yrs ago). Only a couple of those families are left, and the houses, which are now beyond the means of anyone who isn't earning masses of money are populated by white middle class people - all of whom are really nice, neighbourly, and very caring about the community and doing their bit, but I find it sad that the diversity is gone. 

Further to my earlier comment: I agree with Tamara. The Borough of Haringey has been in process of being gentrified for at least three decades. It started in the already pricier areas of Highgate, Muswell Hill and Crouch End. It moved slowly eastward, to the point where Hornsey was completely gentrified. It then moved (literally) to the "wrong side of the tracks) across the main north-south rail line, into the ladder roads of Harringay, jumped Green Lanes, and moved eastward into the constituency of Tottenham. It is now moving eastward and northward in Tottenham - witness new developments at Tottenham Hale, at the junction of Seven Sisters and Tottenham High Road, around the new football stadium and so on. As it continues, prices rise and poorer people cannot afford to buy or rent, and move east or north. Since, due to racial discrimination in the UK many poorer people are BAME, the gentrified areas become more preponderantly white, and the racial diversity declines. I have watched the process of gentrification in London since 1970, when one of my colleagues when I was a PhD student at Reading University was doing research on gentrification in Islington. Using his maps - streets that had been gentrified, streets that were being gentrified, streets that were next in line to be gentrified - one could have bought a property in the third category, which would have increased in value enormously between 1970 and 2020. Of course, as poverty-stricken research students, none of us had enough money. I apologise for a rather lengthy post, and for the fact that it re-states the "absolutely bleeding obvious". However, I think all of us who've lived in Harringay/Green Lanes, for a time, even for about ten years, can see what is happening. The only way we could retain the ethnic diversity in the Borough would be if the Council were able to build a lot more homes for social rent, and fewer for owner-occupation at market rates. This was done successfully in the UK from 1945 to the early 1980s, when Thatcher started to force local councils to sell off their council homes, whilst not allowing them to invest the money in new building of council homes. This has created the critical shortage of "social housing" (what we used to call "council housing") in London, which is driving more and more (usually poorer people, and those with growing families) further and further out of London; while the city is left to contend with extremely wealthy areas in the centre, which are increasingly made up of empty homes, bought by shady overseas buyers, to effect money laundering, aided by the financial and legal service industries in the City of London (the biggest tax haven in the world). End of rant! And apologies to all neighbours in Harringay and Haringey Borough who are subscribed to this community site for "venting". We are all in this together.

Christopher, thanks for your input and don't worry about the long post - if it's not long, it's more difficult to fully explain a situation.

I feel like humans are humans, they'll move to places they can afford and offer the best long term future for their children. I'd note on the changing demographics of the wider borough, and gentrification as you note (which let's be honest is just a polite word for white middle class people moving in). The demographics of London as a whole is going in the opposite direction, so does anyone have an idea why north London is bucking that trend, particularly haringey, Islington and hackney?

Thank you for your generous comments. I am not sure that London demographics are going in a different direction from north London. If you mean by "north London" the part of the city that is north of the river (which would include parts of central London), then I'd agree that there is a difference in gentrification with south London. I think that is because the tube does not extend much into south London, and the tube map forms a powerful part of our image of London. Crossrail 1/Elizabeth Line won't make much difference, as it improves connections east-west north of the river, extending them out to the west and to the north-east. If Crossrail 2 is ever built, it would improve connection north-east to south-west, and might even things up a bit between London north and south of the river.

Quite right that transport investment to some degree drives gentrification. Brockley = arrival of, at first, better overground services, and then the extension of tube services = East London line. A lot of Hackney-Dalston = same extension and upgrade of East London & North Overground lines.

The same is happening with Tottenham. The rail lines are now integrated into the Overground, and the frequency and regularity of services should improve. The stations in Tottenham actually now appear as tube stations on the 'ordinary' tube map you find on any platform. Before they only appeared on maps showing national rail lines and these were not shown any and everywhere. This has a positive psychological impact, especially on newcomers to an area.

One of the phenomenon with gentrification is that the 'middle classes' referred to in this post (who aren't only white by the way - come to Tottenham) want properties where they aren't paying a premium for other people's taste being imposed on them. So they want a house/property that has either loads of period features that just need some sympathetic restoration or properties that are cheap enough to merit buying and investing through quality & tasteful modernisation - that is where the ‘class' issue comes into play.

Thanks everyone! This has turned into a great thread. As someone who moved away from West London because I thought the area I grew up in was steadily getting worse, it's good to see that in general residents are happy with the changes happening. Change, for the good or for the worse is always an interesting thing to debate.

Moved to West Green after 15 years in and around Stroud Green, as it was viable to go from 2 bed flat to house.  Spent 2 years disliking or downright hating it, but now I think it's a great place to be.  In contrast whilst I wanted to stay in Stroud Green as it was obviously on the up, I now think N15 has got more going on and a better feel.  Been to Stroud Green a few times recently and it doesn't grab me as much anymore and it's almost like its peaked.  Way more potential round here in terms of shops, green space, bars & eateries.  Shopping was always better here, as well as transport.  Now 4 cinemas on easy bus journeys.  Unfortunately  way more overt dealing in N15 then there used to be, not happy about that.  Wood Green high street looks down at heel, but that's probably the same in most high streets.  Overall happy to be here.

Hello fellow HoLers!

I was born and bred in the Stroud Green area in a house bought by my grandparents where three generations of our family, plus lodgers, lived and where my elderly mum, brother and sister-in-law still live. I went to primary school at the top of Crouch Hill, had a Saturday job in Crouch End in my teens, and worked for several years in Northumberland Park. Apart from 10 years spent living in Highbury and travelling I have lived in Haringey all my life and been in my current flat in Bowes Park for almost 25 years.

When I was a kid in  the 60s the Finsbury Park area was full of working-class families - lots of Irish, Italians, Greek Cypriots and West Indians. It was safe and clean and the park was lovely. Then the area went downhill in the 70s and early 80s, getting very scruffy, rougher and a bit more dodgy! On the plus side, we had some fantastic pubs and the Rainbow, one of the greatest music venues of all time. Since the 90s the place has become increasingly gentrified and middle-class, property prices have gone stratospheric and beyond the reach of most people, which is a real shame. However, Stroud Green Road has become much nicer with a more diverse selection of shops and restaurants.

Now living towards the northern edge of the borough I find a similar thing is happening around me. Apart from Wood Green Shopping City which looks really run down and sad (particularly after the loss of Pearsons, M&S and BHS) the area is vibrant and mixed and I believe it's been improving for several years. Locals are mostly friendly, I have great neighbours and there's a strong sense of community. We have amazing transport links and delightful green spaces; I love Ally Pally, the New River and the Parkland Walk, which I played along as a kid before it was open to the public. The local shops are great and so convenient, open till all hours and with excellent variety of produce, goods and services. Myddleton Road is having a renaissance, Blue House Yard has interesting independent shops, we have art at the Chocolate Factory, a few good local boozers, a plethora of good restaurants and bars along the length of Green Lanes, and the All Good Bookshop has opened on Turnpike Lane - hurrah!

Yes, there are things I'd like to see improved - less litter/chewing gum on the pavements, more cycle lanes, more books in the libraries, fewer betting shops, Wood Green Shopping City improved - but I love living here.

I've lived in Haringey from 2001. My parents lived near Turnpike Lane station, I used to live with them, then I used to rent a house with friends near Seven Sisters for a few years, then came back...Last 5 years, after my parents passed away, I spend 3-5 months in total in Haringey coming back and forth. Let's say, I've always lived between two countries all these years, which gives me a good chance to see changes clearer than to those who live there permanently. 

I can say that I love this area more and more with years. In the beginning of 2000s they had the biggest heroin Turkish mafia on Green Lanes involving 150 people from 15 to 65 ( as far as I remember that article), so we had killings, selling heroin in tens of jewelry shops, there were lots of Greeks and their businesses and they moved away ( further north I guess). Comparing to that everything is changed now. 

Gentrification is clear: those who ran from high rents in Hoxton - Dalston - Stoke Newington - Islington moved to Haringey, so we can see more interesting bars, burger joints, turkish guys are doing well same as in east London, music bars, etc. 

Don't forget that transport connections are one of the best in London, connecting Piccadilly, Victoria and Overground lines, which makes it one of the best quality/price ratio area in London. ( And Ally Pally nearby). Including 24 hours off licenses and turkish supermarkets with beers and wines cheaper than everywhere in London (and I've been everywhere, have lots of friends, so can compare prices). Looking forward to Crossrail 2 ( hopefully), this area is buzzing now, but gonna be even much better with the help of it ( if it happens of course). 

The crowd always changes: we have pretty much everyone, it's very diverse, from Brits to that Cypriots, who's been there for a long time. Poles came long time ago, last years I can see more Albanians and Bulgarians watching football in my local together with all that old mates Africans, so it changes sure thing.

It's a shame that Wood Green High Road and The Mall are struggling: businesses come and go, probably cause of the high rent, and the brands are cheap and worth the area so far. I was surprised that they opened Five Guys there some time ago, and it was empty for a while! 

But we are doing good, with all that communities and activities going on around, cheap veggie markets, all that choice of shopping, including Green Lanes where you can buy all you need.  It's great to watch that changes going on, and they are more positive I would say. Just needs to be cleaner and less criminal, but this is London, everywhere is this trouble, sadly. 

I’ve lived 30 years in Harringay, excellent coffee @ Mumm’s, But First ☝️Coffee, Beans and Music, Jam in a Jar. We have Harringay Local Store, La Vina and Mumm’s Stores, enough for any foodie. Bruhaha, the Salisbury, Jam in a Jar, Bun and Bar. Live music at the Finsbury, Jam, Bun and Salisbury. Kurdish hipsters, members of Pendulum, Hot Chip, Leftfeild...

Schools are doing well, a fab Sure Start, Park Run at Ally Pally & Finsbury Park. The New, River Falkland Park, railway Fields... We have two rail connections East and West, Harringay Green Lanes to Hampstead/ Gospel Oak Lido. Harringay GNER to St Pancras/kings Cross... Paris or Edinburgh. Two tube stations, Turnpike Lane & Manor House. The community here is wonderful, always has been, the Ladder and the Gardens are cool places to live. We are nestled in the horseshoe between Crouch End and Stoke Newington. The housing stock is late Victorian, high ceilings and generous living space. Have I left anything out...

Open drug dealing and usage, public defecation, street begging/scamming, grid-locked high street, mono-cultural. Otherwise fine.

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