Stephen Steppens will remain at his Tottenham home until supported accommodation is found

Stephen Steppen with his black Labrador Owen

Stephen Steppen with his black Labrador Owen

First published in News
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A blind man facing eviction from his home by the charity which employs him has been told he can stay until alternative accommodation is found.

Stephen Steppens, 54, is a long-serving member of staff at Clarity, a 160 year-old charity employing disabled people to make cleaning and toiletry products at its factory in Jubilee Avenue, Highams Park. 

Mr Steppens lived in one of four homes owned by Clarity in Bruce Grove, Tottenham, which were erected in memory of the charity's founder Elizabeth Gilbert. 

The 54-year-old receptionist of 29 years sought the help of trade union Community after the charity’s trustees decided to sell the properties to raise funds. 

Clarity issued repossession order in May 2013 and again earlier this year.

It claims this was to speed up the process of Haringey Council finding Mr Steppens supported accommodation.

A meeting was held on Wednesday between the charity's chief executive Jeremy Robinson, Mr Steppens, a case worker for Tottenham MP David Lammy and Community’s director of education and equalities Bev Bambrough. 

Mr Robinson said: "It all got a bit silly. We had to do something and I was advised we needed to go through this process to get the assistance from the council. 

"We would never abandon Stephen in any shape or form. 

"Selling the homes is the right thing to do in helping to provide more employees. 

"It has always been a tough environment for us to sell our products but over the last few years, we've received funding cuts from the local authority and reductions from central government."

Ms Bambrough said she was welcomed the outcome.

She added: "Clarity didn’t have to engage with this process, and it is very much to their credit that they did. 

"We look forward to working with David Lammy MP, the local authority and Clarity over the coming weeks to bring this matter to a resolution which meets all parties’ needs, particularly Stephen’s."

Mr Steppens said he was "happy it is finally being resolved".

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