A bizarre mix-up by the council’s housing arm has led to a random member of the public fielding calls from distressed social housing tenants.

Broadcaster and journalist Willard Foxton Todd has been receiving phone calls that were meant for Homes for Haringey – the arm’s-length organisation that manages the council’s housing stock – for almost a month.

But when he tried to get the correct number so he could forward the calls on to Homes for Haringey, a member of staff refused to tell him – and read him back his own number instead.

Mr Foxton Todd shared the surreal experience in a series of Twitter posts last week.

He said: “I was really worried about people getting in distress, telling me ‘I have got this letter and I am really worried about it’.

“It was a variety of housing problems, but they were all very worried.

“Obviously I would stop them before they gave me the full extent of their problems, but they were clearly very distressed.”

Mr Foxton Todd tried to find the correct phone number so he could pass people who called him on to Homes for Haringey – but immediately ran into difficulty.

He said: “They are totally faceless. You need to go on the Homes for Haringey website and then email the email address. There is no way to phone them on the website.

“The woman who called me refused to give me her name or an alternative contact number.

“It was absolutely bonkers – I was saying, ‘you understand I need to forward these people on’.

“She gave a weird excuse – ‘in case I use the number for marketing purposes’. I had no idea what was going on.

“I wanted the direct dial for Homes for Haringey, but she would not even give me that – she read me my own number back.

“It is very clear Homes for Haringey were handing out my phone number to people on this helpline.

“I told her what was going on, and she told me it was a technical mistake and she was going to get the IT department to sort it out.

“I am sure it was an honest mistake, but their helpline has had four weeks of me doing their job for them.”

A Homes for Haringey spokesperson said: “We are really sorry for the disruption Mr Foxton Todd has faced through these misdirected calls and for the residents who are trying to contact us but have been given an incorrect phone number.

“We are urgently looking into this matter and have been in contact with Mr Foxton Todd to find out more information, so that we can correct the error as soon as possible.

“If any resident has been affected by this, they should call our Customer Services team on 020 8489 5611.”