27 January 2015
On Saturday 31st January Lewisham Greens will join the March For Homes, organised by Defend Council Housing, South London People's Assembly and Unite Housing Workers Branch LE1111. The march will assemble at St Mary's Churchyard, Elephant & Castle SE1 6SQ, from 12.00 before moving on to City Hall.
Cllr. John Coughlin, Green Party candidate for Lewisham Deptord, said,
'Housing has become probably the main issue that London faces. Too many people view housing as an investment rather than a home. This has led to homes sitting empty or with unaffordable rents and house prices, speeding up the social cleansing of large parts of our city.'
'In Lewisham we're seeing rents and house prices which few people who work in our borough can afford, developments with flats advertised in Far Eastern hotel lobbies as investments and a paltry 500 council homes over five years promised by Lewisham Council. Meanwhile hundreds of flats are being built at the Lewisham Gateway and Loampit Vale developments which will never be affordable to people working behind the counters of Lewisham's shops or in the offices of our small businesses.'
Lewisham Green Party submitted a response (available here) to Lewisham Council's Draft Housing Strategy 2014 - 2020 calling for a more ambitious and sharply focussed strategy. This should better control the private rented sector through a licensing scheme. The Council should make better use of all its powers to increase the number of truly affordable social and not-for-profit homes for rent in Lewisham. New homes should be designed with zero impact on global warming. More urgent action should be taken to reduce their climate change impact through improved energy efficiency and use of solar panels - cutting fuel bills and helping to combat climate change.