19 September 2016
Clare Phipps, the Green Party’s candidate in the Brockley by-election, toured the OpenHouseLondon events in Lewisham this weekend to promote solutions to the housing crisis.
As part of the Open House weekend, Clare spoke to Lewisham borough residents at Segal Close, site of the 1980s self-build project, “popup” homes at PLACE/Ladywell, sustainably insulated End House, and Spring Gardens, the first purpose built hostel for the homeless.
Speaking in her video diary of the weekend, Clare said:
“Under the Council’s watch, Lewisham has been left with the fastest rising house prices of all London boroughs. That’s a real worry for people like me who face rising rents, despair at ever getting on the housing ladder, but don’t want to lose our connection to the area our families are from and that we love living in. And how can we keep our hard won Lewisham Hospital or our schools running, if the nurses and doctors and teachers can't afford to live here?
“The Labour council must admit it is has failed residents, building zero council owned houses for 30 years. There are currently close to 10,000 households on the Lewisham council housing waiting list, and as great as PLACE/Ladywell and Spring Gardens could be, these and other Labour promises barely scratch the surface of our housing deficit.
“Back in 1980s we did something brave - we gave residents the chance to build their own homes on council owned land in what is now Segal Close. Some of that spirit was there again at PLACE/Ladywell. We need our council to be brave once again and recreate these innovative ideas, and that is what I will be doing if I am elected.
“There are over 2000 empty buildings in Lewisham - so instead of following Labour and kowtowing to the interests of developers getting rich, I will work with my fellow Green Councillor John Coughlin to ensure that as many of these buildings as possible are turned - in partnership with the community - into social housing.”
“That’s not just the compassionate solution - it’s the one that makes most sense economically. Housing homeless residents in B&Bs isn’t sustainable, and costs the council a bomb.”
“PLACE/Ladywell, Spring Gardens and End House all show that the technology is here to ready to make providing these new homes with warmth, energy and water homes easier on both residents wallets and the environment. It’s clear that Lewisham is really a borough of innovators”
For more information see:
Housing data available here: http://data.london.gov.uk/housingmarket/
Spring Gardens: http://listings.openhouselondon.org.uk/listing/spring-gardens/