‘It will succeed where the Luftwaffe failed’: London Assembly Green Party candidate slams Housing Bill

The government’s housing bill was condemned as ‘worse than the Luftwaffe bombings’ by a Green Party London Assembly candidate at protests last weekend.

The Housing and Planning Bill was protested by a march to Downing Street on Saturday organised by Lambeth Housing Activists.

The Green Party’s Rashid Nix, a film-maker and former market trader, who supported and took part in the march, told protesters the plan would destroy community spirit.

“If passed, this piece of legislation will achieve what the Luftwaffe failed to achieve in World War II – it will destroy London’s communities,” he said.

The bill includes forced sale of high value council properties and extended ‘right to buy’ measures.

Housing issues in Lambeth have been the source of tensions between the council and residents of Cressingham Gardens who are fighting plans to demolish their homes.

Lambeth councillor Matthew Bennett described the borough’s ‘housing crisis’, with many families homeless or in low quality or unsuitable accommodation, and their council is committed to building 1,000 homes for council rent.

“We must look at every scrap of land available to us to help provide those much-needed homes,” he said.

“The estate regeneration programme is designed to build new homes and improve conditions for our existing residents.”

There are around 21,000 people waiting for social housing in Lambeth.

“All the progress of the last 120 years of social housing is being lost and we’re now going back to Victorian times.”

The Green Party claimed Southwark’s councillor for housing, Richard Livingstone, was heckled and booed by protesters at the march angry at Southwark’s proposed demolition and sale of the Aylesbury Estate.

But Southwark councillor Mark Williams said the estate was fundamentally flawed and its regeneration would deliver new high quality homes, half of which would be affordable, more than any equivalent London scheme.

Mr Williams said Southwark Council oppose the housing bill, and they had pledged to build 11,000 council homes.

He commented it that ‘a pity’ a few people were more interested in attacking them than the government who are seemingly intent on destroying social housing.

“The Housing and Planning Bill is a vile attack on social housing, Southwark Labour councillors marched on Saturday to oppose the Bill as it will have a devastating impact on council housing in our borough,” he said.

Mr Nix said of the housing legislation: “It will speed up the process already started by councils in areas of London like Lambeth and Southwark – of demolishing council estates and the communities that live there.”

He claimed the bill is only in the interests of property developers, aiming to eliminate social housing, and that private rent and the ‘starter homes’ the government claimed the bill promoted were unaffordable for ordinary households.

“What London’s communities need is more truly affordable social housing to rent – and an end to government encouragement of speculative investment in property instead of in homes that people can actually afford to live in,” he said.

“All the progress of the last 120 years of social housing is being lost and we’re now going back to Victorian times.”

Picture courtesy of Images_of_Money, with thanks

Related Articles