The Deptford and Newcross Debate Housing Action and Campaigning took place Tuesday night, 11 December, bringing together activists and campaigners from across Lewisham including members of Voice for Deoptford.
The evening focused around three key questions each identified and agreed by the attendees on the night, asking ‘what do we do next?’, ‘how do we preserve our communities?’ and ‘how do we practically solve or housing problems?’ Discussion provided opportunity for individuals and a range of community groups to share concerns, identify mutual agendas and agree possible ways to move forward, including ways to work together.
Discussing how to preserve our communities one attendee said, “The world is divided enough. We don’t need a luxury development that separates people off – a physical divide – the gentrification thing…” Another agreed. “Don’t demolish communities… Communities are divided. Keep community centres open. We want proper investments in community assets.”
One young person attending asked, “Why in a time of austerity and cuts does the council build luxury flats rather than develop council flats? There seems to be a consistent policy to run down council flats. Cutting and austerity? There needs to be a say, for people to challenge just building luxury flats.”
According to Voice for Deptford chairman Dr Roger Green, “People are losing homes including their right to live in a boat in Deptford creek. We need to get organised.”
The group of attendees – individuals and a wide range of community groups agreed a range actions to take forward, including further work to coordinate work, legal action and a larger conference to take place in 2018.
The event was hosted at Goldsmith University of London with the Centre for Community Engagement Research and organised by Voice for Deptford, Deptford Neighbourhood Action and a wide range of other groups. helped organise