Protestors force re-think on auction of empty flats

Crofton Park Station

Homelessness campaigners who have taken over two unoccupied flats in Lewisham are now aiming to move families with young children into the properties.


Activists from Lewisham People Before Profit occupied the flats on Hazeldon Road,  in Croftfon Park, on Tuesday evening by entering through a first-floor window.

John Hamilton, the leader of the campaign, said: “The flats are in a perfectly good condition. We are currently trying to find families who need flats this kind of size rather than sharing adults, as those will small children spend a better chance of not being evicted.”

The properties are owned by London and Quadrant Housing Association and were due to be auctioned this morning. They  have now been withdrawn.

The group are aiming to renovate the flats using local not-for profit organisations, and then contact the council to ask them to nominate someone from their waiting list to be re-housed there.

Hamilton said: “We know that we’ve won. There has been no action so far from either the council or L&Q and we don’t expect any. If the council continues to ignore us, then we wouldn’t rule out occupying other properties.”

An L&Q spokesperson said: “We are looking to auction this particular property because it does not meet acceptable housing standards and will be extremely costly to improve. Proceeds and savings made from the sale would be spent on improving other homes in Lewisham. We’ve temporarily removed the property from auction because of this incident and are currently examining our next steps.”

This is the second incident in which the group has occupied properties in the borough that were due to be auctioned.

By Holly Stevenson

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