Blogs Reports

Occupation of Lesnes


Reported by Andrea

Published on Thursday, May 9th, 2024

Accommodation Community Eviction
Blogs Reports

Occupation of Lesnes


Written by Andrea

Published on Thursday, May 9th, 2024

Accommodation

Community

Eviction

Lesnes Estate residents in Thamesmead are currently participating in a protest occupation against Peabody Housing Association. 

 

The occupation began on Saturday 6 April and there have been a number of meetings and workshops for residents and supporters to attend. 

 

On Thursday 11 April residents and supporters will be protesting outside Bexley Council against the redevelopment of the estate. 

 

Since the Elizabeth Line has been created and opened to the public, Bexley Council has given planning permission for Peabody to demolish Lesnes Estate and replace it with unaffordable luxury high rise apartments. 

 

Bexley Council and Peabody are currently leaving hundreds of homes empty while they wait for the most profitable time to do this redevelopment. 

 

Bexley Council has thousands of people on the waiting list for social housing. The residents and housing activists demand that if Peabody is not prepared to refurbish the estate to provide social housing, we need Bexley Council to demand a transfer of the empty properties back to the council so they can provide the social housing homes desperately needed to decrease the numbers in temporary accommodation or sleeping on the streets.  

 

I caught up with local resident Dr Johnnel Olabhie, who spoke to me about why he is doing the occupation and the inspiration behind it –

 

How long have you been living on Lesnes Estate?

Over 20 years  

 

What inspired you to do the occupation of the empty homes?  

To expose Peabody’s greedy project that’s skyrocketing homelessness and destitution. Why on earth would an estate be deliberately uninhabitable or boarded habitable properties while an endless waiting list for people searching for homes? This is not unacceptable but evil. 

 

How long do you intend to stay? 

As long as I live and hand it over to my children. 

 

What has been the response from Peabody?  

Callousness and unempathetic. We need people like Sadiq Khan’s intervention to stop Peabody’s knee on residents’ necks in pretext of regeneration. Current redevelopment by Peabody is evidently going to skyrocket homelessness, destitution and financial indebtedness. 

Written by Andrea


I am a freelance journalist interested in empowering vulnerable communities to have their stories heard

Read all of Andrea's articles

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