Dispossession: film club stages debate over housing crisis

For some people, a housing crisis means not getting planning permission for a loft conversion. For others it means, quite simply, losing their home.

Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle is a feature documentary which is being shown by Stanley’s Film Club in South Norwood later this month, to be followed by a panel discussion on the housing crisis, with a collection from the evening going to Croydon Nightwatch, the local charity for the homeless.

Alison Butler, Labour’s deputy leader of the council and the cabinet member responsible for housing (Total Council Houses built in Croydon since 2014: 0) failed to reply to an invitation to take part in the panel discussion.

Councillor Alison Butler: didn’t reply to an invitation to a night out at the movies

Dispossession is described as a must-see independent film for fans of powerful documentary.

Directed by Paul Sng and narrated by Maxine Peake, it explores the catastrophic failures that have led to a chronic shortage of social housing in Britain.

The film focuses on the neglect, demolition and regeneration of council estates in London, Glasgow and Nottingham, and investigates how the state works with the private sector to demolish council estates to build on the land they stand on, making properties that are unaffordable to the majority of people.

Dispossession is the story of people fighting for their communities, of people who know the difference between a house and a home, and who believe that housing is a human right, not an expensive luxury.

The Stanley’s Film Club organisers sent an invite to Colm Lacey, the council employee who runs the Brick by Brick housing company, but he declined the offer to talk to residents of the borough that pays his salary.

The discussion panel will therefore comprise Jad Adams (the chair of Nightwatch), Aysen Dennis (campaigner for council housing, Aylesbury Estate in Southwark), Councillor Sean Fitzsimons (the chair of Croydon’s scrutiny committee), David Robinson (head of operations, Evolve Housing) and Martin Wright (a housing activist from the East End).

Dispossession will be screened by Stanley’s Film Club on Wednesday, November 29 at 7.45pm (doors 30 minutes earlier) at SNCC, 10, South Norwood Hill, SE25 6AB.

Tickets are £8 in advance (£10 on the door) or £5 for club members. Click here to book

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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