Published: 10 November 2023

From: Community

A much-needed housing development named after the late Raj Sharma, who was twice Mayor of Crawley, has been officially opened with an on-site ceremony.

The building, on Brighton Road in Southgate, was named in honour of Raj, who was elected to represent Southgate in 2014 and was Mayor of Crawley in 2016 to 2017 and 2019 to 2020.

Raj Sharma House, a three-storey building, has 20 flats providing vital housing for Crawley. The scheme has had a positive impact on housing supply, demand for social housing and homelessness.

Family and friends of Raj, along with councillors and council officers, gathered to mark the official opening of the building. Raj’s wife, Bhavna, and Councillor Jilly Hart, Mayor of Crawley, gave short speeches. 

Raj was born in Delhi, India, in 1952 and moved to Crawley in 1992, where he started working as a Neighbourhood Youth Worker at Crawley Youth Centre and became Centre Manager at Crawley Youth and Community Centre.

It gives me great pleasure to be naming this building after the late Raj Shama. I knew Raj for more than 25 years through his work at the Crawley Youth Centre. His dedication to the youth of Crawley will be hard to match. But, as that youth grows up, Raj's legacy will live on and will be there for all to see. One of the biggest champions of the youth of Crawley will be sadly missed but will always be remembered through Raj Sharma House.

Councillor Jilly Hart

Mayor of Crawley

Bhavna Sharma, Raj’s widow, said: “Through tireless dedication and unwavering commitment, Raj made a profound impact on the Crawley community. This recognition is a testament to the incredible hard work and the positive change he has brought to our town.

“We hope to continue his legacy through working with the young people of Crawley through Crawley Youth and Community Centre.”

For more information about housing in Crawley, visit our housing pages.