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Community looking for a new home 

Islington Park Street Community: a model for alternative housing in London – Report by Dr Melissa Fernández Arrigoitia at London LSE about Islington Park Street Community, September 2015

Video from BBC One, Inside Out London, September 2015:

39 years of thriving social housing…

We are a diverse community of 18 people, located in the heart of London. We operate on social housing principles, providing secure housing to low-income, single adults in housing need, who have a commitment to supportive communal living.

Our residents range in age from 19 to 79. We cook, eat and socialise together, make decisions together about how our house is run, and collectively provide care and support to those of our residents who are elderly or sick.

This website aims to provide an insight into our rich history, our way of life and the value of our community.

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27 comments

  1. The Goverment must to stop giving advantages to all those rich companies, which are creating and discriminating the most vulnerable society. Stop selling, renting a really insane house prices and evicting the commuter and the most vulnerable people.

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  2. Signed. Appalled by OHG’s ignorant, antediluvian attitude to communal living. All it really wants is to exploit Islington’s already obscene property-price inflation. Keep up the pressure, Islington Park St! Hope you’ve contacted the local press.

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  3. One Housing Group sacked two union reps, Bryan Kennedy from Unite and Debbie Cordrey from Unison when they spoke out against executive pay.

    One Housing Group closed and evicted 50 rough sleepers from their Dean St Hostel to open a backpackers hostel and pub for tourists.

    One Housing Group evicted the Hillview tenants association from their own community centre as they didn’t meet “the corporate values” of One Housing Group.

    One Housing Group de-recognised the tenants associations in Tower Hamlets on the Samuda and Island Homes estates as they are “an obstacle to private development”.

    One Housing Group decided to introduce market rents for all new social and supported tenants creating a benefit trap for them. One Housing Groups’ direct competitors (.e.g. FamilyMosiac , Newlon) decided not to do this as they felt it unethical. One Housing Group uses the extra rent to build private flats for sale.

    One Housing Group has several fire enforcement notices against them in their care and support buildings for the vulnerable and elderly , just reinforcing that they absolutely don’t care whether their tenants live or die as long as a few quid can be saved.

    One Housing Group has no social purpose whatsoever. If you want to know how their Chief Exectutive Mike Sweeney sleeps at night? It is with the help of a few glasses of expensive brandy on his publicly funded £232,000 per year salary.

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  4. This community is an oasis in the midst of a desert ruled by competition and idolization of the self-centred individual. It must be saved, as a living remain of the past when communal way of life was reckoned most conducive to the all round development of human organism in view of the social nature of man. Therefore it is more precious than the material remains of the past which we take so much care to preserve.

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  5. We need a diverse community in London or the culture will die and remain a sterile playground for the rich / one big soulless investment commodity

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  6. A comment I wrote when One Housing Group decided to close a hostel in Westminster, evicting 50 rough sleepers to open a “backpackers’ bar” for tourists.
    ————————————

    It is not out of character for One Housing Group (OHG) to turn their back on the homeless in Westminister given their recent behaviour. When Ealing Council recently tried to buy 16 of One Housing Group’s private sale properties for use as temporary accommodation for the homeless, the Director of Development Alan Williams objected saying that the proposal was unsuitable for what he felt was a “prestige” block.

    OHG have in the last two years have almost doubled the rents for the most vulnerable in supported and elderly housing and has introduced 80% market rents for all new tenants nominated from council waiting lists. This extra revenue funds OHG’s new corporate agenda of building 1,000 flats for private sale and 500 flats let at 80% market rents each year. The move to charging market rents is entirely optional and many of OHG’s direct competitors, notably Newlon and Family Mosaic who work in the same areas and are of a similar size, have decided not to introduce market rents for their tenants.

    Of course being a developer in the London property market has it’s rewards. Housing Associations have made record profits over the last three years and the sector as a whole has just recorded a one billion pound surplus. OHG are no exception, they recorded a record £36 million surplus last year. Despite this, OHG have cut pay by an average of £2,000 for 250 of their frontline support staff, while the rest of their employees have suffered a six year pay freeze.

    What do OHG’s tenants and staff think of this? When tenants groups have objected to the new corporate agenda, OHG have disbanded the tenant’s associations on their estates, notably Hillview in Camden and Island Homes in Tower Hamlets. When staff have objected to pay cuts when OHG is announcing record surpluses, OHG publicly sacks the union representatives from both the recognised unions at OHG, Unite and UNISON.

    In fact, it is questionable what social purpose, if any, remains at One Housing Group. The future of the Great Chappell St hostel may be seen in what they’ve done at their other large homeless hostel nearby, Arlington House. OHG have significantly reduced bed spaces at Arlington House and turned a large proportion of it into a conference centre for private hire. As for their vision of the future, an indication my lie in who they’ve have invited to speak at their new conference centre, Nick Clegg, Ian Duncan Smith, Boris Johnson to name a few, not to be outdone OHG’s CEO Mick Sweeney spoke at last years Conservative party conference to give a speech on why housing associations don’t need regulation from government.

    Sadly what Mick Sweeney didn’t mention in his speech is that the majority of his income comes from government in the form of Housing Benefit payments and Local Government grants. Perhaps Mr Sweeney who awarded himself a £51,000 pay increase over the past two years while cutting pay for frontline staff didn’t think it worth a mention, but his income comes from his tenants and the taxpayer and as such he should welcome accountability and regulation, not seek to avoid it.

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  7. Have you made an appeal to Jeremy
    Corbyn MP .
    Can he not support your situation , maybe I do not know enough of the facts .possibly you are not Islington North but be well advised to write to him anyway , as he would then pass it to another MP with his comments .
    I am sure he would support social and community housing .

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  8. I’m sick of the hearing how short housing stocks are in the UK. & sick of this excuse being used by councils,
    Housing associations and government,
    to take liberties like this. Get the money
    elsewhere – & replenish the housing stock from another pot. The public are becoming more aware, of an agenda, to try to make London a buisness hub, where money comes before people. There appears to be a lack of empathy amongst some people in these organisations. Behind you all the way. Sarah

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