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Who's Who

Housing Choice involves a number of different organisations working together to produce the best deal for residents if their homes were to be transfered to a new landlord. The "deal" takes the form of the estate's business plan and offer document which tenants will be asked to vote for or against, probably in September 2005.

The organisations immediately involved in the Mansford Estate Housing Choice process are:

  • Residents Estate Steering Group (ESG) 
    The ESG is a group of residents of the estate, both tenenats and leaseholders, who are part of and manage the consultation processes leading up to the ballot of residents. This is out website. Our job is to end up with an estate that works for everyone, and we are independent and on the side only of the residents.
  • Tower Hamlets Community Housing (THCH)
    THCH is the Housing Association the ESG has chosen to work with to develop a plan for the future of the estate. They are a Registered Social Landlord, and a Registered Charity.
    Although they originated as staff of LBTH, they have definitely demonstrated an utterly different attitude to working with residents. In particular, they appear have ears, and they are prepared to act to make things work.
  • London Borough of Tower Hamlets (LBTH)
    Our current landlord. While they have been starved of funding to do a decent job in the past, we have all had the experience that they have not always attended to things which would cost little or nothing.
    The people working directly with the ESG are the New Partner and Initiatives Team. They do not seem to be infected with the same sense of sloth and despair often to be found elsewhere in the housing department. 
  • First Call (Residents' Independent Advisor)
    FIRST Call provide independent advice to the ESG, and to anyone from the estate who cares to contact them. They provide an objective point of view on the process, making sure that the ESG gets to know what it does not know, and ensuring that the wool does not get pulled over our eyes, and thet we don't make unrealistic demands.
    They will be producing an independent guide to the offer document in due course.

Other key participants are:

  • Housing Corporation
    The Housing Corporation is the body set up by the government to oversee Registered Social Landlords, such as THCH. Its input into this process is minimal, except that it largely determines the way that THCH is run, and it definitely has a commitment to quality.
  • Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM)
    The ODPM is the department of central government responsible for determining the funding of social housing, particularly that owned by local authorities. It also has to approve the transfer of the estate if residents vote for it, and it will only do so if it is satisfied that the business plan, in particular, is viable.

Other interested Groups, not directly involved

  • Tower Hamlets Leaseholders Association
    Attempts to represent the intersts of leaseholders. Its experience of LBTH's management of leaseholders interests has left it frequently frustrated, confrontational, and now suspicious of the move to RSLs. This is not without foundation, of course. 
  • Defend Council Housing Campaign
    This campaign believes that public housing should remain public, and be funded properly by the government. Their campaign is therefore directed at central government, and, if successful, would completely derail Housing Choice, though, in principle with the same results. A less useful part of their activities is spreading misinformation about the likely effects of transfer.

Mansford Forums:

Tenants Offer Document
Now available to download

Call Mike or Roman at First Call on 0500 295 999


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