Manifesto

Architects for Social Housing (ASH) was set up in March 2015 in order to respond architecturally to London’s housing ‘crisis’. We are a working collective of architects, urban designers, engineers, surveyors, planners, film-makers, photographers, web designers, artists, writers and housing campaigners operating with developing ideas under set principles.

First among these is the conviction that increasing the housing capacity on existing council estates, rather than redeveloping them as luxury apartments, is a more sustainable solution to London’s housing needs than the demolition of the city’s social housing during a housing shortage, enabling, as it does, the continued existence of the communities they house.

ASH offers support, advice and expertise to residents who feel their interests and voices are increasingly marginalised by local councils or housing associations during the so-called ‘regeneration’ process. Our primary responsibility is to existing residents – tenants and leaseholders alike; but we are also committed to finding viable alternatives to estate demolition that are in the interests of the wider London community.

ASH operates on three levels of activity: Architecture, Community and Propaganda.

  1. We propose architectural alternatives to council estate demolition through designs for infill, build-over and refurbishment that increase housing capacity on the estates and, by renting or selling a proportion of the new homes on the private market, generate the funds to refurbish the existing council homes, while leaving the communities they currently house intact.
  1. We support estate communities in their resistance to the demolition of their homes by working closely with residents over an extended period of time, offering them information about estate regeneration and housing policy from a reservoir of knowledge and tactics pooled from similar campaigns across London.
  1. We disseminate information that aims to counter negative and incorrect perceptions about social housing in the minds of the public, and raise awareness of the role of relevant interest groups, including local authorities, housing associations, property developers and architectural practices, in the regeneration process. Using a variety of means, including protest, publication and propaganda, we are trying to initiate a wider cultural change within the architectural profession.

Whether you are facing the regeneration of your estate and in need of advice, or whether you want to offer your skills, expertise and time to our many projects, please get in contact.

E-mail: info@architectsforsocialhousing.co.uk

Twitter: @ASH_Housing

Facebook: ASH (Architects for Social Housing)

Events: http://www.opengardenestates.com

5 thoughts on “Manifesto

  1. Hi Geradline and Simon – I would like to receive notices when you have a new blog or stuff on your site if this is possible. I would like details of your Open Garden Estates 2016 when you have them please. I have met and contacted you before briefly – such as I am the photographer (and researcher) at Paul Watt’s Housing conference and KillBill protests. Yes I know your criticisms of the campaign but I am anyway working hard to oppose the Act in different ways and for my own personal experience have not come across uncritical Labour apologists. I did a series of photographs and interviews with London residents of their concerns re the Act just before it came in, which I managed to get into the Guardian online. http://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/gallery/2016/may/18/social-housing-tenants-demonised-housing-planning-act-in-pictures I managed to include one narrative that mentioned the planning aspect . I am working hard to track residents responses and experiences to the Housing and Planning Act over the next months and years. As yet I have no funding but will work to get some over time. In the meantime I would like to offer you my services as a photographer gratis for your estate campaigns when I am available. I do have to work to earn money and am also single parent so cannot promise I will always be available but you can always ask me. I hope this is helpful as I am very impressed by your work with residents. Here is my website http://www.debbiehumphry.com which will tell you more about me. Happy to talk. Best wishes, Debbie

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