Co-op History

Ewart Road Housing Co-operative was one of the first housing co-operatives to be formed in the London Borough of Lewisham.

When the GLC started building the Ewart Road Estate in 1978, it was intended from the outset that it should be run by the tenants themselves as a housing co-operative. Initially a Steering Committee was set up, and as the Ewart Road Estate was being built, two representatives from each completed block joined the committee. A constitution for the co-operative was drawn up and the co-op was officially registered on the 3rd December 1980. The Steering Committee then became the co-op’s first Management Committee.

Meanwhile an agreement under which the co-op would manage the houses for the GLC was also drawn up and submitted to the (then) Department of the Environment for approval. Under the original agreement, acceptance into membership of the co-op was a requirement of becoming a tenant, so that not only would all members be tenants, but also all tenants would be members. Approval for the agreement was granted in 1981. The estate was officially opened by HRH Princess Alexandra on the 14th October 1981.

In July 1983, the GLC’s housing stock was passed to the local boroughs. The co-op then came under the control of Lewisham Council.

In 2000, the co-op changed its status to that of a Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) acting as the managing agent of the Ewart Road Estate on behalf of Lewisham Council. This means that the co-op fulfils the Council’s duties regarding most of its housing management functions of the 253 flats and houses on the estate. In practice this means the co-op continues to run the estate on the same lines as it has done since the houses and flats were built.

photo:
Some topiary work in a corner of the estate