When the words ‘housing’ and ‘London’ enter your mind we don’t often think of the word hero! Behind the rogue landlords, inflated house prices and the lack of affordable housing sits another breed of property expert!
‘THE SOCIAL LANDLORDS’
I was lucky enough to be invited for a guided tour of the wonderful place that is STOLL. Now, for those that are unaware of this charitable organisation that have been providing affordable and high quality housing to our Military community for over 100 years. They are situated slap bang in between Fulham Broadway and Chelsea FC, an affluent a location as any in the capital yet some of our most vulnerable Armed Forces veterans call this building home. Not really a building, more like a grand theatre, the entrance is magnificent and a place that also provides support, mentoring and guidance. This ethic helps develop independent people again. A fantastic example of this is the ‘The Veterans Kitchen’ which is attached to STOLL yet a business in its own right (if your in the area please do pop by for a drink and a sandwich, it does get very busy on match days though so arrive early).
Military housing in the capital certainly does not end there. Haig Housing are possibly the greatest example of how social housing should be done. 1500 properties across 50 locations, their largest being here in the capital – 270 homes in South London for individuals or families in need.
The word hero appears in my title, but this article is not what it seems. Hero is a term that spreads beyond STOLL and Haig. 100s of trusts and associations, providing 100s of 1000s of people with affordable, safe and quality housing that provides homes for children, elderly, vulnerable, homeless, Families escaping conflict and some for those that have hit hard times or need a little extra help.
From STOLL to Soho, Haig to Hammersmith, CO-OP to Quo Vadis, these social landlords and heroes allow many thousands to thrive in our Nations capital.