It all started over a glass of wine. Not any ordinary glass or wine, but a glass of wine in a large guardian property in Plaistow, East London.
As you may, or may not be aware, there is a huge housing crisis in London. One of the founding member's friends is paying £900 a month for a room, in a house share with three other people, in a property that use to be a one bedroom flat. Madness!
Over forty people found sanctuary in a dis-used council homeless shelter, in a building that use to be a small hospital. However, being a property guardian is a precarious business, and you could be made homeless, at the drop of a hat, with only four weeks notice.
Well, back to the wine, or was it rum, in fact it was both!
During an impromptu glass of wine three of our members, Adrian, Bob and Helen (names have been changed to protect the guilty!). Helen and Bob said, "You know we really want to stay here, but at any point we could get thrown out".
Adrian said, "No fear, before landing here I tried to get into a housing co-operative. We can all band together and buy this building".
Adrian looked into it and that was the start. A few days later, there was an impromptu party in the lounge (nice place, huh?) and Adrian was there. Now this was the end of the party, and he asked people if they wanted to stay and they all said YES!
Adrian contacted the building owner, and unfortunately the building is not for sale.
This is where you enter the story...
The co-op is now looking for our very own 'Emerald City'. A large building where we can house our members. This could be an empty building, in between uses, and we could take it over, on a temporary basis and provide much needed housing in London. It could be several buildings. If you see any place that might be suitable please let us know.
Our ethos, is to build a shared community of real people which has a heart, courage and intellect (sorry, can't enough of the Wizard of Oz). What it takes, is for some brave individuals to take the Yellow Brick Road.