- The Walterton & Elgin Estates are located in the London Borough of Westminster. In 1985 the local authority decided to sell them off to private developers - without consulting, or even informing residents.
- Residents responded by forming the Walterton and Elgin Action Group (WEAG), organising protests, and drawing up their own plan to save the homes of local people in need of rented housing
- Following the enactment of Tenants Choice in 1988, WEAG worked with Paddington Churches Housing Association to secure registration as a housing association in 1991. Westminster Council subsequently transferred 921 homes to the new community owned WECH in 1992 with a dowry of £22 million to compensate for the disrepair
- Following demolition of the two asbestos-ridden tower blocks and the merging of many one bedroom flats to create family homes, WECH now owns 640 homes (489 terraced housing on the Walterton Estate and 151 post war homes on the Elgin Estate)
- WECH has a turnover of £3.5 million a year, employs 13 staff and manages a portfolio with a vacant possession value of around £400 million. On a 56% sample, the resident satisfaction rate was 97%.
- WECH is currently undertaking a £17 million scheme on its land on the Elgin Estate to build 43 new homes – all for social rent – along with a new office, hall and under-fives facility, all with twice the space. This is the single largest CLT social rented scheme in England
- Community ownership can deliver large scale, high quality housing at low rents along with a range of locally inspired and provided community services
- Community ownership also provides long-term security and a framework in which neighbourliness and community spirit can thrive, with the attendant benefits of greater self-sufficiency and fewer demands on state resources
- As a tenant controlled organisation WECH has not shied away from raising its rents above inflation nor from going on to build new homes for people in housing need outside of their community
- WECH’s 2017 AGM was attended by 127 residents from 19% of all households. The Members elected the Board, received the accounts and appointed the Auditors
Published in March 2018