The East End Preservation Society’s C. R. Ashbee Memorial Lecture for 2017: Hope in the Housing Crisis


An inspiring and stimulating presentation characterized by radical innovation and initiatives dedicated to providing humane responses for the capital’s ever-deepening housing crisis. The East End Preservation Society’s C. R. Ashbee Memorial Lecture for 2017: Hope in the Housing Crisis, held at the historic Shoreditch Church, showcased three sustainably idiosyncratic, ‘grassroots’ communal concepts and pragmatic models which may potentially become active answers to questions that lie at the heart of London’s housing crisis. Summarily described below are the ethos of the three organizations behind the dynamic and remedial schemes, that builds a framework for this heated topic with necessary sounds of urgency and imminent change.


 Older Women’s Cohousing Community (OWCH)

The OWCH were winners of an award for the twenty-five-apartment communal-development for woman aged fifty and above, located within the borough of Barnet, emphasizing the necessity to maintain self-independency and cultivate shared spaces and strength amongst elderly woman.

“We are a group of twenty or so women, almost all of whom live alone. We come from a variety of backgrounds and cultures and our ages range from the mid-fifties to around eighty. Although we are all very different and have our own particular interests, family connections, work – some of us are still working – or health difficulties or disabilities, what we all share is a determination to stay as self-dependent and active as we can as we get older.”


Naked House

Creating minimalist spaces for diverse tenants to uniquely influence and manipulate their own private habitats, Naked House is building twenty-two homes in Enfield that is devoid of segregating room partitions and obstacles that in essence minimizes construction costs and effectively provides economically friendly dwelling spaces.

“Naked House is a not-for-profit housing developer. We build genuinely affordable homes for people on modest incomes. Our multi-award winning approach strips back design to the bare essentials creating homes that are yours to make.”


Rural Urban Synthesis Society

A synthesis between sustainability, community and affordable self-build homes, this member-led Community Land Trust is developing thirty-three high quality homes in Lewisham that embrace a centrally shared communal space. The model advocated is one of aesthetical beauty, low-energy consumption, self-governance, and community stimulation within regenerated vacant sites.

“The Rural Urban Synthesis Society (RUSS) is a members-led Community Land Trust based in South London, founded in 2009 with the aim of creating sustainable community-led neighbourhoods and truly affordable homes right across London. We have a busy calendar of events led by our 600+ members and an ambitious development plan. Our mission is to reduce our communities’ dependence on fossil fuels, increase food security, encourage bio-diversity and provide affordable housing for Londoners.”


by H. Tailor (HUB Architect)