Over 100 residents met on 16th August to vote 107 against the proposed merger between their landlords Notting Hill Housing Trust and Genesis, with 0 votes for the merger and 3 abstentions. The combined HAs’ 170,000 residents live all over London and the south east.
The angry meeting heard how the HAs are in the merger for the money: the capacity to raise more loans to fund the building of more market-rate homes to put more profit in the pockets of top management and shareholders. Social housing is no longer on the agenda of either.
Because no tenants or residents have been invited to take part in a decision which threatens their rents, lease-holdings, security and a community culture built up over decades, the meeting decided to take things into their own hands. A volunteer committee will take action forward. Ideas include pressurizing sympathetic MPs, hitting the media – Radio London is already sympathetic – possible (but pricey) legal action and pickets of Notting Hill Housing and Genesis offices.
A further meeting will be organised for the end of August. Meanwhile, because NHH’s and Genesis’ so-called residents’ consultation period ends on 20th August, a letter will be sent immediately to both HAs specifying the depth and strength of unconditional opposition to the merger.
Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad, a Notting Hill Housing resident, promised her full support and information feed-in of social tenancies in her constituency.