St Ann’s Redevelopment Trust (StART): Providing affordable homes

When two-thirds of St Ann’s Hospital in Haringey, North London was put up for sale to private housing developing, only 14% of those proposed new homes were classed as “affordable” – a term which the government define as being no more than 80% of the average local market rent. The development took little account of the needs of local people facing a severe housing crisis.

In response, a group of Haringey resident and workers have initiated a community-led and transparent process to provide genuinely affordable homes in the area. St Ann’s Redevelopment Trust (StART) aim to put local people in control of the development by creating genuinely affordable homes at a third of the median wages of people in the area.

To do so, they have set up a community land trust – a membership organisation of 350 people who live, work or have strong connections to Haringey. It aims to build 500 genuinely affordable homes on the hospital site currently up for development and will work closely with City Hall who have now purchased the site.

The StART development aims to create a vibrant and inclusive community around the site – a better place through community business. It will focus on creating green and sustainable spaces and promoting health and wellbeing through its design and working relationship with what remains of St Ann’s Hospital.

With the help of Power to Change’s Bright Ideas fund, StART could access a grant of £14,933 which will allow them to focus on developing organisational policies and procedures that will improve their community engagement, accountability and consultation practices. Equally, the Bright Ideas programme allowed StART to develop a business plan, revise its financial model and develop a prospectus for investors and funders.

Crucially, these new policies and business plans will be linked to an improved and robust Equalities and Diversity strategy to help ensure the Trust’s resilience with a diverse mix of people from the community as members and on the board.

The Bright Ideas grant has allowed us to reach out to new members. We developed a plan to involve young people in StART. The grant is helping us to continue to build our community and ensure it is more inclusive and welcoming.