Where we began
Metropolitan’s roots are in the 1950’s, when Lady Molly Huggins started the Metropolitan Coloured People’s Housing Association to provide good quality, affordable housing for immigrants from the West Indies. In 1963, we were formally established as a housing association.
Find out about some of the key points over our history:
1950’s – Our heritage of housing migrant communities
Lady Molly Huggins, wife of the Governor of Jamaica, set up the Metropolitan Coloured People’s Housing Association to provide housing for Jamaican and West Indian immigrants. Lady Molly first explored the London suburbs of Tottenham and Brixton as suitable neighbourhoods to provide quality, low-cost housing.
1960s – Spread to the Midlands
In 1963 Metropolitan Housing Trust (MHT) was formally established as a housing association. By 1968, we had 200 homes in management and 560 in development, were developing co-ownership schemes in the East Midlands and buying run-down street properties in Lambeth and Haringey for renovation.
MHT continued to grow rapidly while still concentrating on London and the East Midlands. We led the way in improvement work and joint schemes with local authorities. The Ransom Road Estate in Nottingham, one of the largest housing association developments to be funded by the Housing Corporation, was completed in 1979.
In 1981 Metropolitan Home Ownership (MHO) was established to develop low-cost shared ownership schemes, helping people with aspirations of home ownership get onto the housing ladder by buying a share of their home. Since then we have become one of the largest providers of shared-ownership associations in the country.
In 1988, the Government transferred the responsibilities of developing social housing to housing associations. We took up the challenge and were one of the first associations to use our new powers under the 1988 Housing Act to raise private money on the stock exchange, making the best use of the public grants available.
By 1990 we had grown considerably, with 6,500 homes in management and 550 in development. In 1991 our Haringey care and repair project was set up to enable elderly and disabled people to remain in their homes. In 1993, we delivered our largest ever development programme of 750 homes for rent and shared ownership, and in 1997 Refugee Housing Association joined the group.
We ended the century working to regenerate six large, run-down housing estates in London.
2000’s – Growth
The new century saw a new approach to resident participation and scrutiny with the development of the National Residents Group, who work with staff and board members to develop policies.
We also began a period of growth and mergers. In 2002, our care and support activities were amalgamated into a new organisation called StepForward and, in the Midlands, Nottingham’s Rushcliffe Homes joined the Partnership.
By 2005, Granta Housing Society joined the newly re-branded Metropolitan Housing Partnership and we were selected to progress the housing element of the regeneration of Clapham Park in Lambeth, South London.
In 2007, Walbrook Housing Group, MHT Midlands and Rushcliffe Homes joined together to form Spirita. Threshold Support was welcomed into MHP, joining StepForward and Refugee Housing Association to form a single care and support organisation called Metropolitan Support Trust.
In April 2008, the north and south regions of Metropolitan Housing Trust came together to create MHT London.
2010’s – Moving to Metropolitan
Residents of the Ashmole estate in Lambeth voted ‘yes’ to transferring to us from Lambeth council in March 2010, with regeneration works beginning soon after.
Metropolitan’s Migration Foundation was also formed in 2010, using a legacy from Refugee Housing Association and drawing on our understanding of the challenges facing migrant communities to support initiatives which enable migrants play an active role in improving conditions for themselves and the communities they live in.
In 2011, we also entered a period of change to improve our services and provide our customers with value for money. As part of this we have begun reducing the number of companies within our structure and launched our new brand name of Metropolitan in April 2012.