We are a group individuals from North London, most of whom are either on welfare benefits or low waged. To solve our joint housing problems, and to take control of this part of our own lives we set up a housing co-operative. We have so far been successful in buying two houses which we have converted into four flats plus one more flat, as well as converting the loft space of one building into a small office space for use by local community groups. Our original intention was to buy a disused factory or other large space to convert into housing, with a larger communal building and office space. However, this has not happened and instead we busied ourselves securing smaller properties and housing current members as and when we could.
The co-op came out of Haringey Solidarity Group (HSG) which is a non-aligned local campaigning group, and some members are still involved. With the MAJ loft conversion complete, HSG was one of the first local groups to take advantage of this space with the added security of not being at the mercy of an unsympathetic landlord should its activities conflict with the local council. The MAJ office houses a photocopier and other items that can be used more widely by campaigning groups in the area and become a general resource for the local community.