There’s been a lot going on for Mary Ann Johnson Housing co-operative recently, including buying a new property for the co-op which we hope to complete on in the next few days, plus two new members and their children joining and giving us much needed energy. We’ve been pretty bad at keeping our old website updated during the last few years and letting our funders know what we are getting up to, but with the launch of this new website we hope to change all that.
We’ve moved all our details and content over here ready for a fresh start, and will be keeping this site updated so be sure to refresh your links and bookmarks and don’t miss out!
Over the last eight years we have somehow managed to buy two houses in London to securely house most of our members. Buying one in London seemed hard enough, but managing to get the second seemed at times like an impossible dream. And we are really grateful everyone that helped us to make that dream come true. But, although nine of us are now securely housed we still have one member who is in insecure rented accommodation. Worse than that, we have just heard that the landlord where they live is now selling the house, so within two or three months our last insecurely housed member will likely be homeless.
Well the end of 2015 saw an exciting new development for MAJ – we bought a new property! A house with a one bedroom flat downstairs and a two bedroom flat upstairs near the Spurs ground in Tottenham… in fact as I write this I can hear the singing cheering Spurs fans which I am guessing means they won.
We completed in late November 2015 and three of us moved in by mid December, and as it was a real fixer-upper the place was a bit of a building site. Downstairs had no bathroom and upstairs had no kitchen (or kitchen floor) so for about two and a half weeks the day would start early with drilling, plastering, walls going up, cabinets being hung, great big holes being made for great big pipes and one co-op member up on the roof making it sound so that the constant rain wouldn’t drip on our heads as we slept.
What a palaver! But all the main work that was needed to make it habitable was done by Christmas and now those of us who live here are really loving the feeling of a secure roof over our heads for the first time. Oh, and having moved out of a completely unmodernised building, the joys of hot showers and central heating just can’t be appreciated enough.
This has been a major achievement for MAJ – we’ve been trying to get the rest of our members safely housed for years and it feels great to have three more of us under another MAJ owned roof. Thank you so much to all of those who have helped us with loanstock, gifts, advice and moral and practical support, without you this could not have happened and we are incredibly grateful. But we can’t rest on our laurels as we still have one member in a perilously vulnerable housing situation, plus more work needs to be done on the new house (some walls and doors still need putting in, and access to the garden for the top floor flat). More about that soon.
It’s nearly Hallowe’en and time for all you deadbeats to get re-animated… on the dancefloor! We’ll have live music from Loathesome Ways, The Wailing Banshees and The Kemistry to make your flesh creep, and DJs playing tunes you’ll be dying to dance to: from the Slits to the Supremes, from Manic Street Preachers to Michael Jackson. You’ll be thrilled you came. From 8pm til 3am. Entry is £5 waged / £3 concessions. All proceeds will go to Haringey Solidarity Group and Mary Ann Johnson Housing Co-operative.
Coming soon… the Zombie Disco MAJ benefit night! You can always support MAJ by donating or investing, but how about doing it by watching live bands, dressing up as a zombie, dancing to crypt kickin’ tunes and winning prizes for doing it? Save the date, Friday 25th October 8pm ’til 3 am at The Silver Bullet Bar, 5 Station Place, Finsbury Park (30 seconds from Finsbury Park Tube Station). Tickets on the door £5 waged £3.00 unwaged/low waged. It’s a no-brainer!