Phoenix Community Housing is celebrating 10 years of being the first resident-owned and led housing association in London with a photography exhibition. The exhibition is currently on show at The Green Man, a community building for the Phoenix residents on Bromley Road.
The exhibition reflects the idea that Phoenix is a place where residents are able to do what they want and express themselves. The photographs capture residents going about their daily lives, including short quotes highlighting how Phoenix community housing has changed their lives for the better.
Phoenix Community Housing is a not-for-profit resident-led housing association based in south Lewisham. The association owns and manages more than 6,300 homes in the borough.
Mark Rowley, the Communications and Marketing Officer at Phoenix Community housing, told ELL: “Phoenix has achieved a number of things. I think there is a big focus on the quality of housing, one of the huge things they have achieved is getting all the homes up to the Decent [Homes] standard.
“Another thing is changing approach, making a place like the Green Man where people are welcome to come in and have their opinions heard. Nevertheless, resident leadership is the main achievement, people feel more invested, the residents are part of the board and the model makes them like the focal point as it works in partnership with them as opposed to doing things for them.”
Phoenix Community Housing runs on a model that is different from most housing associations. The model focuses on resident leadership; the residents who live or rent homes form the majority of the board and are part of the main decision making part of the organisation. Phoenix also has a community outreach programme where residents have a lot of involvement in what goes on in their area.
Local Bellingham Councillor Alan Hall has been part of the Phoenix Community Housing Board for the last 10 years. He said: “The strength of Phoenix Community Housing is that it is tenant led and co-operative. This allows Phoenix Community Housing to see the benefits of community development and social regeneration.
“Phoenix Community Housing went above the Decent Homes programme standards and finished this work early. That is why Phoenix Community Housing can pursue the Fellowship Inn project and Hazelhurst Court extra care complex. These are groundbreaking schemes transforming south Lewisham. I am very pleased to pay tribute to all those involved and play my part.”
The exhibition is open weekdays from November 17 to December 8 from 9am-4pm at The Green Man.