Consultation on Changes to EastendHomes’ Mem & Arts

Articles-cover_w270x250In the absence of any information on this from EeH, its website having been down for the past month due to a “data” issue.

Here are some comments and queries. EeH’ current Articles end with a two page section on:

DEVOLUTION AND COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT

Article 59. In accordance with EeH’ (the Community Trust’s) purpose, EeH (the Community Trust) will at all times have in place and operate the following:
1) a strategy and programme to secure the widest possible community involvement in EeH (the Community Trust)
2) a strategy and programme for community development, training and communication for the purpose of the following articles;
3) a procedure for Local Estates (Local Community Areas) to communicate their wishes and aspirations

Article 60. (If local devolved management of an Estate (a Local Community Area) is desired, this shall be through the establishment of a Local Community Trust which shall have a constitution approved by EeH (the Community Trust) and which shall accede to the Intragroup Agreement on terms agreed by EeH (the Community Trust.)

It looks very much as though EeH’ Constitution accords residents the right to ‘self determination’ in a similar sense to that in International Law and the Convention on Human Rights

Cf Woodrow Wilson with his famous self-determination speech on 11 February 1918

“National aspirations must be respected; people may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent.  Self determination is not a mere phrase; it is an imperative principle of action……”

By failing to put in place any of the required programmes, strategies and procedures to fulfill its obligations, both to residents and Tower Hamlets Council, with respect to devolution and community empowerment, it looks very much as though EeH has acted in breach of its Mem & Arts and has violated residents’ rights under its constitution.

What is going on? Why has EeH Board acted in breach of EeH’ Mem & Arts? Why has the Council allowed this to happen? And what does the Council intend to do about it now?

3 Comments

    • Well, this is interesting, because here’s another thing. The changes to EeH’ Mem & Arts simply delete all reference to devolution and community empowerment. And all reference to ‘local community trusts’, which provide the mechanism for residents to take over running their own estates.
      And get this – currently, EeH can even transfer ownership of an estate, lock, stock and barrel, to a local housing trust, which residents have set up to be run under their control.
      Now why would EeH want to change all this? Are they thinking about what would be good for residents? Or what would be good for them?
      Because the whole picture has got pretty complicated now – EeH has borrowed lots of money from Barclays Bank on the basis that it collects all its tenants’ rents and therefore has the wherewithal to repay the loan. If a local community housing trust took over management of an estate, the rents would be collected by the local community housing trust.
      So EeH would have to rely on the local housing trust to be able to pay back its share of the loan from Barclays. And if full ownership of an estate was transferred to a local housing trust, and it defaulted on the loan, what would happen then? How would Barclays Bank ensure it got its money back? The loan is not secured against the housing stock.
      Do you suppose Barclays Bank knew all this when they agreed to loan EeH the money they asked for? And if this wasn’t entirely clear to Barclays Bank, would this go some way to explaining why EeH is so agressively defensive when it comes to answering questions about the terms of its governing instruments and company registration?

      • If I have understood EEH accounts correctly they also value all the properties with vacant possession whilst they have secure tenants (or leaseholders) which would reduce significantly the open market value of the properties. All is not what it seems.

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