Walterton & Elgin Community Homes (WECH) is a successful resident-controlled housing association and Community Land Trust in Westminster.
In 1985 the Walterton & Elgin estate was threatened with being sold off to private developers. Residents were neither consulted nor informed. The Walterton & Elgin Action Group was formed in response. After various protests and petitions they used the Tenant Choice Provisions of the 1988 Housing Act to transfer ownership of the estate to the community, forming WECH and receiving 640 homes from the Council in 1992. WECH implemented extensive refurbishment and redevelopment soon after.
WECH recently completed 43 new infill homes on it’s own land – 12 for London Affordable Rent and 31 at London Living Rent levels – as well as a new community centre, nursery, offices, communal roof gardens, and improved play facilities and security. The new design process was carried out in collaboration with residents so the homes could meet individual needs, and make the most of new accommodation. Some of the work has involved adding additional floors to existing buildings, but residents have remained in their own homes, and WECH have minimised disruption throughout the building works. Keeping residents on board and invested in the process has minimised complaints and dissatisfaction.