Ash-Shahada Housing Association (ASHA) was established as a Muslim-led housing association, the first of its kind to be established in the UK in 1989. As a registered social landlord, ASHA has been providing housing in hostels, flats and houses in the prestigious London Boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. Although established as a faith led RP it operates as a generic organisation whose Board, tenants and staff represent diverse faiths and communities. Our services are provided regardless of race, colour or religious orientation.
ASHA was set up in 1987 as a co-operative. The Association was incorporated as an Industrial and Provident Society in June 1988. Ash-Shahada then rapidly expanded its stock to around 400 shortlife bed spaces in four boroughs including Brent and Barnet. ASHA registered with the Housing Corporation in March 1991. It has now handed back or bought and redeveloped most of its short life properties. Currently, ASHA has 149 general needs homes and 51 hostel bed spaces. We provide housing in the London Boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. We have absorbed properties from other registered providers and continue to keep them within our portfolio. Sheltered accommodation schemes for mature tenants/over 55 at ASHA properties have been running for 10+ years. Distinct in the sector, ASHA owns a large majority of its properties and has a portfolio of flats and houses. ASHA aims to enter the supported accommodation and supported living arena in the near future.
ASHA saw an emerging trend of vulnerable people being left without homes because of their status and embarked on a unique journey to create a special partnership between ASHA, a Muslim led organisation, and a Methodist Church, to tackle the problem of housing for vulnerable people.
ASHA acquired a leased building termed as a hostel, to provide single dwelling spaces for people of all backgrounds who were unable to get access to safe homes. ASHA continues to look for partnerships that can help alleviate the housing crisis and provide society with unique solutions. ASHA has maintained a social welfare ethos by engaging in programmes that better its tenants and society at large, such as employability enhancement, lifelong learning, political engagement, faith inclusion and dialogue.
Our plans for growth focus around supported accommodation, especially in the Midlands. We have currently registered around 260 units through various providers. I am leading the supported accommodation project and over the next 6 months or so, ASHA should have between 400-500 units under its wing, meeting the supported accommodation need in the Midlands area.
We in the process of strengthening the organisation ensuring that we are robust in meeting our regulatory requirements and tenant satisfaction. We have new board members and an invigorated management team to expand ASHA’s foot print. I am sure that ASHA and District can work together in the near future.
To provide decent and affordable social housing and Housing Plus services in an effective, efficient and responsive manner, to meet the needs of Muslims and other ethnic minorities in our local communities.
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