We buy and convert empty offices into homes for people!

First tenants for Battens Lane

In the first week of October, the first AEOB tenants will learn that they have a place to move into at the end of the year at Battens Lane.

This is good news, but the kind that comes with mixed feelings. It’s a landmark for our project, and we’re immensely pleased – and proud – that we’ve almost finished a building that is the first realisation of AEOB’s aims. This is when it gets real!

At the same time, the application process – a task which, (like everything else…) we were managing for the first time – brought home how bad the problem of finding affordable homes has become in our city. Choosing who will benefit from the few places we can offer this time felt a weighty responsibility. We thought long and hard about how to rate the applications, and how to treat everyone fairly if they were called for interview.

So we are very glad to have done the job; equally sad that we had to turn some people down. In the end, the interviews three of our board members conducted, together with evidence of acute housing need, were decisive. And the interviewers were unanimous about the six offers we have made, which have now been approved by the whole board.

That leaves some need unmet – as was always going to happen. But seeing the applications makes it clearer than ever why our project is needed, and inspires us to continue our efforts. There will be other AEOB projects after this one, we hope, and we’ll be reviewing our process when everything is signed and sealed to make sure we record what we’ve learned and can make the selection process run as smoothly as possible next time. It will never be painless, but we shall continue to work to make it as clear to everyone, and as fair, as we can.


Target - £900k
Actual - £628k

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