Friday, 2 February 2018

Mary Ann Johnson (MAJ) housing co-op is looking for new members

MAJ is a housing co-operative based in Tottenham.  We currently own two houses, which provide homes to five of our members, as well as a resource space for Haringey Solidarity Group and other local groups.

We are currently looking for a new member (or members) to join.  We particularly want to encourage people with dependent children and people of colour (from black and minority ethnic backgrounds) to apply.

Below, there is more information about our co-op, what being a member involves and how to apply.  If you have any questions about applying or joining, please email us at


MAJ started in 1998, when a few people from Haringey Solidarity Group decided to try and buy somewhere for their members to live and also to have a space for an activist resource centre.  The idea was that the resource centre and having members securely and affordably housed in the borough would help HSG.  It took eight years to buy our first house and another 10 years to buy our second.

Our current housing situation

We presently have one member who is not securely housed and we have been fundraising to buy somewhere for them to live.  With the funds we have raised so far, there is a possibility that we will be able to buy an additional one or two-bedroom flat, to house someone else.  This is why we are looking for a new member to join MAJ.

What does membership involve?

All MAJ members need to agree to our primary and secondary rules and play a part in running the co-op.  This means attending co-op meetings (usually every 4-6 weeks) and taking on some tasks (e.g. admin or DIY).

We are members of:

·         Radical Routes (a national network for co-ops involved in social change); and

·         St Ann’s Redevelopment Trust, which is developing a community-led plan to ensure that land sold off by the local mental health trust continues to benefit the community, mainly through affordable and tenant-controlled housing.

We require MAJ members to take an active part in these projects, but the precise nature of that involvement varies from person to person.  Enthusiasm and willingness to learn are more important than expertise.

The new member would be involved in the decision-making process for the new home, and so would be expected to take an active part in house-hunting and any related fundraising.  We should add that because of the changing nature and the difficulties in the housing market we cannot say how long it will take to find somewhere, or whether we will be able to find somewhere at all.

Any prospective co-op member would also be expected to support the work of Haringey Solidarity Group or a community project or local group organising along similar lines (organising in the local area, and non-hierarchically).  The level of support could be as little or much as you have time for, and/or be active in some form of political activity.

We are keen for the co-op to have a diverse membership, reflecting the local community and bringing people of different ages together.  Therefore, we would particularly welcome applications from black and minority ethnic groups, and people with dependent children, because those people are particularly under-represented in our co-op at the moment.

How to apply

Please follow the link and read our Secondary Rules.  Then send an email to with answers to the following questions.  Alternatively, replies can be posted to us at: 22 Chester Road, London N17 6BY.

1.       Do you share our values (as set out in our Secondary Rules)?  If so how?

2.       Do you have an existing connection to Haringey?  What is it?

3.       Are you in housing need?  Are you able to access affordable housing?

4.       What is your involvement in activism or social change work?  By this we mean community activity and/or taking action to live out your values.

Your responses can be as short as you want, but should be no longer than one page of A4.

Please contact us if you have any questions.