History of Mission Housing
In the 1940s, Roger and Ruth Dowley, members of East London Tabernacle (ELT) chose to live in East London as an area that was being rapidly redeveloped after the 2nd World War. They encouraged other Christians to move to the area as a way of ‘bringing good news to the poor’, facilitating authentic incarnational living and gospel witness and building up the work of mission in East End churches. They bought and sold property in the area with their own family money; this led to them setting up a housing association in 1965 to continue and expand the work through charitable donations and loans. They were called ‘Tower Hamlets Homes’ (THH) which is where they lived.
THH were helping young professionals move to London to support mission, and also helping local people who had become Christians through ELT with affordable housing.
The work continued and in the 1960s, Ted Roberts invited Roger Dowley to become the Chair of the newly formed Victoria Park Housing Association (VPHA) which had been set up to redevelop the site of St Mark’s, Old Ford with public money, and the name was changed to Victoria Park Homes 1965 (VPH65). In 1988 John and Dorothy Davies were concerned that even on a doctors salary they could not afford to live in London, and felt called to help meet the needs of key Christian workers to London churches being able to live and minister in the areas they were called to work. So with the advice of Roger Dowley and Adrian Greenwood, Amersham Housing Association Limited was created, named after a road in New Cross, SE London, where a property was purchased for rental. This later became Affordable Christian Housing Association Ltd (ACHAL). Judi Feasey (now our Operations Manager/Company Secretary) joined ACHAL in 1999.
The two organisations (ACHAL and VPH65) merged in 2014 to form Mission Housing to carry on the ministry of housing key Christian workers in areas in need of a Christian influence and to therefore support Christian mission and ministry across London.