Tenants First Annual Report published

The 2008-09 Annual Report of Tenants First Housing Co-operative, Britain’s largest housing co-operative, has been published.

The report presents details of the housing co-operative’s operations in 2008-09, with a particular focus on its quest to develop affordable ‘zero-carbon homes’.

As usual with the Tenants First report, there is a strong focus also on people. The interview that made the most impression on me when writing this year’s report was speaking with George “Dutch” Holland.

Sitting in his living room in one of Tenants First’s sheltered housing developments, George recounted his amazing story about his time in the prisoner of war camp in what is now Thailand. George, and his comrades in the Royal Army Medical Corps, worked miracles in cramped and filthy conditions to save the lives of many prisoners of war.

His is the real graphic story of the Bridge on the River Kwai and it is clear that it bears little resemblance to the sanitised version produced by Hollywood.

Tenants First is Britain’s largest housing co-operative. It has more than 1,300 properties in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus and Glasgow.

It is one of 4,753 co-operatives across the UK. Jointly they sustain more than 237,000 jobs and contribute £27.4 billion turnover to the UK economy. In the UK 10.8 million people (one in five of the population) is a member of a co-operative.

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