The Lockner Community Flat
Updated: Jan 13
As I am sure you know, the residents association has a "community flat" on Lockner at 23 Blandford Court (the flat on the corner at the end of Blandford Court). We have had this for as long as we can remember. The space has 2 toilets, a large meeting area with small kitchenette and seperate, smaller office room. You can see pictures of the interior here Historically it has been used for TRA meetings and community events, like art classes, film evenings and first aid courses.
Prior to the pandemic we used to hire the space out (while maintaining it for TRA meeting use) to a film company and the money raised in the TRA bank account went to subsidising community events like the Christmas Panto, Big Lunch, arts and crafts sessions etc (adding extras into the pot of the grant that we recieve for social events from the council twice a year).
More recently it has been sitting empty, but available for residents to use if they need a space to retreat to when working from home (although there has been very little uptake of this). Housing services at Hackney council have written to us with a proposal to take back the flat from TRA use and switch it back to a residential flat for housing, along with eleven other community flats with a similar set up on other Hackney estates. They are asking for feedback about this. They have provided a list of alternative places we could hold meetings and there is a small budget if we want to hire somewhere locally for this purpose; meetings are for 2 hours quarterly/four times a year. The committee members feel that given the housing shortage, and how little the community flat is used, this would be a fairer use of the space. However it does mean that any future TRA will not have the ability to make an income from the community flat in the future to generate money to bolster community events as we have enjoyed in the past. It is of note though that in order to do this we will need both ongoing permission from the council and someone within the TRA to have the time to organise and administer the hiring of the space (we currently do not have that capacity). I will send out a google form about this for feedback to both the Lockner email list and pop it onto the lockner WhatsApp group - if you feel strongly either way please take some time to fill it out.
EDIT: The council have since advised that we will NOT be permitted to hire out the flat again in the future to generate additional income for the association.