In the late eighties and early nineties, the Godwin and Crowndale estate was regularly patrolled by police on horseback. Residents were terrorised by drug dealers and gangs of youths setting fire to cars. Fed up that things had got so out of hand, one resident, Helen, began researching how the community could take control of their environment.
She heard of an estate nearby where residents were setting up a co-operative to take management into their own hands and invited them down to speak to her neighbours in Godwin and Crowndale Courts. In 1992 the Godwin and Crowndale Tenant Management Co-operative (TMC) Board was formed and, after several rounds of door knocking and a ballot of residents, took over the management and maintenance of their estates from the council in 1994, the same year that legislation passed giving council tenants in England and Wales the right to do so.
“We took control where there was no control before”, says Lola, current Chair. “And it worked.”
As of 2019, Godwin and Crowndale is a thriving multicultural community, managed by a Board of residents as diverse as their neighbours and with staff on site who know and understand the community and buildings they work in. When anti-social behaviour threatened to rear its ugly head again in 2018, the community had the powers and the budget to get it under control quickly and effectively.