Today’s Group is the result of a number of different housing associations coming together – all sharing a common cause of providing quality, affordable housing with a social purpose. Below is a snapshot of our journey.
In post-World War II Britain housing was in severe crisis. In 1947 British Airways decides to relieve housing pressure for staff by forming the British Airways Staff Housing Society.
Housing development in the UK focuses on new, high-rise tower blocks but many are poorly designed and built. In 1968 Ronan House in London collapses just two months after residents move in. The disaster helps to convince a group of young professionals, led by chairman Kenneth Baker MP and subsequently George Young MP, to set up Acton Housing Association – a fair-rent, non-profit organisation building quality housing.
As house prices double in the early part of the decade, Acton’s first social housing schemes, Baker House in Ealing and Monk’s Court in Shepherd’s Bush, are completed. Both are low-rise, medium density, and contain the new concept of spacious ‘gardens in the sky’.
The government introduce Right to Buy enabling social tenants to purchase their homes at an affordable price. British Airways Staff Housing Society purchases Airways Housing Trust, and in 1987 Airways Housing Society is formed, beginning the organisation’s diversification into the wider social housing sector. In 1989 a charitable housing association, Winchester Housing Group, is established to provide affordable housing to people in Hampshire.
As record numbers of people have their homes repossessed, the need for social housing is as pressing as ever. Spelthorne Housing Association is formed in 1996, following the transfer of properties from Spelthorne Borough Council. In just three years, Spelthorne grows to become Apex Housing Group, one of the most significant housing associations in the south east, owning and managing more than 5,000 properties.
Housebuilding falls to its lowest levels since the 1930s. In 2001 Airways Housing Society becomes Airways Housing Group, incorporating subsidiary social housing providers. Acton Housing Association and Cherwell Housing Trust merge to form Dominion Housing Group, managing over 10,000 affordable homes. At the same time, Optimum Housing, a joint venture between Acton Housing Association and Kelsey Housing Association, registers with the Housing Corporation as a specialist provider of key worker accommodation.
In 2005, Airways Housing Society merged with Apex Housing Group to become A2 Housing Group. Winchester Housing joins A2 a year later, giving the Group 15,000 homes. By 2008, A2 and Dominion merge, forming one of the UK’s largest housing groups, A2Dominion.
2010 – present day
To widen its market and maintain its affordable offering the Group introduces A Plus New Homes and the division is later rebranded to become A2Dominion New Homes.
In 2015, FABRICA by A2Dominion is launched. This is the Group's striking new brand for marketing its increasing portfolio of new-build homes for sale and shared ownership. Appealing to a wider audience base, FABRICA has helped the Group to grow its private development, profits from which are used to build more affordable housing.
During this time the Group sets up Pyramid Plus, a partnership with Breyer and MITIE, providing asset management services to their homes, as well as the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.
Today, A2Dominion Group has 37,248 homes across London and southern England. It employs 1,000 people across 60 offices and is one of the larger property groups in the UK, with more than 7,800 homes in the development pipeline. In 2016, the Group won Large Developer of the Year at the RESI Awards, a category often filled by a commercial property developer, and continues to win awards for its developments – homes that are built to last.