A2Dominion Group is the result of a number of different housing associations coming together – all sharing a common cause of providing high quality, affordable homes and services. Below is a snapshot of our journey.

A2Dominion Group is the result of a number of different housing associations coming together – all sharing a common cause of providing high quality, affordable homes and services. Below is a snapshot of our journey.


In post-World War II Britain, housing was in severe crisis. In 1947 British Airways decided to relieve housing pressure for staff by forming the British Airways Staff Housing Society.


Housing development in the UK focused on new, high-rise tower blocks but many were poorly designed and built. In 1968, Ronan House in London collapsed just two months after residents moved in. The disaster helped 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 doubled 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, were completed. Both were low-rise, medium density, and contained the new concept of spacious ‘gardens in the sky’.


The government introduced Right to Buy enabling social tenants to purchase their homes at an affordable price. British Airways Staff Housing Society purchased Airways Housing Trust, and in 1987, Airways Housing Society was formed, beginning the organisation’s diversification into the wider social housing sector. In 1989, a charitable housing association, Winchester Housing Group, was established to provide affordable housing to people in Hampshire.


As record numbers of people had their homes repossessed, the need for social housing was as pressing as ever. Spelthorne Housing Association was formed in 1996, following the transfer of properties from Spelthorne Borough Council. In just three years, Spelthorne grew 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 fell to its lowest levels since the 1930s. In 2001 Airways Housing Society became Airways Housing Group, incorporating subsidiary social housing providers. Acton Housing Association and Cherwell Housing Trust merged 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, registered 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 merged, forming one of the UK’s largest housing groups, A2Dominion.


To widen its market and maintain its affordable offering, the Group introduced A Plus New Homes, and the division is later rebranded to become A2Dominion New Homes.

In 2015, FABRICA by A2Dominion was launched. This was 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 helped the Group to grow its private development, profits from which are used to build more affordable housing.

During this time the Group set up Pyramid Plus, to provide asset management services to customers in their homes.

2020 – present day

In February 2020, A2Dominion was named Socially Responsible Corporate of the Year at the West London Business Awards. The prize recognised the business for its leadership in operating for the benefit of society at large.

During the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, we kept our services running and our housing teams made more than 9,000 wellbeing calls to our most vulnerable customers.

In October 2021, Darrell Mercer announced he would be stepping down as Chief Executive of the A2Dominion Group. Darrell was the longest serving housing CEO (based on research originally published by Inside Housing in 2018) after joining from Acton Housing Association in 1988. He officially left his position after 34 years in August 2022.

Ian Wardle was announced as Darrell’s successor in March 2022. Ian formally joined the Group as Chief Executive in September 2022 after leaving Thirteen Group, where he had been Chief Executive since 2016.

Today, A2Dominion Group has over 38,000 homes across London and southern England. It employs 1,141 people and is one of the larger property groups in the UK, with more than 1,748 homes in the development pipeline.

Acton’s first social housing scheme, Baker House in Ealing.