Branch Secretary :

One Housing Group: “Industry Disrupter”?

Holding leaders to account


The Chief Operative Officer of One Housing Group’ has written an Inside Housing article claiming to be an ‘industry disruptor.’ She acknowledges well publicised failings of the sector and claims that since she arrived at One Housing Group the organisation is putting “tenants at the heart of everything we do.”


Apparently, “Our teams on the frontline who work with our customers on a daily basis have become energised and re-motivated. Indeed, they are now the ones holding the business leaders (like myself) to account and making sure that the organisation delivers on the promises it makes to residents.” 


Specific examples


In over a thousand words Cheryl Brown finds no space is found for specific examples of change and judging by responses to the article received by Unite, front line workers and tenants are far from convinced.  From comments sent to us, they see it as self-promotion at best.


Staff are angered that management felt it would be ‘embarrassing’ to pay a Corona bonus and have followed up with a derisory 0.5% pay offer – in real terms a pay cut with RPI inflation currently standing at 2.9%.  What is more, workers are now threatened with redundancies. Cheryl Brown finds no space to mention this.


Turning a blind eye


Comments about “our excellent staff” lead staff to point to multiple cases of bullying and harassment of front line staff by managers.  In some cases, this has led to workers leaving the organisation.  Following truly outrageous treatment of a worker dealing with domestic violence Unite has been pressing OHG to establish a domestic violence policy for its staff. Even here OHG continues to fall behind other housing associations such as Peabody. Before claiming to be an industry disrupter it would be better to match minimum standards in the industry.


Last year Unite was forced to write to the OHG board to correct false information given to local MP Apsana Begum by the author of this Inside Housing article. She had informed the MP that Unite had not expressed concerns about health and safety when we had expressed very public concern at extremely serious safety issues. She also claimed that work at an OHG block, Phoenix Heights, had been completed on 31st October when problems continued long after that date.  Cheryl Brown writes, “turning a blind eye will never help our sector improve” but it is not clear to OHG staff or residents that she is taking her own advice.


Join Unite!


Responding to the article an OHG resident commented that One Housing launched their "Customer First" strategy on the 1st of April 2021 and this only too appropriate!  While OHG’s workers have been organising in Unite tenant and resident organisations, grouped around SHAC have been campaigning – often around similar issues.


If you are a One Housing group worker and want to fight for decent pay and working conditions, and an end to bullying, you need to join Unite today if you haven’t already done so. If you live in a OHG property you can contact tenant and resident groups via SHAC.


May 28th 2021



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