Community-Led housing in the UK
Learning from Black British and migrant histories
Claude Hendrickson and Melissa Fernández Arrigoitia
Keywords: Collaborative housing, migration, refugees, cohousing, housing histories, construction skills, race
How might Collaborative Housing be a space that creates support and opportunities for precarious migrants, or refugees? Where examples or initiatives do exist, what kinds of challenges, barriers and -indeed- opportunities may there be for developing stronger links? This conversation is an edited summary of a video interview between Melissa Fernández Arrigoitia and Claude Hendrickson, as part of the Migration and Collaborative Housing (MICOLL) project. Speaking about his life’s work in the community-led sector in Leeds in particular, Claude shows us how there are cycles to the migrant story that are repeating themselves today in the UK, but also opening towards more hopeful spaces of opportunity. Tracing the movement from the riots of the late 1970s and early 1980s, and the first Black Housing Associations to the Community Self Build Agency and, more recently, Community Housing hubs, his experience shows how community housing work across the UK is slowly moving towards more intersectional approaches that can, in many cases, challenge mainstream views towards migrants.