I attended a meeting at the Glasshouse yesterday, whereby a consultant provided an overview of the options that are available to manage the Glasshouse. Funding was a hotly debated issue and it is more and more apparent that funders do not want to fund organisations that are not legal entities as those organizations, also called non-incorporated organisations cannot be sued. Therefore these days, if you want to take out a small grant, you are made responsible as an individual and many are not prepared to sign their live away for the sake of £500 worth of community funding.
There are a variety of options, which will be discussed at the next TRA meeting on 30 March 2011 at the glasshouse, which are only an option for residents on this estate. The possibility of a purchase under the ‘Community Right to Buy scheme’, that is guaranteed to become law is a possibility. 5% of the residents must commit themselves wanting to buy the venue. How viable that is, will be a matter for closer scrutiny but the outlook is overall good.
The current limbo we are in is that the building is owned by London Borough of Tower Hamlets, and leased to Tower Hamlets Homes, who lease it on to Community Organisations, on a commercial basis. Basic community grant funding is now only available every 3 years and there is another year to go before the Glasshouse can apply for this. There are a variety of other options available to get funding and income for the Glasshouse, that have to be discussed. There are options to work with Tower Hamlets Homes or go it alone, yet the most important point is the contractual right to use building on a permanent basis. The possibility exists that Lutfur Rahman gets his way and back-re-integrates ALMO housing with Tower Hamlets council, which will jeopardise contractual agreements now in place with Tower Hamlets Homes. LBTH reached 4-star service status whilst THH only just reached 2-star status.
Maybe a work group can be set up for that purpose.