Peabody Trust

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Peabody Square on Blackfriars Road, Southwark, is a typical example of an early Peabody estate, and of pre-World War I social housing in London in general.
Peabody Trust housing on Marshalsea Road in Southwark.

The Peabody Trust was founded in 1862 as the Peabody Donation Fund and now brands itself simply as Peabody.[1] It is one of London's oldest and largest housing associations with over 100,000 homes across London and the home counties.[2] It is also a community benefit society and urban regeneration agency, with a focus on placemaking, stewardship and a provider of an extensive range of community programmes.


The Peabody Trust estate in Horseferry Road.

The Trust was founded in 1862 by London-based American banker George Peabody, who in the 1850s had developed a great affection for London, and determined to make a charitable gift to benefit it. His initial ideas included a system of drinking fountains (comparable to the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association scheme actually set up by Samuel Gurney and Edward Thomas Wakefield in 1859), or a contribution to the "ragged schools" of the Earl of Shaftesbury. In March 1859, however, he settled on establishing a model dwellings company. Three years later, in a letter to The Times on 26 March 1862, he launched the Peabody Donation Fund, with an initial gift of £150,000. The aim of the organisation, he said, would be to "ameliorate the condition of the poor and needy of this great metropolis, and to promote their comfort and happiness". The paper reported, "We have today to announce an act of beneficence unexampled in its largeness and in the time and manner of the gift".[3] Shortly before his death in 1869, Peabody increased his gift to £500,000.[4]

The Peabody Trust was later constituted by Act of Parliament, stipulating its objectives to work solely within London for the relief of poverty. This was to be expressed through the provision of model dwellings for the capital's poor.

The first block of Peabody dwellings in Commercial Street, Spitalfields. A wood-engraving published in the Illustrated London News in 1863, shortly before the building opened.

The first block, designed by H. A. Darbishire in a red-brick Jacobethan style, opened in Commercial Street, Spitalfields, on 29 February 1864. It cost £22,000 to build, and contained 57 "dwellings" (i.e. flats) for the poor, nine shops with accommodation for the shopkeepers, and baths and laundry facilities on the upper floor. Water-closets were grouped in pairs by the staircases, with one shared between every two flats.[5][6][7][8] This first block was followed by larger estates in Islington, Poplar, Shadwell, Chelsea, Westminster, Bermondsey, and elsewhere. By 1882 the Trust housed more than 14,600 people in 3,500 dwellings. By 1939 it owned more than 8,000 dwellings.

In its early days, the Trust imposed strict rules to ensure that its tenants were of good moral character. Rents were to be paid weekly and punctually; there was a night-time curfew and a set of moral standards to be adhered to; and the dwellings could not be used for certain trades.

Current mission[edit]

Peabody states that in pursuit of its mission it will: "help people flourish by providing great homes and services and making a positive impact in communities." Its stated values are: "Do the right thing; pull together: be kind; celebrate diversity; love new ideas; and keep our promises".[citation needed]

Thamesmead regeneration[edit]

Peabody is leading the regeneration of Thamesmead, Abbey Wood and Plumstead in South-East London. The Group worked with the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the London Borough of Bexley to successfully bid for Greater London Authority housing zone status, which led to a c£80 million investment.

As well as providing thousands of new homes in the area, Peabody says it will provide firm foundations for Thamesmead's long term, sustainable rejuvenation by investing in existing homes, infrastructure and services to improve the quality of life for existing residents. Going beyond "bricks and mortar", Peabody says its work with partners will enhance employment, enterprise, cultural, social and leisure opportunities for people which is supported by socio-economic outputs locally.[9]

Thamesmead and the surrounding area is a major growth and opportunity area for London. Crossrail opened at nearby Abbey Wood in 2022 and Peabody has said it will capitalise on this, ensuring the right amenities, infrastructure and transport connections are available for the long term sustainability of the area.

Peabody Group[edit]

In 2014, Gallions, Trust Thamesmead and Tilfen Land became part of the Peabody Group. The Peabody Group now comprises two housing associations, Peabody and Gallions, and a number of trading companies.[1]

In July 2017, Peabody merged with Family Mosaic housing association under the "Peabody" name.[10]

On 1 April 2022 Catalyst Housing became a subsidiary of Peabody Trust and was fully integrated in April 2023. The new Peabody Group is responsible for over 104,000 homes and around 220,000 customers across London and the home counties. [11]


Housing associations borrow money to pay for new homes and improvements. In March 2011, Peabody raised £200 million on a corporate bond, at a rate among the best secured by a housing association borrowing in its own name.[12] In 2013 it issued a public bond for £350 million.[13] In 2020 it played a leading role in creating the Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing. In 2022 it issued its first £350m Sustainable Bond and in 2023 published a report detailing the projects it spent the money on. [14]

Peabody funded the launch of RTM FM community radio station based in Thamesmead along with Thamesmead Arts and Culture Office (TACO), That SP Studios, and Sam Skinner.[15][16]

Family Mosaic[edit]

Family Mosaic
TypeHousing association
  • Head office: 20 Albion House, Queen Elizabeth Street, London, SE1 2RJ
Area served
London, Essex and South East England
Key people
Brendan Sarsfield (Chief Executive)[17]
Turnover £230m (2015)[17]
Over 2000[18]

Prior to its merger with Peabody, Family Mosaic was a housing association in the United Kingdom.[19][20] It had over 25,000 homes housing over 45,000 people[21] and was one of the largest housing providers in London, Essex and the South East of England.[22][21] Family Mosaic also provided care and support services to over 8,000 people.[23]

Family Mosaic worked with young people, helping them into work and promoting better health.[24][25]

In addition to offering specialist housing for people with support needs and social housing for general needs tenants, a third strand of Family Mosaic was its role in assisting people to get onto the property ladder through leasehold shared ownership properties. In April 2017, Family Mosaic announced that it would be launching a 111 home development for private rental tenants.[26]

Family Mosaic also ran employment training courses and activity groups for its residents.[27] It also offered welfare benefits advice.

Family Mosaic was a member of the G15 group of housing associations in London.[28] In July 2017 Family Mosaic merged with Peabody Trust housing association under the "Peabody" name.[10]



In 2012, Family Mosaic was paid an out of court settlement by Haringey London Borough Council because of the council's failure to pay additional costs of over £108,000 for two care home residents.[30] A number of complaints have been made against Family Mosaic in the national and local press, including heating being cut-off for five months of the year,[31] a ceiling collapsing,[32] poor administration at one of its care homes,[33] and a rodent infestation.[34][35][36] In 2014, Family Mosaic took the unusual step of apologising to its tenants after a malfunctioning computer system led to an increase in complaints about its repairs service.[37]

Catalyst Housing[edit]

Catalyst Housing is a housing association operating in London and the south-east of England. On 1 April 2022 Catalyst became a subsidiary of The Peabody Trust. The intention is to move to full integration by April 2023. Once complete, the new Peabody Group will be responsible for 104,000 homes and around 220,000 customers across London and the home counties.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Peabody report and financial statements 2009 Archived 21 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Peabody, UK.
  2. ^ "Peabody to acquire South East-based housing association". Inside Housing.
  3. ^ "Unprecedented Munificence" and untitled leader article, The Times, 26 March 1862, p. 9.
  4. ^ "News story, Peabody website". Archived from the original on 25 January 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
  5. ^ Bezodis, P. A.; Ison, W. (1957). "Commercial Street". Spitalfields and Mile End New Town. Survey of London. Vol. 27. London: London County Council. pp. 256–64.
  6. ^ "Peabody dwellings for the poor, Spitalfield, London". Illustrated London News. 18 July 1863. p. 73.
  7. ^ "Mr Peabody's Gift". The Times. 1 February 1864. p. 5.
  8. ^ The block was sold by the Trust in the late 1970s, being considerably smaller than most of the later estates and outdated in its facilities. However, it still stands, and is now a private residential block named The Cloisters.
  9. ^ "Thamesmead - Peabody - News, events & plans - Peabody". Peabody.
  10. ^ a b Tom Knowles (4 July 2017). "Peabody Trust merges with Family Mosaic in £6 billion deal". The Times. Times Newspapers. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Peabody and Catalyst complete merger". Catalyst Housing Limited. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  12. ^ Peabody issues £200m bond, Inside Housing, UK, 11 March 2011.
  13. ^ "Inside Housing magazine - Peabody strikes £350m bond deal". Archived from the original on 13 January 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  14. ^ ""Peabody website" - sustainable bond impact report" (PDF). Peabody website.
  15. ^ Skinner, Sam. "Sam Skinner —". Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  16. ^ Emily, Hennings. "New radio station in Thamesmead will be a 'positive cultural force for the local community'". News Shopper. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  17. ^ a b "StackPath" (PDF).
  18. ^ "Our business – Family Mosaic". Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  19. ^ Imrie, Rob; Lees, Loretta (24 September 2014). Sustainable London?: The future of a global city. Policy Press. pp. 157–. ISBN 978-1-4473-1060-0.
  20. ^ "EIB lines up a further £580m in association loans". Archived from the original on 10 June 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  21. ^ a b "About us – Family Mosaic". Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  22. ^ "StackPath".
  23. ^ "Care and Support Services – Family Mosaic". Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  24. ^ "Young people construct own homes". BBC News. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  25. ^ "Young parents make DVD to highlight danger of chlamydia". BBC News. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  26. ^ "London association to launch PRS vehicle with 111-home scheme - News - Inside Housing". Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  27. ^ "Family Mosaic announce new service arrangements". 9 April 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2016.[permanent dead link]
  28. ^ Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Communities and Local Government Committee (23 March 2010). Beyond decent homes: fourth report of session 2009-10, Vol. 2: Oral and written evidence. The Stationery Office. pp. 90–. ISBN 978-0-215-54497-1.
  29. ^ a b "About us". Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  30. ^ "Family Mosaic wins care payout - News - Inside Housing". Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  31. ^ Lunn, Emma (3 October 2014). "Housing association residents 'cut off from heating five months of the year'". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  32. ^ "'Ignored' Family Mosaic tenant hurt in ceiling collapse – BBC News". BBC News. 30 March 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  33. ^ "Family Mosaic home criticised by Care Quality Commission". Inside Housing. Archived from the original on 25 August 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  34. ^ "Rat infestation causes misery for housing association tenants". Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  35. ^ Hopps, Kat (8 June 2016). "Stratford families 'annoyed' with housing association employees for taking their parking bays". Newham Recorder. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  36. ^ "'My whole flat smells like a dirty, wet towel because of damp' says mum". Southwark News. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  37. ^ "Landlord apologises over repairs service". Inside Housing. Retrieved 29 April 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • Davidovici, Irina (2017). "Renewable principles in Henry Astley Darbishire's Peabody estates, 1864 to 1885". In Guillery, Peter; Kroll, David (eds.). Mobilising Housing Histories: learning from London's past. London: RIBA Publishing. pp. 57–73. ISBN 9781859466315.
  • Parker, Franklin (1995). George Peabody: a biography (2nd ed.). Nashville & London.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  • Wagg, Christine; McHugh, James (2017). Homes for London: the Peabody story. London: Peabody. ISBN 9781527205475.

External links[edit]

External links[edit]