Housing for single people threatened with destruction

This is Bernard Morgan House in the City of London and on the edge of Golden  Lane Estate.  It is an interesting building not so much for its appearance (which is pleasant but not show stopping) but for what its current situation represents.  It was built as a section house, a hostel for police officers working for the City of London police.  It has housed not only police officers but staff working at the Old Bailey. It is about fifty years old and offers accommodation for single peole working for the City of London.  By definition the people most likely to have been housed are public servants working on shifts. I am not sure how many people were housed but I guess it would be about 150.  Bernard Morgan House has now been sold to a property developer to build luxury housing. In the same street is the old YMCA building. This was sold to Redrow developers about eighteen monhs ago.  This also housed single people, perhaps two hundred at a time on probably the lowest rents in the City. There had been a s106 agreement (a planning payment enabling the local authority to pay for a public benefit) but the law changed and £13m agreed for public housing was lost. 

So in the space of two years, about 350 units for single people on low wages, working early or late shifts have been lost and not replaced.


Published by Paul Lincoln

Printmaker, City of London Guide and commissioning editor Landscape, the journal of the Landscape Institute.


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