Our history

  • Will Sutton

    Hastoe's story begins with William Sutton in 1900

    William Sutton was a wealthy London businessman and founder of the UK's first door-to-door long distance parcel service.

    He died on 20 May 1900 leaving a generous bequest to house the poor of London; equivalent to £1.25m (worth over £100m today).

  • Bethnal Green Buildings

    Disputes meant a Trust wasn't established until 1962

    A long family dispute over his estate and then another involving the London County Council meant the Sutton Model Dwellings Trust wasn't founded until 1962.

    An Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) was established to enable a string of purpose-built estates to be built for the poor, beginning in Bethnal Green, then Chelsea, Islington, Rotherhithe, Plymouth and Birmingham.

  • Major General G N Russell CB CBE

    The IPS was called Hastoe Housing Society Limited

    In 1962, it was only Industrial and Provident Societies that were able to borrow to create houses for social rent. It was one of the trustees of the Sutton Model Dwellings Trust, Major General G N Russell, that set up an IPS which he called Hastoe Housing Society Limited.

  • Cerne Abbas, Dorset

    We built our first rural properties in 1987

    After a complex series of acquisitions and an expansion of housing management services, five organisations merged to become The Sutton (Hastoe) Housing Association Limited in 1980.

    The Association completed its first two rural housing schemes within a month of each other at the end of 1987. They were only 15 miles apart in West Dorset – at Abbotsbury and Cerne Abbas.

  • Hastoe Housing Association was founded in 1994

    In 1994 our name was simplified to Hastoe Housing Association. Hastoe is the name of the hamlet on the Herts/Bucks border where Major General Russell lived.

A social history of Hastoe Housing Association

In 2014 we commissioned research into our history to mark the retirement of a founding father of Hastoe, John Coward, a board member and chairman for many of Hastoe's formative years. You can read the full document below.

Read about our more recent history


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