The history of L&Q
In October 1963, a south London rector persuaded a group of young professionals to create a housing association and L&Q was born. The initial investment saw 32 people each buy shares worth £2. Combining a vicar's dream to end homelessness with the entrepreneurial flair of the city professionals has led us to where we are today. That £64 has become a £12 billion social business.
Back then, the organisation was named Quadrant Housing Association to reflect the naval history of the borough of Greenwich, where it was based. During the early years, it was run from a church crypt and an empty flat, but in 1970 the first proper office opened on Deptford High Street.
In 1973 Quadrant Housing Association joined forces with another association, London Housing Trust, which had been set up in 1967. The merged organisation was named London & Quadrant Housing Trust.
A year later the 1974 Housing Act made subsidies available to provide affordable homes and this gave L&Q the security and money needed to grow into a major landlord.
It continued to grow throughout the 1970s and 1980s, but new development was hampered by a diminishing supply of available land in the capital.
L&Qs 25th anniversary was in 1988, at which time it had more than 10,000 homes under management. A major organisational restructure saw decentralisation to a number of new regional offices, providing a more local service.
As the 1980s drew to a close, L&Q moved into low-cost home ownership, with the creation of subsidiary Tower Homes.
The 1990s saw a great deal of innovation and partnership working, as L&Q sought to improve services and support people in need. This included setting up the first foyer in collaboration with homelessness charity Centrepoint. The foyer was developed from a French concept and was able to house and offer training to up to 80 vulnerable people at a time.
Later in the decade, Quadrant Housing Finance, a dedicated financing vehicle which could attract money from capital markets, was set up. This would help to provide a new source of finance for L&Q.
The turn of the millennium saw L&Q gain a Chartermark award in recognition of its excellent customer service. Having satisfied residents and solid services meant that L&Q was in a position to embark on a period of rapid expansion through regeneration and merger opportunities.
L&Q staff voted the group into The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies list for the first time in 2003, a feat which would be repeated every year for the rest of the decade.
Four major mergers in the middle of the 1990s saw 17,000 homes added to L&Qs portfolio. This concluded with an exercise to overhaul the public image of the organisation and unify the various subsidiary companies within the group.
In 2013, L&Q celebrated its 50th anniversary, using it as an opportunity to reflect on half a century of growth, challenge, learning and achievement and a chance to look forward to the decades ahead.
Today, L&Q owns and manages more than 70,000 homes across London and the South East - making it the largest landlord in the capital and one of the largest residential property developers.