Sharing and Caring: New mural for Brixton Housing Co-op

As the Brixton Housing Co-op unveils a mural at its Railton Road headquarters, Olivia Atkins talks with some of its longest-standing members. They show her that there’s much more to the Co-op than just reasonable rents.

Brixton’s 40-year-old housing co-operative, the Brixton Housing Co-op (BHC), is celebrating its position in the community by unveiling a new mural. Perched on the corner of 90 Railton Road, BHC’s previously nondescript headquarters has been decorated to commemorate its Brixtonite history and culture. The mural will attempt to strengthen the Co-op’s presence in Brixton. Last summer,in fact, saw a surge of uses for the BHC building, including pop-up shops, exhibitions and jumble sales, and some of these events helped cover the cost of the mural.

If you’ve not heard of the BHC before, it has a fascinating story. The Co-op was founded in the 1970s, when the flamboyant gay population – known as the Brixton Fairies – squatted in the surrounding derelict buildings. BHC’s founders emerged and united with other squatters to fight Lambeth council for control over the empty houses. And as with the BHC, many of the places and their original tenants are still there today.

Read more in this week’s issue of the Brixton Bugle.