The land on which Ruskin Park House now stands was once part of the Champion de Crespigny Estate, whose boundary wall survives as fragments further up Champion Hill and on Love Walk. It was sold in 1921 to a Miss Edith Puckle and prior to the Second World War there was a large house and gardens on the site owned by Miss Puckle, who used to sit on a tree-seat under the horse chestnut.
After her death the land was sold in 1939 to developers with plans to build large luxury flats. The foundations and steel girders were put up on what is now Block A (the middle block), but abandoned during the war years. In the late 1940s the London County Council acquired the land and started building Block A, with tenants moving in as each section was finished, the first in 1951.
This incremental occupation is the reason for the apparently eccentric numbering scheme of the flats. Block B was completed section by section and was finished in the early 50s and Block C in the late 50s.
After the war there was a large demand for housing from returning armed forces and professional and managerial people. This estate, together with another similar one in Westminster, was let by the Council on a non-subsidised higher rental basis. Only people with settled occupations and high salaries were eligible so there was an interesting mix of tenants; surveyors, architects, newspaper editors, doctors, dentists, senior civil servants, LCC administrative grade staff, business executives etc and a wide range of professional occupations amongst residents continues to this day.
In the late 60s/early 70s a group of tenants approached the Greater London Council with a view to buying the headlease and selling the flats to the resident occupiers. In 1972, Ruskin Park Housing Association was founded. This was a non-profit making association established under the Industrial & Provident Societies Act 1965.
Very quickly most tenants opted to buy an underlease from the association and own their flats. Tenants who did not buy remained tenants of the council; when any of the tenants who had not bought their flats moved out, their flat was then sold on the open market and this has continued to the present day.
In 1996 at the AGM it was agreed that the name Ruskin Park Housing Association be changed to its current name, Ruskin Park House Limited’.
Today, Ruskin Park House Limited continues to be managed on behalf of all residents by an elected body, the RPH committee of management, all of whom are volunteers resident on the estate. The committee is an executive and decision-making authority. Operational management of the estate is undertaken by the estate manager with assistance from the staff team.
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