The Grenfell fire has brought into focus the bodies running much of Britain’s social housing – tenant management organisations, or TMOs. Kensington and Chelsea TMO, which ran Grenfell Tower and was responsible for its refurbishment, is the biggest in Britain, with nearly 10,000 properties and thousands of tenants. TMOs, especially Kensington and Chelsea, have been criticised for outsourcing responsibility for housing from councils, for obscuring and complicating financial processes, and most of all by tenants, for not serving their interests.
Helia Ebrahimi has been scouring the books and practices of Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation and has discovered millions of pounds a year are absorbed in management fees and interest charges.
Kensington and Chelsea Council stopped subsidising Opera Holland Park in 2015 when it became an independent charity.