News: Shock as agency backs Fees Ban - and gives its profits to the homeless

Wed, 15 May 19

An estate agency that describes itself as a ‘social enterprise’ says it will spend its profits on the homeless and related projects, as suggested by a voluntary board.

Urban Patchwork, a London estate agency run by a brother and sister, Toby and Tessa Gooding, is based near Surrey Quays and deals in sales and lettings.

It set up just over a year ago with a pledge to use profits to support housing projects for the homeless, and has now appointed a voluntary board to take its initiative a stage further. 

The agency says the board will advise on working practices and policies for the agency, and will have voting rights on how profits are spent on homeless housing and support projects.

The board will be chaired by Iga Dabrowa, a residential asset manager who has worked in the sector for over 10 years at Berkeley Homes and Fizzy Living amongst others.

Since it opened the agency set itself apart from almost all other players in the industry by supporting the Tenants Fees Ban, which comes into effect on June 1, and by making sympathetic overtures to the news that Section 21 evictions are to be outlawed by government.

Urban Patchwork is a certified 'business for good' and member of the Social Enterprise UK body - a trade group for socially-minded companies and organisations - as well as being in the usual industry bodies such as TPO, NAEA and TDS. 

“The addition of a voluntary board to our governance structure highlights our commitment to best practice, and the range of expertise will give us further support to achieve our social aims” says Urban Patchwork director Tessa Gooding.


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