Charles Hocking House

Avishkar Chhetri, Charles Hocking House, (2017)

Charles Hocking House was a 13 stories tall tower block that housed 96 properties, with the vast majority tenure type belonged to council renting. It was constructed in 1967 as part of the wider social housing initiative of rehousing the working classes out of the dilapidated slums and remnants terraces destroyed during the Blitz in World War II.

In 2010 as part of the second regeneration scheme of the South Acton estate (the first being the construction of South Acton estate’s infamous tower blocks), Charles Hocking House was condemned for demolition in 2017 along with the rest of the estate’s tower blocks.

However this initial date for demolition was overdue during the months of Winter 2017 and Spring 2018. During this extended delay, the remaining residents had been “decanted” into other parts of the estate or even outside the estate to the wider borough of Ealing. Prior to this later stage decantation, the majority of residents of Charles Hocking House were decanted in Phase 2, 3.1 and 3.2 of the Acton Gardens Master plan (a plan in which shuffles residents within the estate in segments). To my dismay, I have not been able to find a substantial amount of residents relocated on the newer blocks of Phase 2, 3.1 and 3.2. I have spoken to two families whom were, at a certain time, have been placed in temporary accommodation in Charles Hocking House (the condemnation period; due for demolition). I believe it is within reason to conclude that the majority of the dwellers of Charles Hocking House have moved to another place outside of the estate during and prior to my investigation.

The factuality of the residents’ re-provision  from Charles Hocking House is debatable and cannot be clarified by neither Acton Gardens nor Ealing Council due to the confidentiality of the decanting process and location of the council tenants. I have over the course of 6 months, gathered information via persons of interests (residents and regeneration officers) and online public documents that provide an insight of the actuality of the intentions of Acton Gardens.

Given the availability of housing in Phases 2, 3.1 and 3.2 for the existing residents of stated several blocks in South Acton estate relocated into these phases, I have in conclusion found that there are 94 social rented units that would have been made available for around possibly 220 council renters living in the existing several soon-to-be demolished  blocks – this is with the assumption that many of these households will stay as Social Rent tenants* rather than entering an intermediate type of tenancy with the housing association. Thus, Acton Gardens might fail to provide (in theory) the total council renters from Charles Hocking House – in other words, if all of the council tenants wanted to move to the newer buildings an issue would have occurred due to the lack of available houses.


*the Housing Association equivalent of Council Renting