Passionate about great places to live

This year we are celebrating our 150 year anniversary – GreenSquare's Oxfordshire origins date back to the creation of the Oxford Cottage Improvement Company in 1866.

Passionate about great places to live for 150 years

On 10 August 1866 The Oxford Cottage Improvement Company Limited – the company which would eventually become Oxford Citizens Housing Association and then GreenSquare – was founded with the mission to tackle the poor housing conditions of the 19th century. 

In fact, The Oxford Cottage Improvement Company Limited company quickly established itself as a local pioneer in driving housing reform in the area and was nationally one of the first of its kind outside of London. The company began by improving the quality of working class houses in Oxford, moving on to building sheltered housing, before changing its name to Oxford Citizens Housing Association in 1965 and, most recently, becoming known as GreenSquare in 2012.

Click here to read a more detailed history. 

Howard Toplis, GreenSquare’s chief executive, said: “Now GreenSquare owns and manages nearly 12,000 properties across Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire – but providing high quality homes for those on low incomes and most at need remains as much at the heart of our purpose today as it did in 1866.

 “We are immensely proud of how far we have come since then – and are proud to be able to say that we really have been passionate about great places to live for the last 150 years. 

 “The Oxford Cottage Improvement Company was born out of the need to address the wretched housing conditions of the mid-19th century, and now, 150 years on, we are dealing with a different type of housing crisis. With home ownership in England at its lowest rate for decades, we have ambitious plans for the future to build many more new homes across all our areas of operation.”

“It is a credit to our ability to transform that we have continued to thrive – and thanks to the hard work of all of our board members and staff, who, over the years, have helped GreenSquare to stay true to its original mission.” 

From 10 August 2016, GreenSquare will be running a variety of activities to mark the anniversary. Keep an eye on the website for further details.