For almost 40 years they have lived peacefully as a commune in an affluent area of Kingston.

But now a social housing provider wants to evict the community from the home they have shared since 1978.

Surrey Comet:

The shared house in Crescent Road

The Crescent Road Community (CRC), a group of 21 adults and three children who live in three connected houses in Crescent Road, has been served a notice to quit by landlords One Housing Group (OHG).

But the commune is refusing to move and has now launched a petition to stay put.

CRC, which has its own constitution and makes decisions communally, says members value “living communally, sharing and supporting one another”.

In a statement, the group said: “The community state that the eviction of families with young children, old age pensioners, community support workers and the other community members who support them is excessive and unnecessary."

Surrey Comet:

A flyer for the Kingston Green Fair in 1987 & pictures from the commune's past

CRC, together with their sister commune in Islington who are also facing eviction from their OHG property, have set up a petition. 

The group says: “Many of the residents have lived there for most or all of their adult lives and those threatened with eviction include three young children.

"Many of us are vulnerable and will be seriously affected if we are evicted from our home.

“One older resident has Parkinson’s disease and is likely to be forced into residential care if he is removed.

“Another spent his youth in foster care and was placed in his house by social services, aged 16 – this is the only home he has known.

“One resident found her community as a place of safety following years of domestic abuse.”

The property was originally owned by Patchwork Housing Association, which was founded in 1972 by a Franciscan monk who wanted to create communal properties for a “patchwork” of people who would “live supportively together”.

In 2006 Patchwork were taken over by Community Housing Association which merged with two other housing associations to form OHG.

Surrey Comet:

Both the Kingston and Islington communes have started petitions

A spokeswoman for OHG said: “As a responsible landlord, and at a time when housing in London is in shortage, we need to ensure social housing is allocated fairly.

“While our plans for the future of the buildings have yet to be finalised, we will take all necessary steps to ensure that they are used to support our over-riding aim of providing more affordable homes for people in London.”

CRC argue the landlord’s aims could “be achieved without seeking possession”.

Councillor Gaj Wallooppillai has been helping the group with their campaign.

He said: “From my perspective I think the way it is being handled by the landlords is not fair.

“They have not even come down to visit the commune or talked to the residents.”

Others came forward to describe the contribution the group have made to the community over the years.

Sam Hermitage from Kingston Green Radio helped organise the Kingston Green Fair with the group for 21 years.

He said: “It is a very well established community and a real shame. In my opinion they are a pillar of Kingston.”

CRC has started a petition to Kingston Council, which needs 500 signatures to be debated in full council.

The petition can be signed at