The re-location of many people from the Caribbean (or the West Indies as it would have been known then) to Manchester resulted in them facing such  high levels of discrimination in terms of access to housing that they felt compelled to take action. In 1979 a group of like minded activists established Walton Housing Association to address the needs of young, single Black people working in Manchester. In 1986, others, seeing the success of Walton were galvanised into taking action for older Black people and Arawak Housing Association was born.

“It seems unbelievable to think that the ideas that started off in someone’s front room over a cup of coffee have resulted in this financially strong organisation which owns almost 1,000 homes and houses over 4,000 tenants”

“We got to thinking how sad it would be if all the stories and efforts to provide good quality housing, made by so few for the greater good of Black & minority people living in Manchester, was lost. There are so few of us left who can tell the stories”

Mrs Eloise Edwards & Mr Richard Davis, Founder members, at a recent plaque ceremony commemorating the founders of Arawak Walton 

As a result the current Board members of Arawak Walton decided they had to take action. This site holds the on-line archive of material relating to Arawak Walton Housing Association. It has been created to preserve the history of the association and the people involved and documents a remarkable time in both the African Caribbean community and in the Black and minority ethnic(BME) housing movement.

The association is a merger of two housing associations that were both formed from the African Caribbean community of Manchester in the 1980’s.

The sections of the archive are:

Timeline – showing the major events in the history of the Association.

Founding Members – A section dedicated to solely highlight some pen portraits of founding members to whom we owe so much.


  • Meeting Minutes from 1981 to 1991  - The papers date from before the associations merged and detail the early stages of both Arawak and Walton Housing associations as the worked with their partner Associations (Anchor and Collingwood) to establish themselves.
  • Annual Reports 1994 to 2012 – The Association has produced an Annual Report for every year since it merged and contains the story of the Association’s evolution.
  • Founding Documents and Founding Members – To establish the associations, registration had to be sought from various bodies and actual documents are here.
  • Miscellaneous - Press cuttings, application forms, books and research papers.

Events – captured in photos over the years from 1997 to 2011.  From 1997 onwards pictures have been taken of various activities from celebrations, opening ceremonies or community or building activities.

It is hoped that people gain an insight into the work that has been required to establish a thriving and successful BME business and enjoy exploring this archive. If you have some material that you might like to add to this archive please let us know by emailing


The Board of Management