The Peabody Story

Founded by George Peabody, a social visionary and philanthropist, who took influence from his own life experiences
and wanted to create a positive change to the social injustice he saw within the housing sector in the capital.

About George Peabody

George Peabody set up The Peabody Donation Fund (later known as The Peabody Trust) in 1862 as his contribution to supporting low rent housing, which made provisions for low-income families to live in homes they could afford. This is where his philanthropic work in London and the UK began, he has since shaped and pioneered the history of Peabody and made it what it is today.

Drawing from 160 years of history and expertise and with over 66,000 homes, Peabody is now one of the oldest and largest not-for-profit housing associations in the UK.  Our social vision is still at the forefront of everything we do. As well as having one of the largest social and economic regeneration programmes of any of the London housing associations, we're helping to fund our ambitious plans by building up to 1,000 beautiful homes every year.


A Social Visionary

George Peabody was a social visionary, with views far ahead of his time. He was one of a circle of reformers; his contemporaries included Lord Shaftesbury, William Cobbett, Angela Burdett-Coutts and Charles Dickens.

He was inspired by what he saw around him and his own life experiences. For example, horrified by the devastation caused by the American Civil War, he set up a fund to establish a public education system in the Southern states. Then, living in his adopted home of London, he wanted to tackle the poverty he saw around him. 


A Social Pioneer

Not long before he retired, George Peabody decided he wanted to present a gift to the poor of London. Considering suggestions from the likes of social reformer Lord Shaftesbury, he settled on the idea of funding the construction of low-cost dwellings for the working poor.

In 1862, the Peabody Donation Fund (later known as the Peabody Trust) was formed. The first estate in Spitalfields was a pioneering development. It featured separate laundry rooms and play areas for children, as well as shared toilets which were monitored for diseases.

View the Peabody timeline

Our Vision

Our new values, principles and behaviours will put customers at the heart and provide the foundation for the culture of our new organisation.

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Our Homes

We believe homes are far more than just places to live. Our developments are designed to enhance their surroundings and create strong communities that enhance your quality of life.