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Housing pioneer Peter Ambrose dies at 79 after battle with cancer

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 September 2012

The man who pioneered social housing programmes in London’s deprived East End that also got people retrained and into jobs has died after a battle against cancer.

Prof Peter Ambrose died on August 22 aged 79, after being ill for several months.

His condition deteriorated sharply, resulting in a couple of falls in the night, according to the Pro Housing Alliance. By the morning he had died.

Prof Ambrose was the driving force behind campaigns against Housing Benefit cuts who published a devastating critique of the Government’s housing policy last year.

But his campaigns got off the ground in the East End in the mid-1990s, when he began groundbreaking research into health problems facing families in overcrowded housing in Stepney.

His research showed the ‘health gain’ by families who had been moved into new housing on the Limehouse Fields and Ocean estates.

Tower Hamlets councillor Marc Francis came across Prof Ambrose’s work through Bethnal Green & Bow MP Oona King.

“It was the first thing Oona gave me to read when I started working for her,” he told the Advertiser. “It was a real call to arms.

“His analysis helped inform the more holistic approach adopted by the Ocean Estate New Deal for Communities programme.”

Prof Ambrose, who in 2008 predicted the banking crash, had just finished drafting the Pro-Housing Alliance submission to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards on August 17. He died five days later.


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