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Celebrating our founders - Mora Burnet



Mora Burnet was crucial to the establishment of the Ethical Union Housing Association. She was among a group of Ethical Union members who got together to plan some practical action in response to the need for social housing. The association was registered in 1954 and launched the following year. It went on to become the Humanist Housing Association (HHA) in 1965.

The main aim of the association was to provide self-contained accommodation to people in need, focusing particularly on older 
people, people with older dependents or people experiencing mental health problems. 

Mora and her husband Lindsay, who she married in 1948, were both founding members of the Management Committee. They held their first public meeting in 1955 to let people know what they were doing, get their support and discuss raising funds. As the main speaker at the meeting, Mora was key to the initial success of the association.

Mora visited applicants all over London and was shocked at some of the older people’s living conditions. The Management Committee also visited the residents, which became a long-standing practice. In the 25th anniversary report, Mora was described as being good at dealing with residents, one of the most hardworking and persistent committee members and quietly forceful.

The association’s first project named Burnet House, which opened in Swiss Cottage in 1957, housed older people. We still provide a modern extra care scheme for older people on the same site today.