A team of lawyers at law firm Shoosmiths – including two from the planning team at the Colmore Row Birmingham office – has advised affordable housing organisation One Housing Group (OHG) on its purchase of a 104-year-old hostel for the homeless.

Arlington House hostel, in London, has provided shelter to the homeless and rough-sleepers since 1905 and is the last in a chain of hostels built in the capital by Victorian philanthropist Lord Rowton. OHG successfully transferred the assets by working with the assistance of the Tenant Services Authority and Communities and Local Government to complete the deal.

This has culminated in its ownership of London-based Arlington House and Dean Street hostels from Novas Scarman Group.

Dean Street Hostel is a high quality hostel, also for the homeless and rough-sleepers. Both hostels will continue to offer support to vulnerable people.

The Shoosmiths team, from the Milton Keynes Social Housing Centre of Excellence, was led by commercial property partner Bill Howard. There was also planning assistance on the deal from Birmingham-based planning partner Oliver Martin and construction and engineering assistant Heidi Tibbenham.

Mr Howard said: “Having the opportunity to advise our client on such an unusual deal has been exciting for all those involved.

“Although it was a very large and complicated deal, we welcomed the challenge. It allowed us to combine the abilities of a number of our top legal specialists in order to provide the best result for our client.”

Kevin Beirne, OHG group director of housing care and support, said: “The transfer of two of London’s flagship hostels has been a complex challenge involving more than 20 legal agreements with five bodies, and taken 12 months to complete. We have been really well served by Shoosmiths’ expertise and dedication in delivering an outcome that has minimised our risk and satisfied all the parties including our regulator, funders and local authority stakeholders.”