Camden celebrates 100 years of council housing

Camden council tenants, leaseholders, estate caretakers, neighbourhood housing officers and councillors celebrated one hundred years of council housing at a 100th birthday party at Holborn’s Bourne Estate on Wednesday 31 July.

The day marked 100 years since the passing of the Housing and Town Planning Act 1919, otherwise known as the Addison Act, which gave funding to councils to build the homes that ordinary people could afford and provided the ‘homes fit for heroes’ promised to the soldiers returning from service in the First World War. Prior to this, many people in Camden lived in poor conditions – particularly in Holborn, where some of London’s most notorious slums were located.

There are now 33,000 council homes in Camden, including 2,000 street properties and 23 sheltered housing schemes.

Councillor Meric Apak, Cabinet Member for Better Homes at Camden Council, said: “33 years ago when we moved to Camden, we became homeless with a young baby - and having Camden Council come to the rescue was priceless. It's because of that I feel so strongly about council housing. Our residents need the same security. They need to be next to their jobs, next to their schools, next to their support networks and without council housing that's not possible.”

Councillor Apak and children planted a tree – one of 100 trees set to be planted across Camden’s estate land to mark the centenary – and cut a cake, while stilt walkers and dancers provided entertainment.

Photo credit: Justin Thomas