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100 years of council housing: a celebration

On Tuesday 29 October, we held an exhibition at Hackney Town Hall to mark the centenary of the 1919 Addison Act, celebrating the past, present and future of council homes.

Social histories

The event marked the 100th anniversary of council housing and to mark the milestone, we gathered social histories from residents living in council homes and on estates, as well as first hand accounts from employees responsible for building and maintaining some of our most iconic buildings and estates.

Visitors got a chance to learn about what kick-started the social housing revolution in the immediate aftermath of the first world war; understand the council house building boom of the mid century; as well as get to grips with the political and societal drivers behind its decline from the 1980s – and what the Council is currently doing to meet the challenge.

Photo exhibitions

There were photo exhibitions; conversations with the Hackney Direct Labour Organisation staff; an immersive viewing station showing archive footage of Hackney estates; performances from a local poet and traditional Turkish folk; never-been-screened-before films about Hackney’s council estates and residents; music; free food and drink; and more.

The hugely successful event attracted over 200 residents, staff and guests. As well as the pop-up exhibition, a podcast was produced where residents shared their stories and experiences of living in council housing.




100 Years of Council Housing
Page updated on: 29 January 2020

Hackney Service Centre


1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY


Opening times

  • Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and closed Sat and Sun