Podcast: “We thought it was Buckingham Palace”

Published on February 17, 2020

Published on February 17, 2020

Welcome to the first episode in our Tenants’ Hall Sessions podcast series. Over the course of the series, we’ll be hearing from experts and discussing what the future of housing could look like from the perspective of London’s social housing tenants’ organisations today.

One hundred years on from the advent of mass council house building, what does the next century hold for public housing and its tenants? What sort of future do tenants want to see? History might not, as the saying goes, repeat itself very often, but there’s a lot we can learn by looking to the mistakes and successes of the past century of council housing.

In this episode we hear from John Boughton, historian and author of Municipal Dreams: The Rise and Fall of Council Housing. John kicked off the London Tenants Federation annual conference in November last year with a whistle-stop tour of some of the best examples of social housing estates built in London.

Recalling moving into their new home when it was built, a tenant of one of the estates said, “From where we’d come from it was paradise, a silly thing to say but it really was. We thought it was Buckingham Palace.”

You can see photos of the estates John is referring to in his presentation in the accompanying slides here.