Celebrations begin as Council marks 100 hundred years of council housing

Published Tuesday, 23rd July 2019
Stella Parkin
Cutting the cake in the shape of the first council house built in 1920 and still council owned are, (left to right): Cllr Dominic Beck, Cabinet member for Housing, Cllr Jenny Andrews, Mayor of Rotherham, Stella Parkin, chair of the Housing Involvement Panel and originator of the idea of the celebration, Cllr Chris Read, Leader of Rotherham Council, and Cllr Jeanette Mallinder, Mayoress of Rotherham.

The Tenants’ Open Day, an annual event, this year became even more important as the Council marked one hundred years of council housing in the borough, and across the country.

The Tenants’ Open Day, an annual event, this year became even more important as the Council marked one hundred years of council housing within the borough, and also across the country.

The landmark day, which took place on 10 July, was attended by over 140 council tenants and residents and featured the premiere of a video created to celebrate 100 years of council housing in Rotherham.  The film focused on the past, present and future of Council housing in Rotherham.  

At the open day, Rotherham’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Beck, said: “This video shows the importance of council housing for a variety of reasons. Council housing is more than just providing a home. Not only does it provide a safe and secure place for families and individuals to thrive and flourish to reach their potential, it also gives opportunities for tenants to get involved in their local communities, take responsibility for their neighbourhoods and make life-long memories.”

In addition to the video, an exhibition was launched with information about the past, present and future with memorabilia collected from the borough’s archives as well contributions from local people. The display covered the history of council housing in the borough starting with the Housing Act of 1919, which gave local authorities the power to build their own houses for the first time.

The exhibition will tour the borough over the coming months and in addition to seeing material from the past, residents can view how the Council is investing in homes for the future by building more than 500 new homes to rent or buy under the Council’s Rother Living brand.

The suggestion for the Council to celebrate 100 years of council housing came from Stella Parkin, tenant chair of the Council’s Housing Involvement Panel, who when she wrote in had no idea where it would lead, Stella said: “ I can’t believe how perfect the day has turned out. From the inspiring speeches, the great exhibition and video for everyone to see to the wonderful atmosphere created in the room by all the people attending from across the borough. I couldn’t have wished for a better celebration to mark this historic milestone for Rotherham. Here’s to the next one hundred years!”

As well as providing a chance to find out about what has been happening in housing services over the last year, round table discussions were also held. These gave opportunities for residents to speak with Council and Rotherham Federation staff on how they can continue to meet housing needs, make neighbourhoods a better place to live and consider the different ways local people can interact with the Council in the future.

Rotherham Federation of Communities also held their Community Groups and Staff Awards ceremony and over 30 stalls provided information about local services.

Watch the 100 years of council housing video

Visit the Rother Living website

Find out about 100 years of council housing in Rotherham