The first residents of Luton Council's latest housing development were handed the keys to their new homes on Friday, July 26, the 100th anniversary of the first Council Housing Act.
Cllr Tom Shaw, the council’s portfolio holder for housing, was on hand to welcome Shirley Long (pictured) who is moving into one of the bungalows in Roman Way in Tomlinson Avenue, Luton.
Local ward councillors for Lewsey, Jacqui Burnett and Aslam Khan, representatives of Luton’s residents association and officers responsible for the building work were also at the opening ceremony.
The homes were built by the council’s own direct workforce, Building Technical Services and there are 17 flats and three bungalows, the latter having been specially adapted for wheelchair users.
All the homes incorporate renewable and energy efficient technology such as mechanical ventilation with heat recovery systems which typically recover 60 – 95 per cent of the heat produced. Passive infra red LED lighting has also been installed along with solar electric and heating units. These features will help tenants save on their heating, hot water and electricity bills.
The flats represent a small, but significant part of the town’s ambitious plans to provide suitable family homes and this particular event is the centrepiece of a series of housing-related occasions marking the anniversary 100 years of council housing.
One hundred years ago, as the country emerged from the trauma and ravages of the ‘war to end all wars’, government recognised there was a dearth of suitable housing fit for the heroes who had survived the attrition of the trenches. In 1919 the Housing Act was passed which placed an obligation upon local councils to build high quality houses. The Act became known as the Addison Act, after its author Dr Christopher Addison, the Minister for Health.
Cllr Shaw said: “These homes are another example of our absolute commitment to providing quality homes for residents. The hard work put in by council staff has one goal – that of meeting the needs of individuals and families, so they can thrive and make the best of the increasing number of opportunities living in Luton provides.”
Incoming resident, Shirley Long, said: “I feel privileged to have a fresh start in this wonderful community and I look forward to turning these bricks and mortar into my very own home.”
In addition to handing over keys, the councillors joined in planting a tree to commemorate 100 years of council housing, a number of trees are being planted throughout the town in recognition of this significant anniversary.