A new book marking the 90th anniversary of Hornsey Housing Trust highlighting the need for low-cost housing to tackle the rising cost-of-living has had its “first reading” in Parliament.

An excerpt was read out in the Commons by Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West during a debate on the government’s Autumn budget statement.

“This little history sadly outlines so many of the issues we are seeing today,” she told MPs: “I was able to visit the wonderful place called the Hornsey Housing Trust founded in 1933 because of ‘the underlying cause of much discomfort, ill-health and unhappiness in many families was the bad conditions of their houses’.

“The trust has focused on older folk, but this Autumn Statement does not really fix the crisis in social care and has failed to lay out a real vision for quality of life for older people.”

Catherine had visited the trust’s sheltered housing scheme at Margaret Hill House in Crouch End on November 16, where she met tenants and Haringey councillors.

She said during her visit to the housing scheme: “Inflated house prices have overtaken ordinary incomes and social security payments. But the Hornsey trust provides homes to so many in Haringey who would find it difficult to live locally.”

The book she quoted in Parliament, A Place to Call Home, was by the former chair of trustees Rosie Boughton about the housing trust that was first created for Hornsey pensioners during the Depression in the 1930s that expand during the post-war years of housing crisis.

Her research revealed the trust’s mission in helping pensioners with affordable housing. Rosie explained: “It has provided secure housing at reasonable rent to thousands of people and has grown over 90 years from its early ‘youthful exuberance’ to the expansion of sheltered housing in the 1990s.”

The trust was set up in 1933 by Margaret Hill, whose brother was the renowned economist John Maynard Keynes whose work helped the national recovery from the Depression.

The organisation expanded over the years with new developments in Hornsey and Wood Green and now spreading to Tottenham with a total of 420 tenants. It works today with Haringey Council to allocate homes to pensioners in need from the waiting list. The average age of its tenants is 70 living in in 400 properties. 

Haringey’s older population is expected to rise by 30 per cent in the next decade, giving the trust a key role providing affordable homes.