Our history

Our history

Notting Hill Housing Trust was formed in 1963 by a group of local residents motivated to tackle the capital's housing challenges.

Fifty years on, providing affordable, quality homes for Londoners is still our concern and still one of London's greatest challenges.

Housing in the 1950s

For many poor people living in the United Kingdom between 1950 and 1960, the only way to find somewhere to live was to rent privately.

The accommodation was often very poor, the tenancy agreements were insecure and rents were exorbitant. Migrant communities coming to the UK were particularly affected by unscrupulous landlords.

Our beginnings

In 1962, only three years after the notorious race riots, our founder Reverend Bruce Kenrick (1920-2007) came to live in Notting Hill in west London.

He was shocked by social and financial inequalities experienced by poor and immigrant communities in West London. He later wrote:

What struck me painfully was the extent to which people's problems stemmed from housing conditions. Marriages broke up because one or other partner could no longer stand the strain of living in one room with a stove and sink squeezed into one corner.  -Bruce Kenrick

In December 1963 Bruce Kenrick, together with a group of equally committed individuals, formed a new, proactive type of voluntary housing organisation.

Notting Hill Housing Trust was born.

Early years

In our early days, until the Housing Act passed in 1974, Notting Hill Housing was powered by donations and voluntary labour. Below are some key milestones in our history:

  • 1964 - We’ve bought five homes and housed 47 people
  • 1968 - We’ve become a large presence in west London, housing nearly 1,000 people
  • 1972 - Our first tenant’s association is formed
  • 1975 - We buy our 1000th home
  • 1978 - Our first sheltered scheme is completed and we reach 3,545 homes
  • 1980 - Our Chief Executive John Coward opens the first ever shared ownership scheme in the country

See how our 50+ years of history continued.

Expanding horizons

In 2009 three housing associations joined the Notting Hill Housing Group.

  • Eagle Housing Trust (Presentation)

    In 1965, the Milner Holland report placed Lambeth, south London seventh on the list of London boroughs experiencing 'housing stress'. Property had become increasingly subject to multiple occupation and high rents, very similar to the Rachmanism of west London.

    Eagle Housing Trust was established in Brixton in 1968 to tackle exploitative housing conditions and deprivation experienced by ethnic minority communities south of the river Thames. It was the UK's first black-led housing association. Eagle Housing Trust changed its name to Presentation Housing Association in 1977.

    When it joined Notting Hill Housing Group in 2009, Presentation brought with it over 5,000 properties.

  • Croydon Peoples Housing

    Croydon Peoples Housing Association (CPHA) was formed in 1989 by a group of housing professionals and community activists concerned about the housing needs of the African and African-Caribbean community in the London Borough of Croydon.

  • Pathway Housing Association

    Pathway Housing Association was a community-based organisation that provided housing and support services to mainly black and minority ethnic communities in south London since 1985.

Besides adding to the number of homes we owned and managed, merging with the above organisations brought us a wealth of knowledge and expertise about the specific needs of black and minority ethnic communities. Today, this expertise is championed throughout NHH.

We've since spread still further from our west London roots. We now work in nearly every London borough and are committed to being London's leading housing association.