In the early 1990s, Kensington was the first city to open its own housing market.
It was home to the first luxury apartment tower, and the first apartment complex with affordable units.
But the market was struggling.
The city’s economy had stalled, and its housing supply was woefully inadequate.
I’d seen Kensington as a kid, and now I knew it would have a future.
I’d also met my wife and daughter on that first visit, and I had come to believe that there was a very real possibility of Kensington becoming a destination for people who wanted to live in the suburbs.
But, in the decade since, the market had suffered from an imbalance of supply and demand.
In 2008, the average rental in Kensland was £9,800, while the average home price in the city was £150,000.
The housing market was so far off the mark that the government announced a moratorium on new development until 2020.
Then, in 2014, Kensmanet, the municipality that includes Kensington, announced plans to build 400,000 affordable apartments in the borough.
The plan was hailed as a success, with Kensington being designated a “social housing city” by the government.
But despite the success, the housing market wasn’t going anywhere.
The lack of supply meant the market would continue to stagnate.
In May 2017, the government finally decided to reverse the moratorium, and began to allow more development.
This was good news for Kensington residents, but it meant a massive amount of new development was needed.
The government announced that the city would need 2.3 million affordable units, and by 2019 it was on course to need 3.4 million.
This would be an increase of more than two million homes over the next four years.
By then, the number of Kensham residents living in social housing was predicted to have increased by nearly two-thirds.
The Kensington bubble started to pop in 2020, with the first new affordable housing project ever being completed.
When the new Kensington apartments arrived, they were filled with people who had never lived in Kensham before.
There was no indication that the project would be built at all, but the public was encouraged to use it as an opportunity to live out a dream.
With the housing bubble rising, Kenshamers were desperate.
Kensington residents were told that the new apartment complex would bring in up to £2,000 a month for each of the units.
That was still a far cry from the current living wage of £7.25 an hour in the UK.
It was also a blow to the city’s finances.
With the new affordable apartments coming online, it meant the cost of running the Kensington housing project had risen by almost £1.5 million a year, from £9.8 million to £14.8 billion.
There were concerns about the sustainability of the Kensham housing project.
Residents who lived in the new apartments would be given the option of moving into new homes within the next five years.
However, Kensley councillors were quick to point out that they were just giving people a taste of the luxury flats that were already in the market.
Even as Kensingtoners were told the apartments would bring their housing costs down by up to 80%, they were still told that there would be no new affordable units built.
Despite the warnings, a massive construction boom was planned for the Kensmanes in 2019.
By the end of 2020, more than 1.4 billion square metres of public space would be added to the Kenstown region.
This included parks, squares, parks, gardens, cafes, and a number of other new development projects.
People were desperate to be part of this exciting new world.
But as the housing prices increased, people were also starting to question the whole process.
Some Kensingtonians were also beginning to question whether the housing development was worth it.
Some people had already made the move to the suburbs, but they were worried about their new city.
They thought they were in the minority.
Meanwhile, the Kensmans had been living the dream.
They had a wonderful new city, and they had built up a wealth of assets that were now at risk of being stolen from them.
Many Kenshamites felt betrayed by their city government.
In March 2020, Kensmania Council announced that it was cutting the council’s funding by £200,000 in order to fund the Kensmania housing scheme.
The Kensmane residents and local business leaders were angry.
They wanted their local assets protected and protected well, but what was happening to Kensington’s housing stock was simply unacceptable.
And so it was that in May 2020, the city council announced that Kensmaneland would no longer be receiving its funding, despite having the opportunity to build new affordable homes.
The decision was met with immediate backlash.
For a while, people felt as if they had no choice but to