The Central & Cecil housing association was founded by journalist Ada Chesterton who established a network of 'Cecil Houses' for vulnerable women in memory of her husband Cecil who died in the First World War.
The first Cecil House opened in Holborn in 1927. The Waterloo Road property was the fifth in the network and opened in 1934 with capacity for 49 women and two babies.
The Lord Mayor of London performed the opening ceremony on 14 March 1934
A report in the London Mercury on the opening of the Waterloo hostel noted that "the aim of Cecil Houses is to provide clean and comfortable accommodation at a minimum cost, and a charge of one shilling a night is made for a good bed, hot bath, hot tea or soup at night and tea and bread and butter in the morning, and no questions are asked".
Maternity & Child Welfare magazine's write-up of the opening said that: "The atmosphere is as far as possible that of a club or a hotel, so that in it the lodgers have the chance not only of bodily refreshment but of being mentally fortified with inestimable quality of self-respect."
The architect of Waterloo's Cecil House was Ernest Stone Collins who also worked on designs for County Hall with Ralph Knott.
By 1976 the weekly rent was £8.05 with no meals included, and with residents not allowed to stay in during the day. One resident wrote a letter to the SE1 Community Newspaper that year complaining of her "very miserable and expensive" life at Cecil House.
Central & Cecil Housing Trust opened the modern Northcott House in Waterloo Road in 2001 which it transferred to Southwark Council in 2014 who took out a further five-year lease in 2019.
Meanwhile in 2003 Waterloo's Cecil House became the housing association's central office.
The Waterloo office closed in when Central & Cecil became part of the Aster Group last year. Earlier this month C&C announced that it had moved its registered office from SE1 to NW8.
A notice displayed in the window of 266 Waterloo Road confirms that C&C no longer owns the building, ending an 89-year history.
Today C&C's focus is on accommodation for over-55s.