100 Years of Social Housing: Celebrating the Addison Act

By: LSL Land & New Homes


The day after the end of the 1st World War David Lloyd, the Prime Minster of the day, called a general election and promised “habitations fit for the heroes who have won the war”.

Christopher Addison 1st Viscount AddisonFollowing Lloyd George’s 1918 election, Christopher Addison as minister of health brought the new “Housing, Town Planning, &c. Act” into statute law during July 1919.

The Act required local authorities to build “working-class” housing and open-ended Treasury Grants were provided to facilitate this. Half a million homes were promised.

It was recommended that the housing should be low-density garden suburbs where generously proportioned houses were set in large gardens. This was in stark contrast to the working-class homes of the time that were often terraced houses packed into streets with narrow plots.

Addison’s ambitious programme was not carried out in full and in July 1921 the programme was repealed. Subsequent governments took forwards some of the ideas proposed to implement the nationwide council housing system that we see today.

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The original Addison act can be found here: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1919/35/enacted

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