Housing, Town Planning, &c. Act 1919
The Housing, Town Planning, &c. Act 1919 (c 35) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was also known as the Addison Act after Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Addison, the then Minister for Housing. The Act was passed to allow the building of new houses after the First World War, and marked the start of a long 20th century tradition of state-owned housing, which would much later evolve into council estates.
The Act followed the 1917 Tudor Walters Committee Report into the provision of housing in the United Kingdom, commissioned by Parliament with a view to post-war reconstruction. In part, this was a response to the shocking lack of fitness amongst many recruits during World War One, attributed to poor living conditions; a belief summed up in a housing poster of the period "you cannot expect to get an A1 population out of C3 homes" referring to military fitness classifications of the period.
It provided subsidies to local authorities to help finance the construction of 500,000 houses within three years.
Not all of the funding was ultimately made available and only 213,000 homes were built under the scheme.
- Paul Oliver, Ian Davis, Ian Bentley, Dunroamin The Suburban Semi and its Enemies p31 (1918, Bodleian Library original)
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