On 11th November 1918 World War I came to an end.
The following day the prime minister at that time, David Lloyd George, called a general election and promised “habitations fit for the heroes who have won the war”. This promise, generally known as ‘homes fit for heroes’ marked the start of the nationwide system of council housing that lasted for most of the 20th century. When Lloyd George’s 1918 election was over, legislation followed, with Christopher Addison as minister of health and housing guiding the new Housing Act in July 1919.
31st July 2019 marked the 100th anniversary of the Housing Act – which instigated the start of council house building on a huge scale! The Housing Act 1919, more commonly known as the Addison Act after the minister for health and housing, paved the way for funding to councils to build 500,000 homes over three years. This was credited as establishing the principle of large scale, state-funded provision of council housing at low rents.
With Portsmouth being the UK's most densely populated city and ranking 13th in Europe and with not much in the way of social housing being built its no wonder there is a housing crisis in our city.
So, with the centenary of the Addison Act, when there were spacious homes being built that were made available to everyone, fairly and to give them a better standard of living. Why is it ONE HUNDRED YEARS on we seem to be going backwards when it comes to housing? With homelessness across the UK at an all time high, over 1 million people are on the council house waiting lists today. Surely, this now must be the right time for our government to start investing in our cities and generating affordable housing.
Back 100 years when the Housing Act was first introduced, the homes which were being built for people were generously sized and to a far superior standard than those built these days which are few in number across the country. Our country desperately needs thousands of new council homes to be built and built to a better standard and built to last.
The Addison Act and the country's housing crisis has more recently been highlighted by George Clarke, architect, tv presenter and ambassador for Shelter. Now campaigning for more council homes to be built in the UK, 100,000 new council homes every year for the next 30 years is what he wants!
We are in a housing crisis.
We desperately need to build a new generation of council housing we can all be proud of.
You can follow George's campaign by watching George Clarke's Council House Scandal on Channel 4. And you can support and/or have your say about this by visiting:-