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100 years of council housing – a time for celebration 20/12/2018 Labelled as Development, Consultation, Tenants

Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the 1919 'Addison Act', which paved the way for large-scale council housing. The 1919 Housing & Town Planning Act for the first time made housing a national responsibility and gave councils the task of developing new housing for working people.


The Act was commonly known as the Addison Act after Dr Christopher Addison the Minister for Heath who introduced the Act with the aim of providing "Homes fit for heroes" after the end of the First World War. 


2018 has seen national celebrations to mark 70 years of the NHS, 100 years of the RAF and the centenary of the ending of WW1. At this time, when council housing and council tenants are often unfairly stigmatised, ARCH believes it is time to celebrate the contribution council housing has made to society over the last 100 years and the role it can and should be allowed to play in providing affordable rented accommodation for low income families in the future.


ARCH raised the anniversary in the recent meeting with Housing Minister Kit Malthouse and following that meeting ARCH has been in discussion with officials at the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) on ways in which we might mark the centenary.


We have agreed to work collaboratively with MHCLG to mark the centenary and we are putting together a paper for consideration by MHCLG on how we might do this and would welcome views and comments from our member councils. In particular, we would be interested to know:


  • Does your council have any council housing built under the Addison Act in the period 1919- 1922?
  • Is your council planning any local celebration to mark the centenary of the building of council housing in your area?
  • Do you have any ideas or suggestions about how the stock retained sector should mark the centenary?
  • Are you planning to build and complete any new council housing in 2019?


We will be having further discussions with MHCLG officials early in the New Year on how to mark the centenary and would like to hear from ARCH member councils with your ideas and suggestions. Please contact ARCH Chief Executive John Bibby:

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