John Boughton, historian and author of Muncipal Dreams: The Rise and Fall of Council Housing, kicked off the London Tenants Federation annual conference in November 2019 with a whistle-stop tour of some of the best examples of social housing estates built in London. These are the presentation slides that accompanied his speech.
According to John, the 1919 Addison Act, named after the Minister of Health who introduced it, brought about a sea change in housing in this country. Councils were required not only to survey housing need – and they were given just three months to do so – but also to actively prepare plans to meet that need.
A tenant of one of the estates built in the aftermath of the Addison Act said of their new home, “From where we’d come from it was paradise, a silly thing to say but it really was. We thought it was Buckingham Palace.”