Council seeks to mark 100 years since the ‘Addison Act’

July 2019 marks 100 years since the introduction of the ‘Addison Act’. The 1919 Housing  Act, often known as the ‘Addison Act’ after its author, the then Minister of Health Dr Christopher Addison - sought  to create “habitations fit for the heroes who have won the war” following the end of World War I.

Dr Addison was a surgeon and the MP for Shoreditch, an overcrowded district of London. Addison understood that decent, affordable housing was an investment in a happier society.

The introduction of the ‘Addison Act’ saw local authorities tasked with building working-class housing in their areas and treasury grants were introduced to cover the cost of this mass council building programme. The Act, along with other inter-war Housing Acts, established the principle of state-subsidised social housing for several decades with over 5m council homes built by 1979. 

The Forest of Dean District Council recognises the significant legacy of this Act and like Addison the benefits that decent, affordable housing can bring in delivering a happier society. Whilst the Council no longer owns its own council housing, it works in close partnership with Housing Associations to enable the delivery of new affordable housing. Between 2000 – 2019, the Council has enabled the delivery of over 1,200 new affordable homes.

Councillor Di Martin, Cabinet Member for Housing and Town and Parish Councils (inc Town Centre development) said;

“It is our intention to increase the number of new homes in partnership with others, so to mark the centenary of the ‘Addison Act’ the Council are in early discussions with a Housing Association partner over the possible provision of an exemplar housing scheme. Whilst the scheme will address the basic issue of providing good quality homes to help meet housing need, the principles that existed for the introduction of the Addison Act, it will also look to address the current high profile issues such as climate change.

“In addition on the centennial anniversary of the Act, whilst not council housing in the traditional sense, the Council will be delivering its first housing scheme in over 25 years at Foxglove Gardens, Coleford. “

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