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Urban housing

Housing in the inter-war period

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The Housing and Planning Act 1919 (Addison Act)

Local councils were given subsidies from central government to build cheap rented houses. By 1922 312,000 homes were built. Poor families could not afford to pay the rents for these houses.

Chamberlain's Housing Act 1923

Private builders were given subsidies to build houses. This helped people who could afford to buy their own homes. By 1929 438,000 houses had been built. The poor were not affected.

The Wheatley Housing Act 1924.

Central government gave subsidies to local councils to build houses. By 1933 500,000 council houses had been built. Poor families could not afford to pay the rents for these houses.

The Greenwood Act 1930

Central government gave grants to local councils to demolish slum homes and re-house the people who had lived in them. By 1939 245,000 slums had been demolished. Overcrowded and filthy slums remained a problem in Britain at the outbreak of World War Two.

Private Ownership

There was a great increase in house building in the 1930s. These houses were mainly privately owned. Suburbs continued to grow around towns and cities.


Woman in a post war slum.

Class Clips

Video clip about the poor standard of living many people faced in post-war Scotland


People dancing at a post-war party.

Class Clips

How the post war boom increased national prosperity

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