Author Chris Matthews describes council housing as providing the "biggest collective leap in living standards in British history". Speaking to the National Housing Federation in September 2018, Prime Minister the Rt Hon Theresa May MP used this quote in her key note speech emphasising the value of social housing today.
Council housing in Nottingham is an essential part of the city’s history and identity. The slums of the nineteenth century laid the foundations for the surge of construction activity in the twentieth. Between the wars, Nottingham was recognised as one of the largest and fastest builders of council housing in the country, with huge garden city estates pushing at the city boundaries. During the 1960s and 1970s attention turned to the inner city, and by 1981 around half of Nottingham’s population lived in council tenancies. The Right to Buy discount of the 1980s heralded a new era of decreasing stock, massive sales and modest rebuilding, then the birth of Nottingham City Homes in 2005 opened a new chapter in the story of Nottingham’s council housing. Since 2010 Nottingham City Homes and Nottingham City Council have been building council housing again with renewed vigour and confidence.
In Nottingham, council housing is popular; it is widely recognised as something that has improved the lives of countless people. It is a story that connects people through shared experience and sheer geographic scale. As we search for solutions to our current housing crisis, council housing offers hope for the future.
This new and expanded edition of the book has been published as part of our celebrations for the centenary of the 1919 Housing Act (The 'Addison' Act). It includes new photographs and new material bringing the story of council housing in Nottingham right up-to-date.
Homes & Places:
A History of Nottingham's Council Houses
Written & Designed by Chris Matthews
Research & Editorial Support by Dan Lucas