Today we surprised one of our amazing tenants Molly James from Kirkburton with a special commemorative hamper to celebrate 100 years of social housing in the UK.
Molly, who is 103 and has lived in social housing for 73 years, is just one of a number of 100+-year-olds KNH tenants across Kirklees who we’ll be visiting to give hampers, containing a number of goodies donated by local business from across Kirklees and Yorkshire, to this week.
Molly said, “I’ve lived in council homes for 73 years, the first was in Lepton, and I have also lived in Skelmanthorpe, now I am in a fantastic flat in Kirkburton. I love where I live now, it has everything I need, it’s nice and quiet, my family is near. I like my independence, I would not like to be in a home, I am stopping here as long as I can, I hope forever.
“We were so excited 73 years ago when we got the key for our new council home. My husband borrowed a hand cart and slowly bit by bit he moved the lot into our new three bedroomed house.
“I was so thrilled when I got the hamper, I am dying to open it but don’t want to spoil it. I am looking forward to a cup of Yorkshire Tea.
Joanne Bartholomew, Chief Operating Officer at KNH has said: “Social housing is something to shout about and celebrate. It’s come a long way since it was established as government policy soon after World War One part of the Addison Act and we thought what better opportunity to celebrate 100 years of social housing than with our 100-year-old tenants.
“We put together food hampers of all things Yorkshire that have kindly been donated by some of the fantastic businesses we have in Kirklees and I would like to say a big thanks to them for supporting us. It’s been fantastic to deliver the hampers to our tenants to celebrate with them and reminisce of their experience of social housing through the years.
“What I have been struck by when visiting Molly today in how important independence is as you grow older and how the things that we do at KNH and what we provide helps that independence. It’s important for us to remember that people live their lives in our homes and we help them live the best life possible and its made my day today to see that Molly is absolutely living her best life through our support in one of our homes.”
The Addison Act
The Addison Act, which was introduced by Lord Christopher Addison in 1919 after WW1, marked the start of social housing in the UK. Addison believed that war heroes and their families should have had good quality and affordable housing.
Following the end of WW1 in 1918, Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, called for a general election and promised “habitations fit for the heroes who have won the war”.
This pledge – generally abbreviated to ‘homes fit for heroes’ – marked the start of the nationwide system of council housing.
Legislation followed led by Minister of Health Christopher Addison who introduced the new Housing Act in July 2019
Local authorities were charged with building working-class housing in their areas with treasury grants available to cover the costs.