Town Planning Review

Homes unfit for heroes: The slum problem in London and Neville Chamberlain's Unhealthy Areas Committee, 1919–21

Town Planning Review (2009), 80, (2), 143–171.

Abstract

The clearance and redevelopment of the slums after the First World War takes second place in most histories of social housing to Lloyd George's subsidised house-building campaign, which famously promised 'Homes fit for Heroes'. Yet the attack on the slums prompted widespread debate about the merits of multi-storey tenement flats versus low-rise cottages as replacements for demolished dwellings. The paper begins by reviewing the post-war housing situation in London and the often conflicting approaches of the LCC and the London metropolitan boroughs. It continues to discuss the proceedings and recommendations of the Unhealthy Areas Committee (1919–21), which was chaired by Neville Chamberlain shortly after his first election as an MP. The committee explored a wide range of town planning issues and helped to inform Chamberlain's subsequent career as the longest serving Minister of Health in the 1920s.

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Author details

Pepper, Simon

Richmond, Peter