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Homes for Heroes 100

The Addison Vision Today Panel Discussion

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The Addison Act of 1919 introduced the modern council estate and allocated substantial resources to building new houses.

Since then, millions of people have benefited from council housing. What was a great vision and an attempt to provide good and decent dwellings in a good society for middle- and working-class people, as well as create new communities, changed over the decades. Council housing began to be seen as a place of last resort for the poor, the quality of much housing began to decline, and right-to-buy saw the best houses sold and no new investment from the proceeds of this.

What lessons can be learned from this? And what lessons can be learned from other cities? John Boughton (author of the blog and book Municipal Dreams) looks at the Addison vision, what went right and what went wrong; Madge Dresser (University of Bristol) looks at what council housing did for the city of Bristol; and Simon G√ľntner (Head of Centre of Sociology, TU Wien) looks at the post-First World War Vienna housing programme, which remains in the ownership of the municipality and with cooperatives, but is now failing to deliver for lower-income groups and faces the additional pressure of migration to the city. Paul Smith (Bristol City Council) chairs.

This event was part of the Homes for Heroes 100 day within the Festival of the Future City.

photo: Panellist Madge dresser; photographer Evan Dawson.

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