A Century of Slum Clearance
DOI link for A Century of Slum Clearance
A Century of Slum Clearance book
A major objective of the public health movement in Britain from the 1840s onwards was the improvement of housing conditions. Under the Torrens Acts neither rehousing nor demolition were the legal responsibility of local government. Until Land Compensation Act 1973 laid down a general duty there was no obligation on local authorities to rehouse displaced occupiers of individual unfit houses. Actual progress on improvement works was very slow. In the first five years after the first Cross Act of 1875 some ten provincial local authorities initiated improvement schemes, not all of which were completed. The redirection of housing policy and new emphasis on slum clearance was described in the Annual Report of Ministry of Health in 1931: The Housing Act, 1930 marked a turning point in post-war housing policy. Resumption of slum clearance was out of the question in the immediate post-war period; there was a desperate shortage of accommodation and even a slum house was better than being homeless.