HOMES in Sedgemoor has been celebrating 100 years of the Addison Act this week.

After the First World War there was a huge demand for housing and, in 1919, Parliament passed the Housing Act which helped fund the construction of social housing.

The Act, often known as the Addison Act after the then Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Addison, was the first step in making housing a national responsibility and in developing large scale council housing.

Over the next three years 213,000 homes were built nationally, and today there are more than 1.6 million council houses in the UK providing much needed affordable accommodation for families and individuals.

Homes in Sedgemoor is the largest provider of social housing in Sedgemoor managing 4,200 properties on behalf of Sedgemoor District Council.

One of Homes in Sedgemoor’s longest standing tenants, who has chosen to be known as Mrs L, has looked back on her time living in social housing.

Mrs L has now lived in her current home for almost 50 years but remembers growing up as a child in a council house in East Huntspill.

Back then, many houses had outside toilets and coal sheds and families often grew their own vegetables in their gardens.

Mrs L met her future husband while working at Bason Bridge Milk Factory. The couple got married in 1948, and had two sons.

As a young family, they could not afford their own home to begin with, and started off renting rooms. But, after a while, Mrs L, her husband and her children moved into a small caravan for a number of years.

After a few days away at her sister’s, to her surprise, Mrs L returned to find a letter waiting for her offering a council house.

But if she wanted it she needed to collect the keys by midday the same day.

So, with only minutes to spare, Eileen managed to collect the keys to their new home in Highbridge.

This is just one of the many stories that have been shared with Homes in Sedgemoor during the week-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Addison Act.

Chris Moseley, who has lived in social housing in Sedgemoor for nearly two decades, and who is also Homes in Sedgemoor’s chairman of the board, explained his thoughts on the impact of the Addison Act.

He said: “The Addison Act is a hugely important piece of legislation in this country, as it made housing a national priority, and of course, was the beginning of social housing that we know today.

“As a social housing tenant, I am delighted to be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Act with my fellow tenants and Homes in Sedgemoor colleagues alike.

“Social Housing is essential as it allows people to put down roots and build a home, it contributes to the well-being of both parents and children, and helps to strengthen neighbourhoods. Without it, many families would be without shelter and a home.

“On this important anniversary, I would like to wish all social housing tenants an enjoyable and prosperous future in their homes.”

Councillor Duncan McGinty, Leader of Sedgemoor District Council, added: “100 years of providing housing is a great achievement.

“I am pleased that local government, in one guise or another, has helped thousands of families over the years and will continue to do so. ”