John Wheatley and the Housing Act 1924
The Housing (Financial Provisions) Act was the brainchild of the Health Minister, John Wheatley (1869–1930.) Wheatley was born in Co. Waterford, Ireland but received his political education in the heartlands of the Scottish Labour movement. Prior to 1924 in his Glasgow constituency, he fronted a rent strike. On being appointed the Health Secretary, Wheatley sought to draft a piece of legislation to remedy the social housing crisis. The Act that would become known as the Wheatley Housing Act allowed central government to provide subsidies to build public housing. This created employment in a depressed construction industry and provided homes at affordable rates for low-income families. By 1933, over half a million council homes had been built in the UK. It was a small but greatly influential legacy from the first Labour administration.