THE First World Warchanged politics and a consensus emerged about the need for a national housing policy.

In line with Lloyd George’s promise during the 1918 election to provide ‘Homes for Heroes’ an Act of 1919 required local authorities to provide working class housing with government subsidies.

Glasgow estimated a need for 57,000 new houses in the aftermath of the war to deal with its acute overcrowding problem.

Across the city, a number of municipal ‘schemes’ quickly emerged on undeveloped ground.

Mosspark. Pic: Glasgow City Archives

Mosspark. Pic: Glasgow City Archives

The earliest, including Riddrie, Mosspark and Knightswood, were built under the Ordinary scheme, which was a bit of a misnomer as these were the elite in Glasgow housing stock, and with high rents, rarely housed the working classes.

Built between 1920 and 1927 on open fields to the west of Cumbernauld Road, Riddrie was the first of these housing schemes.

It comprised a mixture of semi-detached and terraced cottages with gardens and three-storey tenement flats.

Mosspark housing plans. Pic: Glasgow City Archives

Mosspark housing plans. Pic: Glasgow City Archives

All the houses had cavity walling and electrical servicing, an innovation at the time. Around 1000 houses were built, but most of them were allocated to skilled workers earning above-average wages.

Mosspark, built in 1924, was elite in terms of Glasgow housing stock in the inter-war period.

It had a generous subsidy, but its rents were kept high by the Scottish Office’s insistence on economic rents. Houses were allocated to ‘respectable’ professional or white-collar workers.

Knightswood was Glasgow’s largest housing scheme when it was built, with a total of 6714 houses.

The land was purchased from the Summerlee Iron Company in 1921 and the Council set about building a garden suburb.

The buildings included semi-detached, terraced and cottage flats, all limited to two storeys.

Provision of amenities often lagged behind the building of houses in Glasgow housing schemes, but Knightswood fared better than many other areas.

The Corporation acquires 148 acres for Knightswood Park in 1929.

In addition to the two bowling greens and four tennis courts, the park included a golf course, pitch and putt course, boating pond, running track and cricket pitch.

Four new shopping centres, eight churches and six schools were also provided.

A further act in 1923 enabled a large increase in the number of more affordable homes to be built as rents were subsidised.

Glasgow built ‘intermediate’ houses which were usually to a similar standard as the ‘ordinary’ houses, but rents were cheaper.

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