Following the First World War the Government tried to meet the demand for good quality homes for working-class families in towns throughout Britain. Housing was deemed a national responsibility for the first time and overseen by local authorities. The Addison Act in 1919 offered subsidies to local authorities to build 500,000 houses within three years. Manchester aimed to build 17,000 of these council homes, but by 1923 had only built 4,100.
The new Conservative Government wanted to encourage private builders to construct homes for owner-occupation so they passed the 1923 Chamberlain Act. This extended the subsidies to private construction firms. These Phormium Houses were built in 1929 by a private company who received a fixed subsidy of £75 per house. They each had a parlour and three bedrooms.