iusThe Parker Morris Committee drew up the influential 1961 report on public housing in the United Kingdom entitled Homes for today and tomorrow. The report concluded that the quality of social housing needed to be improved to match the rise in living standards, and made a number of recommendations.

Out of the report came the Parker Morris Standards. In 1967 these became mandatory for all housing built in New Towns, extended to all council housing in 1969, although they had by then already been adopted by many councils. The mandatory nature of the standards was ended by the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980, as concerns grew over the cost of housing and public spending generally.

Among the standards are that:

  • In one, two and three bedroom dwellings, one WC is required, and it may be in the bathroom.
  • A semi-detached or end-of-terrace house for 4 people should have a net floor area of 72 square metres.
  • A dwelling for three or more people should have enclosed storage space for the kitchen of 2.3 cubic metres.
  • Dwellings should be fitted with heating systems that maintain the kitchen and circulation space at 13C, and the living and dining spaces at 18 celsius, when the external temperature is -1C.

In the private sector the Parker Morris Standards influenced the 1967 and subsequent standards set by the NHBRC, now the NHBC (National House Building Council), but were not adopted as written. However most public and private sector housing being built today fails to meet the Parker Morris standards for floor and storage space.