Extract from Urban District Councils: Their Constitution, Powers and Duties, 1920 available from the LSE digital library.
(xii) Small Dwellings Acquisitions Act, 1899.-
This Act, which, except in name, has nothing to do with the “housing question,”
was meant to facilitate the acquisition of ownership of small dwellings (formerly not exceeding £400 in value, but now, as amended by the Housing Act of 1919, £800) by the persons occupying them. For this purpose the Urban District Council is empowered to lend money to the occupier. In Districts with a population of less than 10,000, the sanction of the County Council is required, or of the Ministry of Health if the County Council refuses. The money lent must in any case be repaid within 60 years at most. A few Districts have made considerable use of this Act. Ilford especially claims to have helped a large number of residents to buy their houses.