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Social Housing Policy in the Uk

  • Date Submitted: 05/06/2013 02:19 AM
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The need for social housing in the UK

“Housing is not a question of Conservatism or Socialism, it is a question of humanity.” [Harold Macmillan]

To state that there is a housing problem in the UK is to almost repeat an established truth.   But, controversially, it is true to state that the UK does not have a housing crisis.   It is, more specifically, a shortage of affordable housing that provides the source and mainstay of any problem with housing in the UK.   This is a situation that, in contemporary times, has been addressed by means of social housing policies - homes built by local authorities to provide secure tenancies at reasonable rents for those in society with lesser means.   Perspectives on the need for a social housing policy in the UK change according to the demands identified, or the cost of the provision entailed in the fulfilment of a stratagem.   King George V stated, in an extract from his speech to Representatives of the Local Authorities and Societies in 1919: “While the housing of the working class has always been a question of the greatest social importance, never has it been so important as now” Writer and historian, Lynsey Hanley, herself from the Chelmsley Wood estate in Birmingham, identifies 20th century social housing policies as “nineteenth century crusade[s] to house the poor in clean and comfortable surroundings.” Social housing policies are models that can only be constructed by means of collective action and a re-distribution of wealth on the part of greater society.   As the above references make clear, social housing at the onset of the 20th century was taken very seriously at all social levels, both as a need and as an obligation of a civilised society.   In the early part of the 21st century however, the “crusade” struggles under both the quantity of those who await social housing provision, how it should be designed and indeed, if housing should be preferentially distributed.

‘The Housing of the Working Classes Act’ (1890) is...


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