A New Vision for Housing by Christopher Holmes

By Christopher Holmes

In 1945 the Labour executive got down to allow each person to have a good domestic, the place humans from all walks of lifestyles may reside jointly. This dream used to be destroyed via a succession of avoidable errors and virtually each person now turns out to think that it truly is very unlikely to rediscover that imaginative and prescient. This publication demanding situations that fatalism, tracing the coverage error that experience given upward thrust to this inequitable kingdom from the folly of mass housing to the unfair tax privileges of many householders. Holmes describes and advocates a brand new imaginative and prescient for the recent millennium, discovering suggestions variously in improvement, making plans, financial constructions, social reform, and political reassessment to slender the distance among wealthy and terrible and allow humans in all housing tenures to ultimately have a choice.

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Council housing was a prime target. Politicians ignored the role that an earlier Conservative Government had played in the promotion of high-density housing estates and untested industry building systems, and launched virulent attacks on the incompetence of Labour-controlled local authorities. Many of the criticisms of high-density, systems-built flats and the failure of local authority management were fully justified, but it is also important to recognise that there was a deep, class-based animosity to council housing which had been displayed from its early years, as shown by the long battle over the Cutteslowe wall described in Chapter 1 and the resistance to building new council homes outside the boundaries of the urban areas.

1 Percentage of local authority tenants with no earner (1962–2003) There were three different factors that led to this change. The first was that access to council housing was opened up to more low-income groups, who had previously been excluded or under-represented. The second was the change in the income levels of existing tenants, with an increase in the number of households without anyone in paid employment. The third factor was that better-off tenants were leaving the council housing sector.

Its growing band of critics saw municipal ownership of rented housing as the problem, not the solution. The single most significant reason for this loss of popularity of council housing was the quality of the high-density flatted estates that were built. At the start of the 1950s the major cities were faced with a massive problem, as they tried to replace the homes that had been destroyed in the war, demolish the dilapidated nineteenth-century slums and to find accommodation for the growing number of young families.

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