Municipal Dreams

Social housing – council housing in plain terms in earlier years – has transformed countless lives over the decades.  For some a safety net, for others a springboard, for nearly all a decent home, council housing has met the basic human need for shelter for millions for whom the free market has failed.

The recognition of our duty as a community to ensure good quality and affordable housing for all emerged in the late nineteenth century.  Industrialisation and urbanisation created slums that offended the Victorian social conscience.  An increasingly organised working class demanded reform.  And there was recognition too that housing conditions which stunted individual lives weakened the nation as a whole.  A case for council housing grew that was moral, political and economic.

Eldon Grove, Liverpool, opened in 1912. Imaging Department © President and Fellows of Harvard College Eldon Grove, Liverpool, opened in 1912. Imaging Department © President and Fellows of Harvard College

Before 1914 it was Conservative governments which were responsible for the most…

View original post 1,365 more words

Advertisements