Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2005): Social Housing - UK

Dreams of Eden

C. Holmes

Roof, Nov./Dec. 2005, p.10-11

After World War I it was accepted that housing the working classes was the responsibility of the state, and attractive and spacious social housing was designed. In the 1930s the focus shifted to slum clearance, and the standard of new council housing was reduced, with more blocks of flats. After World War II, the Conservative governments championed home ownership. At the same time, governments were under pressure to clear the slums, and responded with a proliferation of large tower blocks. In the 1980s the right to buy reduced the council housing stock as sitting tenants were encouraged to buy their homes. As a result social housing became the preserve of the poorest families. Article calls for the creation of mixed income and mixed tenure communities to combat the ill effects of the residualisation of social housing.

Make court the last resort

M. Sanders

Roof, Nov./Dec. 2005, p.12-13

Many housing associations resort too readily to eviction of vulnerable tenants with rent arrears. Author argues that it is more effective to offer tenants rewards and incentives if they pay their rent regularly.

Turning the corner

P. May

Roof, Nov./Dec.2005, p.24-26

Manchester has been plagued by rogue private landlords who buy up cheap property for rent, but do not maintain it. The council is responding by using new licensing powers under the 2004 Housing Act. Licensing of houses in multiple occupation will apply across the city, while the council will have further powers of discretionary and selective licensing in areas of housing stress and low demand.

Views of teenage parents on their support housing needs

D. Martin, J. Sweeney and J. Cooke

Community Practitioner, vol.78, 2005, p.392-396

Teenage parents are at risk of experiencing adverse socio-economic outcomes and poor housing. Study collected data from 25 young parents (20 mothers and five fathers) through semi-structured interviews and a small focus group on the type of support housing they thought would meet their needs. Results showed that the young parents became homeless due to a breakdown in support available from family and friends. The young people said that they needed to be housed near their families, to be given detailed information about benefits and financial management, and to be allocated a permanent tenancy with their own space and privacy. However once they had moved into their home many felt isolated and lonely. Of the various models of supported housing on offer, most regarded independent housing with floating support as being most likely to meet their needs.

Will Barker bite?

G. Bramley

Roof, Nov/Dec. 2005, p.27-30

A shortage of housing in England is pushing up prices to unsustainable levels. This shortage is due to unavailability of land with planning permission. In response the Barker review proposed reforms of the planning system that would release more land for housing. These proposals have provoked opposition from groups such as the Council for the Protection of Rural England. In order to increase the housing supply, the author calls for:

  • Planning at sub-regional and city region level
  • Incentives to local authorities to allow more housing development
  • More use of section 106 planning agreements
  • Planning urban growth as urban extensions, with corridors of urban development with wedges of green space in between.
Search Welfare Reform on the Web