Housing Studies, vol. 22, 2007, p. 261-282
This paper aims to establish to what extent housing related policies and programmes concerned with improving council estates achieved their objectives in the period 1975-2000. It first considers the broad political approaches and the various diagnoses of problem estates that informed the development of a range of programmes. The most important of these are then evaluated individually before an assessment is made of the achievements of policy in this area. It is concluded that the programmes did not resolve the complex problems of these estates, nor reposition them from the bottom of the residential hierarchy. This is partly because the macroeconomic climate and other government policies were unhelpful, but also because the policies lacked clear goals and a good understanding of the problems to be faced.