Council Housing and Culture (Planning, History, and the by Alison Ravetz

By Alison Ravetz

Born of idealism, and as soon as an icon of the Labour circulate and pillar of the Welfare country, council housing is now nearing its finish. yet do its many failings outweigh its optimistic contributions to public future health and wellbeing?Alison Ravetz the following offers the 1st finished and apolitical heritage from which to reach at a balanced judgement. Drawing at the widest attainable proof, from tenant and govt documents to the equipped setting itself, she tells the tale of British council housing, from its seeds in Victorian reactions to 'the Poor', in philanthropy and version villages, Christian and different sorts of socialism. Her depiction of council housing in its mature years indicates the customarily weird and wonderful endurance of 'utopian' attitudes (whether in architectural layout or administration styles); its upward push to a monopoly place in working-class family members housing; the numerous compromises consequent on its country finance and native authority regulate; and the impression on working-class lives as an intellectuals' 'utopian dream' used to be switched over right into a social coverage for the loads.

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Sample text

Woodlands model mining village near Doncaster was designed in 1907 by the winner (Percy Houfton) of the Letchworth housing competition, to be mentioned again later. Sir James Reckitt, producer of ‘Reckitts Blue’ for whitening laundry and other indispensable household items, founded his Garden Village in Hull the following year. Between the wars, among others, the Bata shoe company built its East Tilbury estate, Bowaters’ built Kemsley in Kent, Wedgewood Barlaston Hall, and the Crittall metal windows company the ‘village’ of Silver End in Essex.

31 As well as being much more comprehensive, the model villages were expressions of their founders’ social and political ideals. They were not necessarily exclusive to their own employees, and many things besides homes were provided, for they set out to be microcosms of what in their founders’ view was an ideal society. By convention, the series of model villages is taken to begin with New Lanark, built around a cotton spinning mill about 1785 by 34 Council Housing and Culture the father-in-law of Robert Owen.

An attempt at really low rent accommodation was unsuccessful but tenancies were allocated on a proportionate basis to certain categories: sons and daughters of existing tenants to provide continuity; teachers, doctors and other professionals of obvious value to the community; and people in genuine housing need. Some of Octavia Hill’s trainees were used as housing managers. All three villages made a significant impact on housing policy and also town planning, and the hope of all their founders that they would set a trend was largely realized.

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