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 circulation and pillar of the Welfare country, council housing is now nearing its finish. yet do its many failings outweigh its confident contributions to public well-being and wellbeing?Alison Ravetz right here presents the 1st entire and apolitical heritage from which to reach at a balanced judgement. Drawing at the widest attainable facts, from tenant and govt files 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 types of socialism. Her depiction of council housing in its mature years indicates the usually extraordinary endurance of 'utopian' attitudes (whether in architectural layout or administration styles); its upward thrust to a monopoly place in working-class relatives housing; the numerous compromises consequent on its nation finance and native authority keep watch over; and the impression on working-class lives as an intellectuals' 'utopian dream' was once switched over right into a social coverage for the hundreds.

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Example text

The village proper was not started for another 16 years and in 1900 a Village Trust was founded, supposedly to guard against too much control by Cadbury. His first intention was to offer the houses for sale, with a 50 per cent deposit and 15-year repayment period. They were not built for the poor, therefore, but for ‘a superior class of quiet and respectable tenant’,32 not necessarily Cadbury employees, who in fact constituted less than half. But as early purchasers bought houses only for speculation, Cadbury later decided to lease them.

Many of their buildings remain, the Association’s Streatham Street Flats of 1849, near Covent Garden, having stood the test of time particularly well. While the two societies set out to demonstrate the practicality of healthy tenements even on expensive metropolitan sites, the charitable or ‘philanthropy and five per cent’ housing trusts that followed on their example in the 1860s did not in fact find this easy, even with the benefit of access to cheap loans from 1866. The Peabody Trust and Waterlow Improved Industrial Dwellings Company, founded in the early 1860s, responded to the challenge in different ways.

Much of the development was done by housing societies operating under the then new Industrial and Provident Societies Act of 1893, and the first was Bournville Tenants, a workers’ housing co-operative founded in 1906. Bournville looks more modern than Port Sunlight, largely because of the importance given to the private domestic garden. Its overall housing densities were in fact slightly higher and there were other respects, such as its external WCs, in which it may not have been so trend-setting as the other village.

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