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Public Policy and Politics and housing finance - Essay Example

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Development of social housing in London covers the history of the great city from the early philanthropic dwellings of the Victorian city to| post-war construction and developments planned for twenty first century in the Thames Gateway. London coffee houses and social housing has come a long way and they are the landmarks of the city through centuries of its development and they reflect the social and economic dimensions that the city has gone through over a period of time…
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Public Policy and Politics and housing finance
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Public Policy and Politics and housing finance

Download file to see previous pages... In 2001, Labour promised to improve all social housing into 'Decent Homes Standard' by 2010, and according to this requirement, bathrooms beyond 30 and kitchens beyond 20 years should be repaired immediately. "Warm, wind and weather tight, a good state of repair and modern facilities were the criteria upon which the Government based its judgement of a decent home" reported BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/insideldn/politics/politics_070304.shtml
To trace the history of London housings, it is necessary to have a look at the recent growth of housing in London. The pressure of housing was felt in Victorian days of 19th century and some decent tenement blocks were provided by kind philanthropists and factory owners such as Saltaire, Post Sunlight, Bourneville, Silver End etc. Housing of the Working Classes Act, 1890 encouraged local authorities, who started building flats and houses in early 20th century. First World War indirectly provided new impetus and the Home fit for heroes was launched in 1919 paving way to Housing Act, 1919 and Cottage Estates. Housing Act 1930 contained increase of slums. Onset of Second World War saw a boom in council house construction as four million houses were destroyed during these unfortunate years. New Towns Act 1946 and the Town and Country Planning Act of 1947 gave inspiration to terrace houses, semi-detached on 7 by 7 yard grid, at least 12 per acre which gave a good house surrounded by sufficient space around it with indoor bathrooms and toilets and this model was highly popular amongst working class. 1950s saw the rise of modernist architecture like system building (prefabricated) and tower blocks on the argument that more dwellings could be provided. There were complains of poor standards, dampness, weather ingress, design defects, poor quality of material; but over the years, councils and building associations eradicated most of the shortcomings. But the gas explosion in 1968 in Newham resulting in partial collapse of Ronan Point brought the problems connected with tower blocks sharply into focus.
War had profound effects on London. In three centuries, that was the first time when the city was directly attacked, unleashing 'blitzkreig' a terrifying new dimension in September 1940. It continued for eleven weeks and while death-toll rose to 20,000, London was reduced to a landscape of ruins. One third of housing stock was either damaged or destroyed. Cynically speaking, it heralded an immediate social change and women became the at-home work force and houses had to be built as no London family escaped the scar of Second World War. Bombs left empty spaces where buildings had been. Beginning of 1950s saw rampant homelessness in London as well as in other cities. "As it showed itself an actual homelessness, the peak of the post-war housing shortage was in 1951, when just under 3,500 homeless people were living in the London Country Council's 'rest centres' and ex-Poor Law institutions," Greve (1971, p.58).

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