The Distribution of Housing

  • Julia Parker


The distribution of houses, unlike health and education, is largely determined by the market. Most people buy or rent their dwellings privately, and the arrangements they make are only indirectly and occasionally affected by government policy. The minority who rent their houses from the public authorities have in the past had their rent subsidised, mainly by government subsidies payable to local authorities in respect of the houses they build, in some cases by local rates and in some cases through differential rent or rebate schemes. Government intervention has taken the form of a succession of largely unco-ordinated activities designed to control or regulate the free market and to encourage public authorities to build houses, and the outcome is frequently confusion and muddle in people’s minds about their housing prospects and rights.1


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  1. 1.
    Lucy Syson and Michael Young, ‘Poverty in Bethnal Green’, in Poverty Report 1974, ed. Michael Young (Temple Smith, 1974).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    See such different authorities as Edwin Chadwick, The Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Papulation of Great Britain 1842, ed. M. W. Flinn (Edinburgh University Press, 1965), and Alvin Schorr, Slums and Social Insecurity (Nelson, 1964) on the physical and moral dangers of bad housing.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Central Statistical Office, Social Trends, no. 2 (H.M.S.O., 1971).Google Scholar
  4. 27.
    Adela Adam Nevitt, Housing, Taxation and Subsidies (Nelson, 1966). Miss Nevitt gives a useful analysis of the decline of the private landlord.Google Scholar
  5. 28.
    P. A. Stone, Urban Development in Britain (Cambridge University Press, 1970) chap. 15.Google Scholar
  6. 36.
    Ministry of Housing and Local Government, Council Housing Purposes, Procedures and Priorities (H.M.S.O., 1969) para. 165.Google Scholar
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    J. A. G. Griffith, Central Departments and Local Authorities (Allen & Unwin, 1966) p. 244.Google Scholar
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    R. A. Parker, The Rents of Council Houses (Bell, 1967).Google Scholar
  9. 40.
    See Malcolm Joel Barnett, The Politics of Legislation (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1969) for an analysis of the developments leading to the Rent Act of 1957. The author is particularly critical of the failure to carry out any adequate research into the housing situation and the likely effects of de-control.Google Scholar
  10. 41.
    Nevitt, Housing, Taxation and Subsidies; J. B. Cullingworth, English Housing Trends (Bell, 1965).Google Scholar
  11. 46.
    Audrey Harvey, in Social Services for All?, Part 3, Fabian Tract 384 (1968). C.P.A.G., Poverty, no. 22 (Spring 1972).Google Scholar
  12. 49.
    John Greve et al., Homelessness in London (Scottish Academic Press, 1971) p. 57.Google Scholar
  13. 53.
    Norman Dennis, People and Planning (Faber, 1970).Google Scholar
  14. See also J. G. Davies, The Evangelistic Bureaucrat (Tavistock, 1972).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Julia Parker 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Parker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social and Administrative StudiesUniversity of OxfordUK

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