1945–1961: From Everybody’s Problem to Problem Families

  • Jamie HardingEmail author


In the early post-war period, both Labour and Conservative governments devoted considerable energies to building new properties. Some limited provision was made for homeless families through the 1948 National Assistance Act, but this Act proved inadequate for several reasons. Local authorities frequently acted in a manner that was consistent with the prevailing public view of homelessness as affecting ‘problem families’, who were undeserving of anything beyond the most basic assistance. Governments similarly tended to attribute homelessness among single people to personal failings—services encouraged them to ‘settle’.


Housebuilding 1948 National Assistance Act Problem families Welfare departments National Assistance Board Reception Centres 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northumbria UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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