Britain underwent a dramatic restructuring of its housing tenure pattern during the course of the twentieth century. Why this should be the case requires explanation. Its significance is not only in the transformation of property rights and financial gains and losses in the housing stock but also to wider society. As Kemeny has shown, different configurations of housing tenure impact on urban form and welfare state development. ‘Home owning societies’, for example, are more likely to have private insurance-based, workfare forms of welfare provision (Kemeny, 1981). The scale of tenure restructuring in Britain over the twentieth century should make us vigilant for evidence of these wider issues. Looked at in this way ‘housing’ is not simply an accumulated stock of dwellings but is also a source, or at least a catalyst, to social change. It is something of a paradox that such an immovable entity as a stock of dwellings could be the focal point of dynamic social change. The explanation and development of this issue is discussed in detail in Chapter 10.
KeywordsLocal Authority House Price Housing Policy Housing Stock Rental Housing
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