The Evolution of Housing Policies

  • Leland S. Burns
  • Leo Grebler


Modern housing policy is a product of the past two generations. Before World War I even the most advanced nations did not accept public intervention beyond regulatory measures to assure minimum standards of safety and health, such as building and occupancy codes. Improvement of housing conditions was left to the market or the employers or to the beneficence of philanthropists, whose efforts were too spasmodic to have any real impact. Social pressures for action by local or central governments had gathered considerable momentum but met with halfhearted or no response. National legislation adopted in a few countries remained dormant in the absence of large-scale funding.


Social Housing Housing Policy Urban Renewal Housing Sector Housing Program 
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    J. Musil, ‘The Housing Situation and Problems in Czechoslovakia’, in A. A. Nevitt (ed.), The Economic Problems of Housing (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1967) p. 179.Google Scholar
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    E. M. Fisher and R. M. Fisher, Urban Real Estate (New York: Henry Holt, 1954) pp. 441, 443.Google Scholar
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    Quoted in F. Berry, Housing: The Great British Failure (London: Charles Knight, 1974) p. 16.Google Scholar
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    Cf. J. A. Riffs, The Children of the Poor (New York: Scribner’s Sons, 1892) and the same author’s Children of the Tenements (New York: Macmillan, 1903).Google Scholar
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    A. L. Schorr, Slums and Social Insecurity (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Social Security Administration, Research Report No. 1, 1963) p. 127.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Leland S. Burns and Leo Grebler 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leland S. Burns
    • 1
  • Leo Grebler
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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