Rents, Rachman and Regulation

  • Keith G. Banting
Part of the Studies in Policy-Making book series (STPM)


The first major crack in the contemporary image of an affluent Britain came in the field of housing. The poor faced many problems, but it was the plight of poor tenants that first caught public attention in the 1960s. Throughout the early years of the decade, housing debate was repeatedly dominated by signals of hardship from the private rented sector of the market; charges of disgraceful living conditions, intense over-crowding, exorbitant rents and, in some cases, physical abuse of poor and elderly tenants echoed in the media, Parliament and Whitehall. Housing problems gave many Britons their first real glimpse of the other side of the affluent society.


Housing Policy Housing Association Labour Party Housing Problem Rent Control 
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  1. 1.
    This section is drawn primarily from David Donnison, The Government of Housing (Harmondsworth, Middx.: Penguin, 1967)Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    David Donnison, the Report of the Committee on Housing in Greater London (London: HMSO, Cmnd 2605, 1967), hereafter cited as the Milner Holland Report.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    On the history of British housing policy in the interwar period, see Marian Bowley, Housing and the State (London: Allen & Unwin, 1945).Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    On the 1957 controversy, see Malcolm J. Barnett, The Politics of Legislation: The Rent Act 1957 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1969).Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    For an analysis of the assumptions of the two parties about the impact of the Act, see David Donnison, C. Cockburn and T. Corlett, Housing Since the Rent Act (London: Occasional Papers on Social Administration, No. 3, 1961), p. 83.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    As late as 1969 Harold Wilson was still appealing to the party conference by denouncing the Conservatives as ‘the party of the Rent Act’, despite the fact that the most recent rent act had been passed by his own Government. See Harold Wilson, The Labour Government: 1964–1970 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson and Michael Joseph, 1971), p. 707.Google Scholar
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    David Butler and Richard Rose, The British General Election of 1959 (London: Macmillan, 1960), p. 54. For a discussion of the electoral consequences of the legislation, see Barnett, Politics of Legislation, ch. 12.Google Scholar
  8. 26.
    Evelyn Sharp, The Ministry of Housing and Local Government (London: Allen & Unwin, 1969), p. 10.Google Scholar
  9. 27.
    See J. B. Cullingworth, Housing and Local Government in England and Wales (London: Allen & Unwin, 1966), chs. 8–10.Google Scholar
  10. 28.
    John Greve, London’s Homeless (London: Occasional Social Papers on Social Administration, No. 10, 1965), chs. 2–3; also Guardian, 23 Nov 1963.Google Scholar
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    David Butler and Donald Stokes, Political Change in Britain, 2nd edn. (London: Macmillan, 1974), pp. 287–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 93.
    Dame Evelyn Sharp, ‘Housing: The Past Ten Years’, Chartered Surveyor, (1956), pp. 291–6.Google Scholar
  13. 93.
    Dame Evelyn Sharp, The Ministry of Housing and Local Government (London: Allen & Unwin, 1969), p. 71.Google Scholar
  14. 100.
    John Greve, Private Landlords in Britain (London: Occasional Papers on Social Administration No. 16, 1965), p. 10.Google Scholar
  15. 100.
    See also J. B. Cullingworth, Housing in Transition (London: Heinemann, 1963), ch. 5.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Keith G. Banting 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith G. Banting
    • 1
  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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