The construction industry and housing
There is a widely-held belief that one of the major ‘problems’ with housing is the construction industry, that if only this industry were better organised and more efficient the housing problem could be solved. This was the view of the 1964 Labour government with its emphasis on technology and rationalisation, and the idea resurfaces from time to time when the housing problem is discussed. This can be interpreted as yet another ideological view, a failure or unwillingness to recognise that it is the economic system which is at the root of the problem. We shall show in this chapter that it is this economic system too which creates many of the problems in the building industry: the uneven flow of work, the fact that the less socially useful building types generate greater profits than housing, the skewed distribution of sizes of firm, the suppression of trade union activity and so on.
KeywordsSmall Firm Large Firm Construction Industry Building Industry Labour Government
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