Restructuring the welfare state : privatization of public housing in Britain

Document Type

Book chapter

Source Publication

Housing needs and policy approaches: trends in thirteen countries

Publication Date


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Duke University Press


Forrest and Murie review the widespread provision of public housing in Britain since 1919. Important changes since 1979 include the sale of council (public) housing and other steps leading to the privatization of housing. Residents of public housing are increasingly composed of the disadvantaged, powerless poor in marginal occupations or on welfare, in contrast to the earlier broader distribution of working-class households who could resort to union wage demands or political action. Key changes in British government housing policy are reviewed in detail. Implications of the changes go beyond public housing to include social mobility, the distribution of wealth, and political orientation and, most broadly, to reflect a restructuring of the welfare state in Britain.

Funding Information

This chapter is based on a research project funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 1985 Duke University Press

Additional Information

ISBN of the source publication: 9780822305873



Recommended Citation

Forrest, R., & Murie, A. (1985). Restructuring the welfare state: Privatization of public housing in Britain. In W. van Vliet, E. Huttman, & S. Fava (Eds.), Housing needs and policy approaches: Trends in thirteen countries (pp. 97-109). Durham: Duke University Press.

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