The Beveridge report 80  years on: 'squalor' and housing - 'a true Goliath'

Brian Lund, Ian Greener, Martin Powell

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    The Beveridge Report listed ‘Squalor’ as one of the ‘five giants on the road to reconstruction’, with the use of the term pointing to a broader concern than individual houses ‘unfit for human habitation’. ‘Squalor’, said Beveridge, ‘arises mainly through haphazard distribution of industry and population’ indicated anxiety about pollution and the ‘mean’, dark streets in cities and industrial towns. Apart from these references, the Beveridge Report made no other mentions of ‘Squalor’ but in later publications, Beveridge advocated New Towns and the involvement of voluntary housing associations in housing supply as remedies to the problem. This article reviews the context and history of Beveridge's Giant of Squalor, considering how Beveridge dealt with the ‘problem of rent’ the attempts by governments to tackle the issue, examines the contributions made by New Towns and housing associations, records progress in improving minimum housing standards and investigates potential policies to overcome these challenges that might be included in a ‘New Beveridge’ Report.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)284-298
    Number of pages15
    JournalSocial Policy and Administration
    Issue number2
    Early online date25 Aug 2021
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


    • housing and homelessness
    • housing policy inc. planning policy
    • welfare states


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