Social Housing Watch – A Brief History of Social Housing

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Why do we have social housing? What trends did it arise in response to? And how has it changed over the years? Take at look at our brief history of social housing.

1800 — 1850
Urban overcrowding

Between 1800 and 1850 the population of the UK doubled in size from 8 to 16 million people, and as the Industrial Revolution progressed more people moved out of the countryside and into cities to find work. By 1850 over half of the UK population lived in urban areas – mostly in squalid and overcrowded slums with open sewers and no running water. With living conditions so poor and disease so widespread, life expectancy in 1830 was a mere 29. Over the next century the need for decent housing, even for the poorest in society would become an ever larger issue.

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