The Housing Crisis – Are “Garden Villages” A Solution?

Britain is currently experiencing an incredibly concerning housing crisis, resulting in too many people being forced into temporary housing or worse: having to sleep on the streets. This also does not excuse or in any way distract from the fact that a vast number of housing accommodation itself is in disgraceful disrepair and lacking in the basic health and safety regulations that it might once have been the government’s aim to deliver to every household in the United Kingdom. Now what is the current Tory government doing to try and combat this increasingly worsening problem throughout our land? “Garden villages.” An initiative with a typically middle-class name, this scheme is their intention to build decent housing in the light of 48,000 brand new habitations amounting to a the creation of a grand total of 14 of these “villages.”

This seems to be an impressive number at first, but consider for one moment that it does indeed seem a far cry compared to the housing initiatives undertaken by the Labour government after the Second World War. Indeed, one of the crucial differences was that the government back then was concerned to not only build more houses, but also to improve those that were already in existence. The people who benefitted from better living conditions from the Labour initiatives and legislative housing acts of the late 1940s were not just in their thousands: they were in their millions. The “garden villages” scheme sounds suspiciously like an initiative that will enable housing for a lucky few, but will avoid the even greater issue that many Britons supposedly living in functioning homes are in fact living in uninhabitable ones. It seems clear that this suggested solution is just simply not enough. The building and construction industries will need to be prepared to work together to ensure that more houses are built in the future, however with pathetic initiatives like these it seems unlikely that this will happen any time soon.


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BDC 305 Jun 2023