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Word Count: 1,131
In what ways did twentieth-century planners consider that their new utopia was better than the Victorian urban inheritance The official involvement in housing dates back to a mid-Victorian concern with slum properties as breeding grounds for epidemic disease vice and lawlessness This left Britain housing its population in a crumbling Victorian legacy in the first half of the twentieth-century which was now widely regarded as one of the sharpest indictments against laissez-faire society Before 1914 only ten per cent of homes were owner-occupied almost all the rest being privately rented from land lords small property-owners with either no intention or little resources to maintain or improve their houses Nearly half of all households lacked the sole use of a bathroom two in every five households lacked a bath at all and nearly a quarter had no exclusive use of a toilet Slum conditions were uneven but widespread in 1911 almost a third of the population of Newcastle and Sunderland and over a half of Glasgow lived in the overcrowded conditions of the one room tenement Post-war Britain required a re-development scheme for the 200000 houses that had been destroyed 250000 badly damaged and her newly enlightened growing population with greater expectations and demands for improved conditions There was complete two party agreement about the need to initiate a substantial house building programme after many years of neglect In the Labour Party manifesto was written Housing will be one of the greatest and one of the earlier tests of a Governments real determination to put the nation first Labours pledge is firm and direct-it will proceed with a housing programme with the maximum practical speed until every family in this island has a good standard of accommodation Housing policy was the responsibility of the Ministry of Health until 1951 when it was transferred to the new Ministry of Local Government and Planning Overcrowding was identified
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