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Renewing Europe's housing$
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Richard Turkington and Christopher Watson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447310129

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447310129.001.0001

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Housing renewal in England

Housing renewal in England

(p.41) Three Housing renewal in England
Renewing Europe's housing

Christopher Watson

Richard Turkington

Policy Press

The chapter considers the development of housing renewal policies in England, from the 19th century onwards. Approaches to ‘area improvement’ from 1969 to the early 2000s are reviewed, in both private and public sectors. Housing renewal has been continually affected by changes in housing policy including, in the 1990s, the introduction of means testing and the eventual withdrawal of individual grants for private house improvement; and the adoption in the 2000s of the ‘decent home standard’ as a new approach to assessing housing conditions. A government programme launched in 2000 aimed to bring all social housing to the decent home standard within 10 years but at the same time, funding for private sector renewal was gradually withdrawn, with the result that in 2011, 24 per cent of housing in England was below the decent home standard, much of it in the private sector. Energy efficiency in housing and fuel poverty among households are important policy concerns: many people cannot afford to improve their housing, yet are badly affected by ever-rising energy costs. A case study of the Summerfield area of Birmingham exemplifies what has been learnt from almost 45 years’ experience of area-based housing renewal in England. Such policies need to be continued if the country’s persistent problems of older housing are to be effectively tackled.

Keywords:   housing policy development, area improvement 1969-2012, decent homes, improvement grants, energy efficiency, fuel poverty, Green Deal, Summerfield, Birmingham

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