10h - Beginnings of social housing

From Three Acres And A Cow
Jump to: navigation, search
  • Octavia Hill 'invents' social housing and welfare in late 1800s
  • Victorian philanthropists begin charitable housing
  • 1893 Industrialists build entire new villages for workforce
  • 1898 Garden City movement

songs, poems, quotes and stories

  • none yet

washing line

  • Victorian philanthropists begin charitable housing
  • 1893 Industrialists build entire new villages for workforce e.g. Cadbury's Bourneville on 120 acres
  • 1898 Garden City movement initiated by Ebenezer Howard, later focussed on Garden Suburbs - problem is build something nice without capping price/rent and soon no workers can afford to live there!

  • Late 1800s - Octavia Hill invents social housing and welfare plus National Trust, also saves Hampstead Heath from development - taken out of show early 2017

Sample Text

It's this point in the show, the 1800s where effectively land rights and housing rights become two separate things. Up to this point, people have lived on the land, grown their food on the land, in their homes. Now they've been cleared off the land so we have land rights and housing rights.

We're going to look at Housing Rights now. Also around this time industrialists, factory owners, realise that if they look after their workers better by housing them they'll be more efficient and productive, so people like Cadbury built Model Towns - Bourneville was the one that he built - and provided homes for workers. Very noble on one hand, very oppressive and controlling on the other hand. because a lot of these people who built the model towns were very religious. In Bourneville for example, you weren't allowed to drink alcohol. In other places you weren't allowed to fraternise with the opposite sex, or to dancing, some places as far as no singing. So we're really talking about quite controlling, oppressive places to live.

Further forward we have Ebenezer Howard and the Garden City movement. Another attempt to build beautiful homes for people. Beautiful towns designed for a wide cross section of society. beautiful ideals. Problem is, if you don't have any rent control, within one or two generations all the people will have been forced out of them. Not sure if anyone has been to Hampstead Garden Suburb recently but we are guessing from the cars parked by the houses that the people living there now are pretty posh.


In the late 1800s a woman called Ocatavia Hill pretty much single handedly invented social housing and welfare. So well renowned was she for this that people visited her from all over the World to see what she established. As a side project she was also a co-founder of the national trust and prevented Hampstead Heath from being built on, so this is a pretty amazing woman who we would do well to know more about.

Note - we no longer talk about Octavia Hill as she cemented the top down paternalist role of the state rather than nurturing the self help cooperative ideas that workers wanted at this time.