Brighton’s Interwar Council Housing Estates: ‘Housewives with empty larders’

A useful reminder that housing is part of a whole and needs to be integrated with other issues.

Municipal Dreams

In 1921, Brighton was the second most densely populated county borough in the country after West Ham and, as a long-established town, a good deal of its housing was in worse condition than that of the London suburb.  If you associate it with Regency gentry or happy seaside holidays, this blog will show another side – a town with many slum homes and an urgent need to  better house its working-class population. But if council housing was the solution (as was accepted by nearly all in these days), the problem of making it affordable to the poorer working class remained a conundrum.

General_View_of_Moulsecoomb

Brighton Corporation had begun slum clearance efforts back in the 1890s and even built a small number of homes to rehouse – though at rents they couldn’t pay – some of those displaced.   In 1919 much remained to be done; the local Medical Officer of Health estimated 3152 new houses were needed…

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