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Rent deregulation was only part of the picture


If Martin Pawley thinks that private home ownership began with First World War rent deregulation (AJ 10.4.03), he should take a closer look at what was happening to our urban areas at that time.

The 20th century will be remembered primarily for the suburban extension to our towns, and not what was going on in the middle of them, with the resultant upheaval caused by rapid expansion the previous century.

Council housing after the Second World War contributed a little to the suburban phenomenon but, like landlordcontrolled slums before them, they became the slums of the day and consequently ended up being sold or put under the control of 'nicer landlords', for example, housing associations.

Suburbs continue to be built to this day and, while their presence is now highly debatable in many areas, private ownership is the key to their being.

How did our workers shake free from landlord dominance?

It is a little more deep-rooted than just politicians freeing them with deregulation.

Would Pawley really want to condemn people to 'plug-in' cities off motorways and his other ideals?

Sing Jerusalem or think of the Tolpuddle Martyrs if you wish to become subjective, but our pre-eminence of private home ownership is far deeper rooted in history than just last century's landlords.

Rex Hawkesworth, Hilsea, Portsmouth

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