Aneurin Bevan had the task of solving the housing problem as he was minister of health and housing. Before the war 75% of new homes were privately built and were sold not rented. Bevan reversed the balance between private and public house building. Local Authorities were restricted and allowed to build only 1 private house for every 4 council houses. Progress was slow due to lack of labour and lack of materials. Soldiers in the building trade were demobbed early to cope with the labour shortage.
Building progress at Beechdale Estate – Nottingham 3/12/1946 One solution to the problem was to build prefabricated, temporary houses to ease the housing shortage. By December 1945, 10,000 prefabs had been built. A further 60,000 homes had been repaired.
The end of WW2 saw an acute shortage of houses in Nottingham. The main area selected for development was at Wollaton, Strelley and Bilborough. The plan of building 1,000 homes per year was soon to use up all the available land in this area so alternative sites had to be found. In March 1947 the Nottingham Corporation bought 930 acres of land adjoining the village of Clifton. Public inquiries followed and work finally started on the Clifton Estate in September 1950. Homes for 30,000 people were built.
Bevan was determined to maintain quality house building. He increased the size of the housing built by the local authorities. All had three bedrooms and an upstairs and downstairs toilet. He wanted a mixture of housing young and old people living together in communities He did not want a country of “West Ends and East Ends” 1946 New Towns Act, proposed twenty five new towns such as Crawley, Stevenage and Peterlee
How successful was Bevan in solving the problem of squalor? By 1950 198,000 houses had been built and 800,000 families had been re-housed Figures looked low compared to later developments but standards were never watered down by Bevan The economic crisis of 1947 seriously hampered Bevan’s housing programme as he had to agree to spending cuts which prevented him in achieving his targets on housing