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By Peter Malpass; Robert Rowlands

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Needs other than ‘general needs’ were gradually acknowledged, including to some extent the needs of the homeless; and the phenomenon of the difficult-to-let estate emerged. Residualisation and polarisation began to be recognised; and all of these became major issues in the decades that followed. At the same time, the first steps were taken to create and develop better working relationships between the public and private sectors in housing, through what would now be termed as ‘partnership’ working between a range of stakeholders, who now would also include local residents and community groups, the ‘customers’ of the ‘services’ that are being provided.

1976). The role of government was seen to be important in housing, particularly in relation to policy, but the housing system also contained a variety of institutions, including local authorities and private-sector organisations, all of which could influence and be influenced by the system. Other perspectives included the notion of housing classes, put forward by Rex and Moore (1967); urban managerialism (Pahl, 1970), which saw inequalities in housing as a consequence of the activities of ‘gatekeepers’ who controlled access 18 Housing policy and the housing system in the 1970s to housing, especially in the owner-occupied and council-housing sectors; and Marxist accounts, with their emphasis on production and consumption, and the role of ‘exchange professionals’, such as estate agents (Bassett and Short, 1980).

Perhaps surprisingly, ‘partnership’ had already entered the public-policy vocabulary in the 1970s. For example, the 1973 White Paper Widening the Choice; the next steps in housing (Great Britain, 1973d: 6), under the heading ‘Local Authority/Private Enterprise Partnership Schemes’ referred to a Working Party comprising representatives of local planning authorities, landowners, housebuilders and the Department of the Environment, which had examined the scope for ‘new forms of partnership’ between local authorities and private enterprise in undertaking large-scale residential development in the South-East of England.

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