The Beveridge report 80  years on : 'squalor' and housing - 'a true Goliath'

Lund, Brian and Greener, Ian and Powell, Martin (2022) The Beveridge report 80  years on : 'squalor' and housing - 'a true Goliath'. Social Policy and Administration, 56 (2). pp. 284-298. ISSN 0144-5596 (

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The Beveridge Report listed ‘Squalor’ as one of the ‘five giants on the road to reconstruction’, with the use of the term pointing to a broader concern than individual houses ‘unfit for human habitation’. ‘Squalor’, said Beveridge, ‘arises mainly through haphazard distribution of industry and population’ indicated anxiety about pollution and the ‘mean’, dark streets in cities and industrial towns. Apart from these references, the Beveridge Report made no other mentions of ‘Squalor’ but in later publications, Beveridge advocated New Towns and the involvement of voluntary housing associations in housing supply as remedies to the problem. This article reviews the context and history of Beveridge's Giant of Squalor, considering how Beveridge dealt with the ‘problem of rent’ the attempts by governments to tackle the issue, examines the contributions made by New Towns and housing associations, records progress in improving minimum housing standards and investigates potential policies to overcome these challenges that might be included in a ‘New Beveridge’ Report.