Flat broke: shattered dreams of social housing14 September 2017 | by D.J. Taylor
It would have been difficult for Lynsey Hanley’s excellent 10-parter (28 August to 8 September) to avoid the scent of teleology. As the presenter admitted, work on this painstaking account of Britain’s efforts to “build decent social housing” over the past century and a half was well advanced before the Grenfell tragedy gave most of its underlying themes a dreadful contemporary focus. If what happened in North Kensington was “not as surprising as it ought to be”, that was because its roots could be found in 150 years of housing history, where idealism and social purpose have marched hand in hand with neglect and downright negligence.
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