A review of social housing regeneration in the London Borough of Brent

Stewart, Jill and Rhoden, Maureen (2003). A review of social housing regeneration in the London Borough of Brent. Journal of The Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, 123(1) pp. 23–32.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/146642400312300112


Council high-rise estates sprang up rapidly during the 1960s and 1970s, with cross-governmental support to resolve the national housing crisis. It soon became apparent that many such new estates, designed by remote architects, and sometimes constructed rapidly and unsatisfactorily, did not provide the ideal living initially perceived. Many estates had early problems with architecture, construction and design. They proved an inhumane environment for many residents and there were frequent problems with communal features. Such estates were soon stigmatised and difficult to let as increasingly residual households were placed there, creating majority welfare-dependent estates. This created a downward spiral that traditional, and remote, housing management found difficult to address, and was too wide-scale to rectify financially within existing regimes. Prior to the 1980s, there were no specific government policies to tackle housing regeneration on high-rise estates. Problems became wider than traditional housing management and poor housing environments, encompassing social and economic exclusion.
This paper, based on historical and contemporary literature as well as estate visits, reviews regeneration policy in three council housing estates with-in the London Borough of Brent. It traces successive government approaches since the 1980s from one that challenged the very status of council housing - notably at Stonebridge Park and Chalkhill, to one of partnership with the local authority - at South Kilburn.
Housing policy is now concerned with more than just housing - it is about moving toward social inclusion, which requires initiative, flair, resource and commitment. It is about new accountabilities - not just numbers of bricks and mortar constructions, but about the lives, opportunities and health of those who live in an area. This fundamentally involves a partnership approach with residents at the centre of regeneration. This paper finds that sustainable estate regeneration policies are about continued improvements in both housing policy and social development.

Viewing alternatives


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions
No digital document available to download for this item

Item Actions