Building Communities: The Co-Operative Way, first published in 1988, sets the flourishing of housing co-operatives throughout the 1980s in a theoretical and historical framework that suggests that tenant control is the best way out of the still-problematic issue of housing policy.
Before the First World War, co-operative housing was poised to become a potent force in government policy, but instead municipal housing rose to prominence. However, alongside a growing crisis of confidence in state housing and a continued decline in the private rented sector, a new political consensus has emerged that has placed co-ops firmly at the top of the agenda.
Setting out the argument for collective dweller-control of housing, Birchall demonstrates that the arguments for co-operatives are strong, based on a broad spectrum of political thought. He charts the early and recent history of co-operative housing, and shows how they provide a flexible and stable means of meeting housing needs.
Foreword by Michael Young; Acknowledgments; Introduction 1. Housing Needs and Co-Operative Solutions 2. Human Nature and Co-Operative Values 3. Democracy, The State and Co-Operative Welfare 4. Co-Operative Housing in Britain: The Early Stages 5. Co-Operative Housing in Britain: The Later Stages 6. Co-Operation in Practice: Six Case Histories 7. A Framework for Evaluation; Conclusion: A Co-Operative View of Housing Policy in Britain; Notes; Select Bibliography; Index
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