Historically the question of housing policy was one of the last areas of social provision to attract the attention of a nascent and developing welfare state. It was not until the years of the First World War that the question of housing for the working classes received serious attention on the British political agenda, when the protests of workers against the profiteering of their landlords, in sensitive industrial areas such as munitions and shipbuilding in and around Glasgow, forced the Lloyd-George government to act. Initially the political response was to subsidise rents in order to buy industrial peace, and it was not until the years following the war that the state’s interest in the construction and management of public housing projects began in earnest. Even then the response was short-lived as public expenditure restrictions in the early years of the 1920s
restricted the ability of local municipal authorities (councils) to finance house building.