London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Greenwich 1961

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Greenwich Borough]

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Last year a brief resume of the housing situation was given
together with an account of measures introduced to improve these
conditions followed by suggestions as to how special housing
problems peculiar to particular groups could be met. Since then
there has been a Census of the population and this enables a more
accurate assessment to be made of the housing position.
It would appear that there are in England and Wales approximately
14| million dwellings, of which 11 million are privately
owned and million publicly owned, the latter attracting a subsidy
of some £61 million per annum.
In the 15 years since 1945 more than 3£ million new houses
and flats have been built and almost half a million older houses
improved. In fact a building rate of some 300,000 new dwellings
each year has been maintained during the last 8 years.
In the Registrar General's Preliminary Report on the 1961
Census the following figures have been made available :—

AREAPrivate HouseholdsPrivate Dwellings
No.% increase over 1951 CensusNo.% increase over 1951 Census
England and Wales14,702,82312.114,647,92221.3
Greater London2,720,0362.32,477,13815.9

It can be seen from figures quoted in the above table that,
during the last 10 years, Greenwich has made greater progress in
closing the gap between households and dwellings than has Greater
London or, for that matter, England and Wales as a whole. Nevertheless,
for this Borough the difference is still considerable and the
problem substantial.
From this same table is can be seen that, statistically, the housing
situation in England and Wales is of no great moment—merely
a shortage of approximately 50,000 dwellings which a few months
building effort could conceivably put right. Unfortunately this is
hardly the complete picture for although on paper there are almosi
enough dwellings to go round, many are in wrong places and many
under-occupied. Some extremely bad housing conditions remain