By Owen Gill
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Additional info for Luke Street: Housing Policy, Conflict and the Creation of the Delinquent Area
Xi) Late 1960s onwards. State of uneasy and frustrated stability. My purpose in presenting the information in this chapter concerning the selection policies of the Crossley housing department has not been simply to attack these policies although it is my own belief that they are unjustifiable on both moral and practical grounds. However, the situation as regards allocation policy may not have been quite so clear-cut as the above analysis suggests. The issues are complex and the situation probably resulted more from ignorance of the likely results of such a policy and an unwillingness to make changes in accepted practice than a Machiavellian desire to increase the difficulties of the families concerned.
I'd never heard of it before. My husband asked if I'd heard of it and I said no. ' And a boy of eighteen claimed: 'We didn't have any choice about where they moved us. ' Because of the factors described above the neighbourhood went into what was perceived by the original tenants as being a rapid decline. The following letter written to the housing department in 1962 accurately pinpoints the beginning of this perceived decline and also indicates the problems of bringing up children which were thought to be central to it: I would like to make an application for an exchange of house and district.
Indeed perhaps even the Luke Street residents would have agreed that it was necessary to 'put all the rubbish together' as long as they themselves weren't defined as being part of that 'rubbish'. At the same time it is important to realise the practical problems that the local housing department faced. They were dealing with the legacy of a planning decision taken in the 1930s by which the main proportion of the town's large housing had been put in the one small area. As an official of the housing department said when I asked him about the problems of rehousing large families, 'there's simply nowhere else to put them'.