Construction on the estate began in 1953, following the Clydebank Extension Act in 1949, to replace housing that had been destroyed by the famous Clydebank Blitz during the Second World War. Clydebank Town Council built properties closer to the centre while the Scottish Special Housing Association built on the farthest extremities of the boundary extension. Population peaked at 9500 during the 1960s.
Housing in Faifley was mostly of the tenement variety of which 1298 were built. These were three/four storeys tall and owned by the council who also built 300 semi detached/terraced houses and 180 cottage flats. The SSHA built 83 cottage flats and 164 houses along with 340 maisonettes. The houses, naturally proved to be more popular and were more desirable. They had a much lower turnover rate than the rest of the housing stock. As a result, a growing number of families moving to the area found themselves being allocated inadequate housing in the lesser popular and smaller flats, leading to overcrowding. In total 2365 dwelling were built during the postwar period. The SSHA famously charged higher rents than the council and only reduced them after nearly 2000 tenants protested.
Unemployment was highest during the 1970s as industry on the River CLyde ground to a standstill.Clydebank was hit particularly hard and the town's population plummeted from 59,000 in 1970 to 45,000 by the end of the decade (It currently stands at 30,000.). As a result, a growing number of flats and maisonettes became vacant and Faifley became an area that those hardest affected by the industrial decline were housed. Crime, drugs and vandalism levels rose.
In 1976, Faifley was left out of the list of 114 problematic estates in Scotland that would recieve funding despite its mounting problems. Weeks later, a reassessment meant it would now recieve funding as part of a north Clydebank regeneration along with Duntocher and Hardgate.
Regeneration began in 1977 with the rehabilitation of derelict properties and the refurbishment of others as well as community initiatives. After showing improvement, Faifley lost its proirity status in 1985. Some believed that with much work still to be done, the estate would fall back into the depths of poverty again. In response, the SSHA announced plans in 1988 to spend £23.6m on modernising their housing stock over the next 5 years. This initiative was carried on when the SSHA folded in 1990 and replaced by Scottish Homes. Faifley Housing Association was formed and giving the task of running the problematic and damp maisonettes.
At present, Faifley hasnt changed much from the original estate. Refurbishment has been more popular than demolition and much of the original estate is as it was when built.