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Slums are urban areas suffering from urban decay or generally low quality housing where poor people live. [1] The term slum was less predominantly used in the postwar period when the slum clearances were starting to become more common. In the UK, slums were usually of Victorian origin with back to back houses or two up, two down houses. Large families would usually live in these small houses which often provided no decent sanitation resulting in the areas becoming a breeding pot of disease. The people were often poverty-stricken.

The Housing Act of 1936 paved the way for slum clearances. What was built in their place was usually postwar council estates with tower blocks. The estates were usually of a much better quality than the Victorian estates. They offered a healthy system of sanitation and provided enough space for families. The buildings were also seen as modern for their time as well as sometimes offering spectacular views over the area, which made them attractive to buyers.

Many of these estates deteriorated to become sink estates. Lee Bank, which had previously been a Victorian slum, in Birmingham, was the focus of media attention in 1998 when a local resident erected a billboard at the time of the visit by Bill Clinton, saying "Lee Bank, Birmingham's slum quarter". Lee Bank has since been regenerated.

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slum

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