Britain’s social rented sector continues to account for almost a fifth of all homes and remains relatively large by international standards (Fitzpatrick and Stephens 2007, Whitehead and Scanlon 2007). By 2009, however, the sector was considerably smaller than at its 1980 zenith when it encompassed almost a third of all dwellings. More dramatically, while defying predictions of total extinction, the number of council owned-and-managed homes had, over this period, contracted to less than a quarter of the 1980 total.
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