By Barrie Needham

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Those jobs are usually filled by people who want to and can afford to buy their own homes, or who need to or want to rent but cannot get council housing so rent privately. For example, professional workers normally own their own homes. Clerical workers might aspire to do that, but usually cannot afford to buy in inner London: if they are the young women in such great demand for secretarial jobs in central London they will not qualify for council housing so will have to rent privately. As a result, housing is provided for families whose men supply labour for which there is little demand as a result of the industrial policy.

However, that terminology, although convenient, is also dangerous, for our rather lax use of the words "supply", "demand", and "market" might be confused with the much more precise use of those words in economics. In economics "demand" means the amount demanded at a given price, "supply" means the amount supplied at a given price, and in the "market" supply and demand interact to set a price which determines both the level of provision and of use. g. commercial services, private housing). g. education, outdoor recreation).

The alternative method of estimating housing needs which planners sometimes use is to divide a population total by an assumed average household size: that method, however, takes no account of the demographic composition of the population.

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