Houses were built and operated by the local Council for the benefit of the local population. There was a major boom in council housing after the end of World War II, since nearly one in three houses had been destroyed or damaged in the war. Despite the building there was a constant demand for housing, and 'waiting lists' were maintained with preference being given to those in most housing need.
Council housing was generally typified by houses with generously sized rooms (compared to the private sector), thanks to the Parker Morris standards. However they also tended to be unimaginatively designed, and rigid council rules often forbade tennants "personalising" their houses. Council Housing declined in the Thatcher era, with rules introduced that prevented councils subsidising their housing from local taxes, and tennants being given the "right to buy" their council houses on very financially attractive terms. The "right to buy" was popular with many former Labour voters.
Many councils have now transferred their housing stock to not-for-profit housing associations, who are now also the providers of most new public sector housing.