Estates on the Edge recounts the decline and rescue of low-income government-sponsored housing estates across Northern Europe giving a vivid account of the intense physical, social and organisational problems facing social landlords in five countries. The ownership, management and letting patterns diverge sharply between the Continent, Britain and Ireland, between council landlords, non-profit, co-operative and independent landlords. But their community problems reveal similar trends towards poverty, polarisation and incipient breakdown. To avert the threat of incipient ghettos the stabilising pressures need to be stronger than the growing pressures towards chaos. Governments have become directly involved in estate rescue because of the vital social role estates are playing. The book traces the process of decline and renewal and shows how we can learn the lessons of policy failures and successes.