The History of Leith

January 13, 2013

Model Lodging and Dwelling Houses

From the 1830s, a number of philanthropic organizations campaigned for an improvement in the housing conditions of the “labouring classes”. Groups such as the Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes, the Metropolitan Association for Improving the Dwellings of the Industrious Classes, the General Society for Improving the Dwellings of the Working Classes, the Improved Industrial Dwellings Company, and the Peabody Donation Fund, not only promoted healthy and low-cost housing for the poor, but also erected many “model” buildings which put into practices the principles they advocated. These model schemes included not only family homes, but also lodging houses for single people, providing an alternative to the often squalid conditions found in the privately run common lodging houses of the time. Most of these organizations were, however, operated as businesses with shareholders who typical received a four or five percent return on their investments. As a result, their members were sometimes known as “five percent philanthropists”. for more click here

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