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Slums and Sanitary Control Yana Huntington and Candy Wu.

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1 Slums and Sanitary Control Yana Huntington and Candy Wu

2 The cause of the problem During the industrial revolution steam power and machinery rapidly accelerated in production, this lead to industrial work being located in a large city factory instead of at home. Increased rural-urban migration followed and families multiplied.

3 The cause of the problem continued An increase in urban public transport including horse drawn buses (omnibus), trams, local railways and the London underground meant that middle and upper class citizens had the option to live in suburbs which provided a better quality of life. Subsequently their inner city housing was sub divided to provide affordable housing for the poor. This then lead to the creation of concentric circled cities.

4 Concentric circled city Slums and Factories. The CBD. Respectable working class housing. Middle class housing.

5 Middle class housing in the 19 th century For the rich, during the 19 th Century the house became the home with the introduction of piped water and gas. There was also the separation of work from the home and the Victorian ideal of family life.

6 Lower class housing in the 19 th century Due to the major overcrowded conditions and lack of building regulations, landowners/landlords would create as many houses as possible. They did this by subdividing existing houses into singularly let rooms and by building back-to-back houses.

7 Back-to-back housing Back-to-back housing consisted of a number of rooms on top of one another connected at the back to another house, allowing no space for windows or ventilation. The houses had two rooms downstairs and two upstairs. The downstairs front room was kept for best. The family kept their best furniture and ornaments in this room. They spent most of the their time in the downstairs back room, which served as a kitchen and living room. The two rooms upstairs were used as bedrooms. Back-to-back housing was often set around a courtyard.

8 Back-to-back housing Liverpool: Dukes Terrace.

9 Back-to-back housing

10 Court housing A court was a series of houses grouped around a narrow paved yard and set at right angles to the main street. Access to the court was through a single, narrow entry from the street. There could be several courts off one road and the houses of one court would back on to the houses of another court. There was often only one water pump or tap for each court and one lavatory to be shared between the houses which were badly overcrowded. A number of families lived in one house and sometimes whole families would live in one room or even in a cellar. These courts became places where sickness and disease spread.

11 Court housing 1840s Map of Liverpool showing numerous courts off Milton and Harrison Street.

12 Court housing

13 Older housing At the end of the 19th century, older housing was built for well-to-do subdivided to house the poor. Large houses were turned into flats and tenements and the landlords who owned them, were not concerned about the upkeep or the condition of these dwellings. Sometimes if windows were broken slum landlords could not or would not replace them. So they were 'repaired' with paper. Or rags were stuffed into holes in the glass.

14 Deterioration of housing Overcrowding increases Gustave Doré.

15 Deterioration of housing Population increased The nineteenth century saw a huge growth in the population of Great Britain. The reason for this increase is not altogether clear. Various ideas have been put forward; larger families; more children surviving infancy; people living longer; immigration, especially large numbers of immigrants coming from Ireland fleeing the potato famine and the unemployment situation in their own country. By the end of the century there were three times more people living in Great Britain than at the beginning.

16 Deterioration of housing Movement from countryside to cities Due to the effects of the industrial revolution, people were flocking into the towns and cities in search of employment. For some it was also the call of the unknown, adventure and a better way of life.

17 Deterioration of housing Unemployment and Poor The living cost increased. As technology developed, hand workers were displaced from continuous labour by the new system of factory. At the end of the 19th century more than 25% of the population was living at or below subsistence level. Surveys indicated that around 10% were very poor and could not afford even basic necessities such as enough nourishing food. Between 15% and 20% had just enough money to live on (provided they did not lose their job or have to take time off work through illness).

18 Deterioration of housing Housing shortage Low wages and the scramble for jobs meant that people needed to live near to where work was available. Time taken walking to and from work would extend an already long day beyond endurance. Consequently available housing became scarce and therefore expensive, resulting in extremely overcrowded conditions.

19 Voluntary housing associations A large number of voluntary housing associations were set up to improve the working class housing conditions. Middle and Upper class citizens set up the associations to not only improve the living conditions of the poor but also to decrease the spread of disease and make a profit.

20 The Kensington Housing Trust LTD The housing society was registered as a Public Utility Society in 1927 to provide new housing at low cost/rents and help control the overcrowding. According to their 1921 census there were up to 366 people per residential acre in North Kensington.

21 The Kensington Housing Trust LTD They transformed many houses along the road, they did this by; Repainting walls, Replacing doors, Inserting new windows and lights, A bathroom and additional sink were installed, Improved toilets.

22 The Kensington Housing Trust LTD The rent for the recently redeveloped rooms were charged at 4s. 6d. Per front room and 3s. 6d. Per back room per week. The rent collector was then paid the rate of 6% commission.

23 The Kensington Housing Trust LTD Despite the cheap rent and better quality of living some see the housing associations as corrupt as they made money in shares, and loan stock as well as donations.

24 Housing acts There were three main housing acts including: The Public Health act of 1875, Housing of the Working Class Act of 1890, An extension of the Public Health Act in 1909.

25 The Public Health Act of 1875 The public health act gave powers to the sanitary authorities to inspect and deem unsanitary property unsuitable for human living. This also lead to the Report of the Royal Commission on the Housing of the Poor, appointed in The advantage of the report was that it focused public attention on certain aspects of the problem and provided information on which subsequent legislation was based. This lead to the Housing of the Working Classes Act of 1890.

26 Housing of the Working Classes Act of 1890 This act enabled local authorities to clear large slums, provided a means to deal with small areas of slums and gave powers for working class houses to be built at the cost of public funds.

27 Extension of the Public Health Act in 1909 Mr John Burns extended the act in 1909 to prohibit the building of back-to-back housing. Encouragement then lead to landlords redeveloping their properties. The medical officer of health also had obstructive buildings and buildings unfit for human habitation demolished.

28 Summary of questions How were the working classes housed in the 19 th century? In a range of housing types including; tenement housing, back-to-back housing and adapted ex-middle class housing. What lead to the deterioration of housing conditions? Severe overcrowding and a lack of housing regulations.

29 Summary of questions How was the deterioration dealt with? Voluntary housing associations and new by-laws that introduced housing regulations, health inspections, clearing of slums, the introduction of council housing and encouragement of gentrification. What were the problems with the solutions used? Many associations were corrupt and the by-laws took a while to be put into practice. They also only benefited the more well to do poor who had regular income.

30 Bibliography Townroe, B. S. (1928) The slum problem. London, New York, Toronto, Longmans. Burnett, J. (1978) A social history of housing nd Ed. London, New York, Methuen. Ernest, M.A. (1907) The housing problem in England: its statistics, legislation, and policy. Manchester, The University press. Tim, L. (2009) Life in the 19 th century [Internet], Available from: [Accessed 27 November 2010]. Liverpool History Society. (2009) Liverpool Court Dwelling. [Internet], Available from: [Accessed 27 November 2010].

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