Metropolitan Association for Improving the Dwellings of the Industrious Classes
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|Successor||Metropolitan Property Association|
|Founder||Thomas Southwood Smith, Lord Howard, Viscount Ebrington, Lord Haddo, Sir Ralph Howard|
The Metropolitan Association for Improving the Dwellings of the Industrious Classes (MAIDIC) was a Victorian-era, philanthropically-motivated Model Dwellings Company, a fore-runner of the modern housing association which sought to provide affordable housing for the working classes on a privately run basis, with a financial return for investors. Although not the first society to build such homes, the Association was the first to be founded expressly for this purpose. As such it was one of the earliest adopters of the principal of the five per cent philanthropy model, outlined in the Company's resolution: "that an association be formed for the purpose of providing the labouring man with an increase of the comforts and conveniences of life, with full return to the capitalist."
The Association was formed in 1841 by a group including Thomas Southwood Smith, George Howard, 7th Earl of Carlisle, Viscount Ebrington, Lord Haddo, and Sir Ralph Howard and incorporated by Royal Charter in 1845. Its first project was the Metropolitan Buildings in Old Pancras Road, Kings Cross, which consisted of 21 two-room and 90 three-room flats in five-storey blocks. It was demonstrated as an archetype of model dwellings and was visited by the Prince Consort in 1848, as well as William Gladstone, Charles Kingsley, Lord Shaftesbury, Charles Dickens and the Duke of Wellington. The principal architect on many of these dwellings was Henry Roberts who pioneered many types of model dwelling, working also with the Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes.
By 1900, the MAIDIC was one of the largest model dwellings companies operating in London, housing over 6,000 individuals. Its activities declined as other model dwellings companies and the Greater London Council grew, which offered lower rents to a wider range of candidates.
The MAIDIC later became the Metropolitan Property Association.
- Metropolitan Buildings, St Pancras Square, Kings Cross (1848)
- Gibson Gardens, Stoke Newington (1880 - still existing)
- Albert Street, Mile End - exhibited for the Great Exhibition
- Grosvenor Estate, Gatliff Road, Pimlico (1867)
- Albert Cottages, Stepney (1858 - still existing)
- Alexandra Cottages, Penge (still existing)
- Farringdon Road Buildings, Farringdon
- Tarn, J.N. (1973) Five Per Cent Philanthropy. London: CUP
- Sheppard, F.H.W. (1957) Mile End New Town, Survey of London: volume 27: Spitalfields and Mile End New Town, pp. 265-288. Date accessed: 1 April 2011
- Wohl, A.S. (1977) The eternal slum: housing and social policy in Victorian London. London: Edward Arnold, p.146