Industrial Dwellings Society

Date Established:
1885
Industrial Dwellings Society

The Four Per Cent Industrial Dwellings Company Limited was founded by Nathan Mayer Rothschild in 1885. Its purpose was to provide 'the industrial classes with commodious and healthy Dwellings at a minimum rent'. Funds to build the Dwellings were raised by issuing shares to investors, who were guaranteed a 4% return.

Along with Rothschild, a highly successful banker, the company's founders included several other prominent figures in the Anglo-Jewish establishment, such as the philanthropist Frederick Mocatta and the politician Samuel Montagu.

The Company's aim was to improve the overcrowded and insanitary conditions in the East End, which were partly a result of the large numbers of immigrants arriving from Eastern Europe. Although the Dwellings were not built only for Jews, Jews made up the majority of the tenants, reflecting the population in the East End at the time. The company had built six blocks, comprising more than 1,500 flats, by 1905.

The Dwellings were spacious and provided tenants with all the most modern conveniences: each flat had its own toilet, scullery, and balcony. Over time, more facilities were provided, such as gas lighting, drying rooms, and public baths.

Gradually, the company expanded. It began to build Dwellings outside the East End in areas such as Camberwell and Hackney that were considered healthier because they were less crowded. However, demand outstripped supply. Up to 1,000 people were on the waiting lists for flats in the Dwellings.

Alternate Names

  • The Four Per Cent Industrial Dwellings Company Limited

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