Metropolitan Association for Improving the Dwellings of the Industrious Classes

Metropolitan Association for Improving the Dwellings of the Industrious Classes
Metropolitan Association for Improving the Dwellings of the Industrious Classes
Type Public
Industry Housing
Fate Dissolved
Successor Metropolitan Property Association
Founder(s) Thomas Southwood Smith, Lord Howard, Viscount Ebrington, Lord Haddo, Sir Ralph Howard
Headquarters London
Products Model dwellings

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.[1] 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."[1]



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[2][3] and incorporated by Royal Charter in 1845.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] 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.


See also

  • Model Dwellings Companies
  • List of existing model dwellings


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