The Truth about Tenements

By Caita Pierson March 11, 1901

Tenements housing is unsanitary and unsafe.

Imagine going home to a darken, one or two room "home" with no running water, little light, and dusty, dirty floors. Not much of a "home" is it.


There were many problems. First of all, there was no sewage treatment or trash pick up. This lead to polluted, smelly streets that children played in. These children then became sick and many of them died. Secondly, there were many people in a small space. According to Improving Living Conditions, there were 450,000 people living in the Lower East Side (NY) in 1900. This dense packed neighbor hood is unhealthy to live in. Overall, the conditions need to be changed for the better of the public.

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Follow Up

After many years of fighting for better housing, the people got what they wanted. The Tenement House Act of 1867 was passed. This Act made it law to have a bathroom for every 20 people. Also, it was mandatory to have fire escapes. Hopefully more codes will be passed.