“The Tenement House Problem”: Reformers and the Progressive Era Housing Crisis Public

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/08612q549

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  • The immigration boom at the turn of the century resulted in crisis, as the working classes crowded into tenement houses which became breeding pits for disease. Progressive reformers applied complex environment ideology to the housing crisis, blaming poor housing for various moral and social ills. While there tactics varied-from government regulations to private development of "model tenements," reformers all failed to address the broader economic problems of the working class. Lawrence Veiller, the nations most prominent housing reformer, illustrates the variety of approches, including investigation, public education, and government regulations to ensure safe conditions and domestic policy. Despite some success, the greater causes of poverty remained unexamined and tenement house reform was a superficial sucess, which left the majority unaffected.
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