Urban Life

During the time of Industrialization, urban cities' populations grew rapidly, facing the city governments with the issue of providing services and safe living conditions to match the new population that needed them. Working class families were faced with the only two options: either they could buy a house on the outskirts of town where they would have transportation issues or rent cramped rooms in a boarding house. Even still the population continued to grow and new forms of housing came to be such as row houses which were single family houses attached to another one. After working-class families left, immigrant families would move in with two or three families where one family was meant to be. These homes came to be known as tenements and were often overcrowded and unsanitary. To improve the conditions of the tenements New York passed a law setting minimal standards for plumbing and ventilation. Air shafts were installed and provided outside windows for each room. However, because trash wasn't picked up regularly, residents would throw trash in the air shafts, attracting vermin.(rats,mice,etc.) To suppress the the smell the residents would nail the shafts shut. Even after the attempt to solve the sanitary issue, these tenements became worse then when they began.

-Terik Salley

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