London 1978


Carrington Mews, Mayfair, Westminster, 1978
14o56: westminster, mayfair, flats,

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‘Carrington Mews Dwellings’ were, as it says above the door, ‘Erected A.D. 1877 by the Metropolitan Association for Improving the Dwellings of the Industrious Classes’. Carrington Mews is now simply the part of Shepherd St west of Hertford St and this building was demolished soon after I took this picture. Its place is I think now occupied by May Fayre House, some kind of hotel apartments.
MAIDIC was "a well-intentioned philanthropic organisation" which had developed into "a major provider of housing" by the time this block was built. It was the first of its kind, founded in 1841 to provide to provide affordable housing for the working classes on a privately run basis, with a financial return for investors based on the 'five percent philanthropy' model (for MAIDIC this was specified as a minimum return.) It gained a Royal Charter on 30th June 1845 and was incorporated as a Royal Charter Company as The Metropolitan Property Association in 1981. It has no connection with the similarly named Metropolitan Housing Association.
The setting up of the association followed the work of Edwin Chadwick whose 'Report on The Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population of Great Britain' was begun in 1839 and published in 1842 and predated the publication of Engels' 'The Condition of the Working Class in England' in 1844.
Companies such as MAIDIC (and there were around 28 of them in 1875) increasingly found it difficult to make a sufficient financial return, and were largely superceded by organisations with a more charitable basis and the growth of large-scale municipal housing from the start of the 20th century.