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Founded in 1863 by Sir Sydney Hedley Waterlow.
'The Improved Industrial Dwellings Company was founded in 1863 by the present chairman, Sir Sydney H. Waterlow, Bart., and the largest undertaking of its kind in existence. The buildings are erected in every quarter of London, and at present accommodate about 25,000 persons on 38 estates. The total expenditure on land and buildings to 30th June 1886 was £940,900; and the rent roll is about £100,000 a year.
'Additional buildings are in course of erection at a cost of nearly £100,000. Each dwelling is self-contained, that is, it possesses complete domestic conveniences for each family, and is wholly separated by party walls from the adjoining dwelling, nothing being used in common except the staircases, roofs, and playgrounds. Little or nothing has been attempted in the way of architectural effects, or in the provision of special mechanical appliances, the primary object being to provide at a moderate cost substantial homes of a comfortable and healthy character, and such as are suitable for the class for whom they are intended.
'The latest examples are to be seen at Riles Buildings, for 211 families, in Bell Street and Linton Street, Edgware Road; and at Sandringham Buildings, for 259 families, in the new street now being formed between Charing Cross and Oxford Street.'
By 1906 the company had 6000 tenements, which housed 30,000 persons.