The housing environment in New York City during the 19th century was plagued with many problems. The living spaces were cramped, and the urban land was small. When there were too many people, it caused sanitation problems, social conflicts, and load issues. When floods came, it trapped the unsanitary community in their waste. And while the lot sizes were small, wealthy citizens would buy land to sell homes to new residents.
The living environment in New York City had green open spaces with building houses called projects. The size of these building houses were 25 by 100 feet. They were designed for family homes with large windows and a garden. These places were standard for foreigners who came to the city for a new life. As time progressed, there was an increase in the resident population in New York City.
At the end of the revolutionary war at 1790, the numbers were around 33,131 people. In 1890, however, the population increased to 1,515,301 people. As a result, many people were being placed into buildings that were not designed to house the growing population. The rooms in the living spaces lacked sun exposure and ventilation, causing illness. An example of this was the Lung Block; the tuberculosis crisis that occurred around Hamilton street.
In honesty, landlords chose building plans with cramped living spaces to house more people rather than giving them proper living conditions because they wanted to gain more money from their tenants. However, many regulations were passed to ensure the safety of the New York City residents. The 1867 act enforced having sleeping rooms with direct ventilation, fire escapes, ventilation for the main hall, 1 water closet per 20 people, garbage receptacles, 8 feet high windows, and spacing. These acts continued to change up to the 1901 act, which enforced more specific notions of sanitation and safety.
Overall, the housing in New York City had buildings that didn’t suit the large population that were inhabiting the neighborhood. There were changes in the lot sizes and the importance of light and ventilation became urgent. New York City living spaces needed proper regulations to ensure that people could live in safety and in a healthier environment.