houses of the poor is not the result of inability to pay a reasonable rent, but flows rather from the low character and the want of training of those that inhabit them. Far be it from me, by this observation, to countenance in any way that smug defence of certain landlords neglectful of obvious duties, who say: "It is useless for us to improve our cottages; if we do, the tenants will immediately convert them again into pig-styes." My purpose is quite other than that. It is to show, as the late Miss Octavia Hill so admirably showed by practical example, that there is scope for immense improvement in the houses of the poor, even now while the brute fact of their poverty continues. Miss Hill, with the help of John Ruskin, bought up some houses in a most degraded area and made herself the landlady of them. Throughout she adopted the principle that her enterprise, if it was to be valuable as a social object lesson, must be made to pay. She fixed commercial rents and exacted them with unflinching sternness. The enterprise
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SOME ASPECTS OF THE HOUSING PROBLEM