The second half of the 19th century saw greater improvements in the living conditions of the working class. More housing associations were set up, and the passing of the 1866 'City Improvement Act' gave the local authorities power to build as they demolished. It was a precondition of this act that housing already existed for the people who were displaced.
In cities, spacious new tenements were built to a higher standard than before, to attract wealthier residents to new areas, well away from the overcrowded poorer areas and heavy industry. In the 1860s, associations to provide houses for the skilled working classes were gathering strength.