The first cooperative apartment dwellings to be crected for Jewish workers in Warsaw, Poland, for which the cornerstone was laid on Sunday, are being made possible by a loan granted by the Joint-Ica Foundation, a statement issued by the United Jewish Campaign declares.
In a report received by David A. Brown, National Chairman of the United Jewish Campaign, Dr. Bernhard Kahn, European Director of the Joint Distribution Committee, outlined the history of the enterprise.
During the war tens of thousands of homes had been demolished in different parts of Poland. While thousands of these houses have since been rebuilt, many of them through the help of The Joint Distribution Committee, the scarcity of living quarters is still great throughout the country and especially is it keenly felt in the city of Warsaw. The change from the capital of a province of the former Russian Empire to the capital of one of the largest republics in Central Europe, has found Warsaw overcrowded with 1,000,000 inhabitants. Owing to financial depression, however, the building trades of the city have not been able to keep pace with the growth of the population, and, naturally, the lack of sufficient dwelling space has become an acute problem in the enlarged Polish capital.
In order to relieve this situation, the city government has seen fit to grant free land in the suburbs to groups of people seeking to build homes on a cooperative basis and the National Economic Bank has undertaken to provide the larger part of the credit required for such enterprises. The Jewish Workingmen’s Building Cooperative is one of the many organizations that have sprung up in Poland for the purpose of providing their members with hatnes. They have received assistance both from the city in the form of free land grants and from the National Economic Bank in the form of credits, amounting to ninety percent of the funds needed for the project. The organization itself was required to contribute the remaining ten percent, that being an amount of over 300,000 Polish Zlotys. Since the members of the cooperative, all of them workers, were unable to furnish this sum from their meagre savings, the Joint-Ica Foundation was approached for a loan to help complete this amount. This loan of 100,000 Zlotys (about $18,000) helped the cooperative to bring this project to fruition.
The new cooperative duilding will house 150 families in apartments of two. three and four rooms. The apartments are built on modern American lines to permit of sufficient sunlight and are to be equipped with all modern sanitary appliances known to us in our apartments. The members of the cooperative are workers in different crafts and professions, a large number of them being journalists, writers and artists. In addition to this large cooperative. Dr. Kahn states, a loan of $5,000 has also been granted to a similar organization which is undertaking building on a smaller scale.
For some years the Joint Distribution Committee has been supporting various cooperative enterprises of Jewish workers who have lost their footing in their respective trades owing to the critical condition of the country in former years. At present. Dr. Kahn relates, a new industry in which many Jews are employed, is indirectly being forced into the cooerative plan by reason of a government decree. This new law recently issued in Poland provides that all bakeries in towns having a population of over 5,000 thousand, introduce modern baking machinery, thus forcing out a large number of Jewish bakeries using the old-fashioned equipment. In order not to victimize those bakers who are unable to secure modern equipment, the Government proposes to assist with credits such groups of workers as are ready to organize cooperative bakeries and who have sufficient capital of their own to ## the enterprise. This problem is now being considered by the Joint-Ica Foundation with a view to granting penessary loans to those bakers who are unable to furnish capital of their own.
The issue of the Jewish Daily Bulletin dated August 17. 1928, was number 1145 instead of 1114 as erroneously printed.