By D. Bradford Hunt
Now thought of a dysfunctional mess, Chicago’s public housing initiatives as soon as had lengthy ready lists of would-be citizens hoping to go away the slums in the back of. So what went unsuitable? to respond to this complex query, D. Bradford Hunt strains public housing’s historical past in Chicago from its New Deal roots via present mayor Richard M. Daley’s Plan for Transformation. within the technique, he chronicles the Chicago Housing Authority’s personal transformation from the city’s such a lot revolutionary govt enterprise to its biggest slumlord. not easy reasons that characteristic the tasks’ decline primarily to racial discrimination and genuine property pursuits, Hunt argues that well-intentioned yet faulty coverage decisions—ranging from layout offerings to upkeep contracts—also paved the line to failure. additionally, directors who totally understood the capability drawbacks didn't try and halt such deeply mistaken tasks as Cabrini-Green and the Robert Taylor houses. those significant high-rise complexes housed extraordinary numbers of youngsters yet quite few adults, engendering sickness that driven out the operating category and, for that reason, the rents had to hold the structures. The ensuing blend of economic hindrance, managerial incompetence, and social unrest plunged the CHA right into a quagmire from which it really is nonetheless suffering to emerge. Blueprint for catastrophe, then, is an pressing reminder of the havoc poorly conceived coverage can wreak on our such a lot weak electorate.
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Extra resources for Blueprint for Disaster: The Unraveling of Chicago Public Housing (Historical Studies of Urban America)
30 As a result, housing authorities would have the freedom to run public housing in Bauer’s vision as a public utility rather than a commercial enterprise. A third implication was also important to the long-term health of projects. Once Congress approved an initial authorization for public housing, the annual contribution subsidy would be well protected in subsequent years during the federal budget process. The bill’s financing mechanism created this privileged budgetary position. Bauer and Vinton’s language allowed the new USHA to loan money to local housing authorities from one pocket (the proceeds from Treasury-backed bond sales) and then to contractually guarantee the repayment of these loans using funds from a second pocket (the congressionally appropriated annual contributions).
Building the Chicago Housing Authority | 41 The first cooperation agreement, over the Ida B. Wells Homes, took months to hammer out, but a second agreement, sought in 1939 for two more projects, faced even stiffer aldermanic resistance. The council wanted a 5 percent PILOT and demanded to know where the new projects would be built. The CHA understandably hoped to keep sites secret to prevent corrupt land speculation and to ensure that planning criteria, rather than politics, guided site selection.
D. in economics from Columbia University. Wood reasoned that if European-style programs were to have a chance at enactment, reformers must do more than just describe the appalling conditions of the slums in graphic detail. 7 In 1931 Wood developed her case against the market in her third book on housing, which surveyed housing data and reports from the 1920s. Her conclusion is announced in the first paragraph: the housing problem “is insoluble . . under the ordinary laws of supply and demand” and “is not a local or transitory phenomenon.
Blueprint for Disaster: The Unraveling of Chicago Public Housing (Historical Studies of Urban America) by D. Bradford Hunt