Box 21, Folder 20, Document 8

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Atlanta, Georgia 30302


Mr. Gilbert Fitzhugh, Chairman
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
1-Madison Avenue

New York, New York 10010

Re: Low Income Investments
Dear Mr. Fitzhugh:

I am more than glad to know that at last, finally, the insurance companies
in America are getting involved in what I would call "slum castles of
America cities''. I congratulate you and the other insurance excutives
highly for your brave and courageous committment of goodness from

your hearts.

I am praying that one day in the near future you will also be proud of your
committments. It is not easy to give financial backing to a project when
you know the risks outweigh the economic feasibility of said project. The
specific project or projects are more than needed in most of American
metropolitan cities, as low rent housing in our deteriorating and pest-
ridden cities will accept your program without any questions. This is
one of the finest things that could have happened to the slums. Yet you
have done exactly what I have been pushing some of our large foundations
and corporations to do, especially the labor organizations (union). See
enclosed letter number one.

The banking institutions are doing a swell job considering the many re-
strictions that they have to contend with for the best interest of all
concerned. [I feel that the large labor unions-could give more consider-
ation to the housing situation in our cities. | believe the union has more
dues paying members than any other national organization in America,

I have great praises for our honorable president of the United States,
L.B.J. for pushing, and trying to get private enterprises involved in the
crash-housing program. Our own mayor, the Honorable Ivan Allen, Jr.,
is doing a marvelous job in getting the message through to both private
and governmental agencies. ,i.e; how very badly we need decent housing
in Atlanta for all people, especially in the Negro areas in which is far
less than up to par with the rest of the city.


Page -Z2-
to: Mr. Gilbert Fitzhugh
September 20, 1967

We are forming ''The Gilmere's Urban Development Corporation" with a
proposed capitalization of 65-million dollars. All we need is a top-heavy
underwriter or some semi-top-heavy subscribers. We already have
projects on the drawing board to exceed 110-million in community de-
velopments, about 75-million of this will be strictly for multi-family
units in the low and medium income bracket, and of course, some of

the most luxurious in the world.

Our prime objective is to build and re-build deteriorated sections of
Atlanta, not only the residential sections, but the business and down-
town area as well. We also anticipate developing parks, schools, and
other recreational facilities for Atlanta area.

Decent housing and adequate housing alone will not solve all the social
‘and economic problems of our slum areas, but providing decent and
adequate housing for all people, it will help to remedy the situation by
50 percent, leaving the need of education about 25 percent, employment
25 percent, and I do mean adult education; i. e; teaching occupatinnal
skills, and trades.

Sincerely, I do believe you and your colleages have given a hypo in the
arm of the poor housing situation, and [I just hope the Hell others will
follow suit, not necessarily investing one billion dollars, but just a
few million from ten or fifteen of the largest corporations will cure
many, many, slum headaches. This will be something that
one must consider not from the profit's point of view, but rather a
break-even point of view.

Again, thanking you and your colleages for your sincerest interest and
your most needed investment and contribution to the above program.
With kindest regards, and wishing you the most success, I remain

Sincerely yours,

Francis Gilmere, President

encls cc: 4
President L. B. Johnson, Dr. Robert C. Weaver, Secty. Hud, New York Life Ins. Co.

Continental Assurance Co,, President W. Dowell, President
Prudential Life Ins. Co., Orville Bealle, Pres.
Equitable Life Assurance Society, J. Henry Smith, Pres.

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