Box 21, Folder 20, Document 8

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Box 21, Folder 20, Document 8

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Atlanta, Georgia 30302
September 20, 1967
Mr. Gilbert Fitzhugh, Chairman
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
1-Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10010
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
s pecific project or projects are more than needed in most of American
metropolitan cities, as low rent housing in our d e t e r:iorating and pest ridden cities will accept your program without a ny questions . This is
one of the finest things that could have happene d to the slums. Yet you
have done exactly what I have been pushing som e of our large foundations
and corporations to do, especially the labor or ganiza tions (union). See
enclos e d letter number one.
The banking institutions are doing a swell job considering the many re stri c tion s that they have to contend with for the best interest of all
I fee l t hat the lar ge labor uni ons -c ould give m o r e consi d eration t o t he h ousi ng situation in our cit ie s . I b e lieve the union h as m o re
dues paying members t han any other national o rganization in America.
I have great praise s for our h onor able p r es ident of the U nit e d States ,
L.B. J. for pushing, and t r ying to g e t privat e enterpris es involv e d i n t he
crash-housing program. Our own mayo r, the Honorable Ivan Allen, Jr.,
is doing a marvelous job in getting t he 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 -2to: 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 developments, 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 downtown 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 occupational
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 larg e st c orporations will cur e
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 fo r your sincer es t inter es t and
your most needed investment and contributicn to the above program.
With kindest regards, and wishing you the most success, I remain
Sincerely yours,
Francis Gilmere, President
FG/ bam
President L.B. Johnson, Dr. Robert C. Weaver, Secty. Hud, New Y o rk Life Ins. Co .
W. Dowell, President
Continental Assurance Co., President
Prudential Life Ins. Co. , Orville Bealle, Pres.
Equitable Life Assurance Society, J. Henry Smith, Pres.

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