Box 21, Folder 43, Document 66

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February 22, 1967

Attorney Edward Sterne

Chairman, Atlanta Housing Authority
Trust Company of Georgia Building
Suite 639

36 Edgewood Avenue, S. E.

Atlante, Georgia 303035

Dear Attorney Sternes

Lest May, my class In "Issues In Social Work" had the opportunity to tour
some of Atlanta's slums and urban renewal sites as the guest of the Citizens
Advisory Committee for Urban Renewal, We found the tour to be of untold
educational value because it gave the students the opportunity to observe
first hand the vast need for sium clearance, urban renewal and the conconl-
tant problems of the people directly affected by these important programs.

We were heartened by the efforts that the Atlanta Housing Authority is
making to provide adequate housing for low-income families. We recognized,
too, thealmost insurmountable task you and the Board has In planning such

®@ vast program, The class was aware of the proposed renewal and slum
clearance program which the Authority is implementing, or has on the drawing
board and com iimented the Authority for its foresight and vision.

The class was disturbed, however, about some aspects of the program. They
were left with the impression that urben renewal became “urban removal" for
many of the Negro families. it was the strong feelings of the class that
the City of Atlante did not have enough concern nor did it assume responsi-
biilty for setting up en adequate relocation program for all the displeced
famities who needed help.

The students agreed that groups of people cannot stand in the way of economic
progress. if is the responsibility of our city and federal government to see
thet citizens are net hurt too greatly in bringing about physical and economic
change. They sew the need for a strong relocation program, sponsored by the
City of Atlanta, whose services, listings, and resources are avaliable to
displaced families without discrimination as to race, color, or creed. Ale
though @ relocation program is sponsored by the Housing Authority, it Its too
limited to meet the present end future needs which slum cleerance and urban
renewal will create.


Buring the tour, we visited the Antoine Graves Homes on Hilliard Street,

Se Eos and the John 0, Chiles Homes In the West End. On reviewing these

two new public facilities for the aging, we were aware immediately of the
vast difference tn the appearance, appointments, and the surroundings.

The Graves Homes was, by far, the less attractive. in fact, the bars in

the front reminded us of a prison entrance. On the other hand, the Chiles
Homes has an attractive entrance which appears fo extend you a friendly
welcome as you appresch the buliding. The general color scheme of the Chiles
Homes Is bright and cheery while the scheme et the Graves Homes is a dull
prison gray. The view we had from the balcony of one of the apartments of
the Graves Homes was fer from Inspiring because it looked ouf on a Junk yard.
The surroundings of the Chiles Homes was pleasent and Invigorating.

We understood thet the two projects were constructed, or the plans for them
had been completed before the implementation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
and 1965. The foregoing reactions have real pertinence since we were informed
that the Graves Homes initially had all Negro tenants while the families tn
the Chiles Homes were white. If was our opinion that thay were constructed
under the old practice and policy of “separate and unequal” where housing for
Negroes were concerned. We were happy to note that with the growing trend
toward Integration tn Atlanta's public housing program, there Is no further
need for this invidious differentiation tn the quality of public housing which
1s available for citizens who need and qualify for it.

As we analyzed the needs of the families displaced by sium clearance end urban
renewal we agreed that just moving families from stums Into public housing does
not automatically change the !iving habits. Bad habits as well as good habits
are transferred along with the families from siums to public housing. if these
famiiles are to be helped to five fully, they have to be taught how to live in
an improved housing situation.

These families bring from the slums thelr problems--inadequate education, juve-
nile delinquency, broken homes, poor health, poor management of money, exe
ploitation by unscruplous salesmen are but a few. Thus, the Housing Authority
becomes more than a real estate agent than rents living space to a tenant.

It has the obligation eas well to help these people in the socialization process.
Thus, adequate recreational services, communify and social services must be 4
primary concern of the Housing Authority. We felt thet a Department of Social
Service should be established es an official arm of the Atlante Housing Authority.
it should be adequately staffed with qualified staff which can help families ~
with social, educetional, economic, and health problems which Interfere with
thelr achievement of selfereal lization.

We were of the opinion that the membership of the Authority should be broadened
to permit greater representation from areas other then business and industry
and few. Physical and social planning should be @ joint enterprise with the
helping profession Involved in a meaningful way at the level of planning where
they can be effective. There Is the growing recognition of the contributions
that experts In the fleld of social welfare can make te public housing when
social rehabilitation ts needed, and in developing @ preventive approach te
social disintegration, We recommend thet the Authority considers the eppolat-
ment to the body qualified professionals in the field of social welfare,

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