Box 4, Folder 14, Document 1

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To The Citizens of Atlanta







Ivan Allen, Jr., Mayor


Sam Massell, Jr., President

First Warp: James E. Jackson; Robert S. Dennis
SECOND Warp: E. A. Gilliam; R. E, Lee Field
THIRD Warp: Wm. T, Knight; James E. Vickers
FourTH WarD: Douglas Wood; Charles Leftwich
Firth Warp: John A. White; G. Everett Millican
SIRTH WARD: Richard C. Freeman; Cecil Turner
SEVENTH WARD: Jack Summers; Milton G, Farris
EIGHTH WarD: Rodney M. Cook; Douglas L. Fowlkes

G. Everett Millican, Chairman

John A. White, Vice Chairman
A. E. Gilliam Rodney M. Cook

B, A. Martin, Chairman

C. Talmadge Hardeman Dr. Sidney L. Davis
Sam I. Cooper R. A, Thompson

Malcolm D. Jones, Director
Joseph A. Rabun, Assistant Director
Willis L. Buckner, Rehabilitation Specialist
Oliver M. Ownby, Environmental Improvement Div.
James A. Smith, Relocation Housing Div.

John O, Chiles, Chairman

Dr. Allen D. Albert, Jr.. Edwin L. Sterne
Vice Chairman

Frank G. Etheridge Charles E. Thwaite, Jr.
M. B. Satterfield, Executive Director
Earl H. Metzger, Director of Redevelopment


J. Arch Avary, Chairman

W. L. Ramsey, Executive Secretary

City of Atlanta


The primary purpose of this report is to bring
to the citizens of Atlanta a better concept of
Urban Renewal, why we have it, how it works,
who is responsible for it, what has been accom-
plished to date, principal needs for the future and
suggestions for accomplishing them.

The Urban Renewal Department performs four
major functions, the first and foremost of which fs
prescribed in ordinance establishing the Depart-
ment, adopted July 1, 1957 which states, “The
functions of this department shall be to study the
Urban Renewal requirements of the City of
Atlanta, to determine ways and means for their
accomplishment and to provide and facilitate
timely coordination and orderly development of
Urban Renewal plans, projects and other related
activities throughout the city . . . and to make
recommendations for facilitating progress on
Urban Renewal in the City of Atlanta. . .”

In carrying out this function the Urban Renewal
Department serves as the staff of the Urban
Renewal Committee of the Board of Aldermen
and performs the principal coordinating activities
on Urban Renewal matters with other Depart-
ments and Agencies. This work is performed by
the Director, Assistant Director, Rehabilitation
Specialist and Secretary,

The second function assigned this Department,
as of July 1, 1959, is enforcement of the Housing
and Slum Clearance Code of the City of Atlanta.
For this purpose the Department is now author-
ae Chief Inspector, 8 Field Inspectors and 2


The third function is the city-wide responsibility
for providing relocation housing assistance for
families displaced by Governmental action, includ-
ing expressway acquisition, and for issuance of
certificates of eligibility to displaced families for
purchase of FHA insured mortgage homes under
the 221 Program. A relocation Housing Officer
and Secretary perform this function.


The fourth and most recently assigned function,
since August 1, 1960, is responsibility for enforce-
ment of the City Ordinance requiring that demo-
litions be accomplished within a prescribed time
limit after issuance of demolition permit and that
resulting debris, litter and rubble be removed from
the premises. This function is performed by the
Environmental Improvement Division, in addition
to Housing Code enforcement.

The Urban Renewal Department, with advice
and assistance of other Departments, especially
the Planning Department, initiates and makes
recommendations to the Urban Renewal Com-
mittee of the Board of Aldermen for new Urban
Renewal Projects, reviews Urban Renewal Plans
for the Urban Renewal Committee and when
appropriate initiates changes in boundaries of
existing Projects.

Survey, planning and execution of the City’s
current Urban Renewal Projects, after selection,
designation and adoption of the Projects by the
City, has been delegated by Ordinance to the
Housing Authority of the City of Atlanta, as the
City’s Agent.

However, the establishment of broad policies
for operation of the entire Urban Renewal pro-
gram and responsibility for insuring that they are
carried out is a duty and function of the City (the
Mayor and Board of Aldermen) executed through
its Urban Renewal Committee. This responsibility
should not and cannot be delegated.


Atlanta’s five Urban Renewal Projects now
comprise 1303 acres, originally contained 2,971
substandard residential structures to be demol-
ished, 1500 dwellings to be rehabilitated, will
require 4,545 families to move and after redevel-
opment will house 7,598 families in safe, decent
and sanitary standard housing (a gain of 969
families) above the number that were in the areas
originally. The net project cost of the first five
projects will be roughly $27,000,000, of which
the local share is $9,000,000, with $18,000,000
being borne by the Federal Government.

Of the local share, all but $1,500,000 in cash,
the total 1957 Urban Renewal Bond funds, is
being provided by non-cash grants in aid by other
departments for capital improvements which wil]
serve the areas. $4,500,000 of this amount is
being provided by the Board of Education in the
form of school construction.


Taxes (city and county) derived from the areas
before the projects started was $160,000 annually;
after redevelopment is complete the value of
newly constructed taxable property in the areas
is conservatively estimated to be $125,000,000,
producing in real estate taxes alone $1,600,000
annually, an increase of ten fold.

The first three (center of town) projects were
adopted in February, 1956, and the two outlying
projects, for relocation purposes, were adopted in
August, 1957. Final plans for Butler, Rawson-
Washington and Thomasville Projects were
approved July, 1959, and for University and
Rockdale June, 1960. Execution is considered to
have started in Butler, Rawson-Washington and
Thomasville Projects January 1, 1960, and in
University and Rockdale January 1, 1961. The
redevelopment phase is five years for all projects.

By year end 1961, some 2400 substandard
properties had been acquired by the Housing
Authority at an expenditure of $17,000,000.
70% of all parcels to be acquired, have been pur-
chased or are under condemnation; all property
in the Thomasville Project had been acquired or
was in the process of condemnation; over 1,000
substandard structures had been demolished and
their occupants rehoused in standard dwellings;
431 dwelling units in the Urban Renewal Projects
had been brought up to standards required by the
Housing Code and 673 additional units were in the
process of being rehabilitated. Six parcels, con-
sisting of 69.43 acres, or 7.5% of the Urban
Renewal tracts, have already been sold for
redevelopment valued at $12,068,350. This
includes a $3,250,000, 21 story, luxury apart-
ment building; a 1,000 pupil elementary school,
an 8 story Holiday Motel; 596 medium priced
rental apartment units; and 100 units of single
family 221 sales housing.


Housing Code Enforcement:

In order to make the Housing Code felt
throughout the entire city, the Environmental
Improvement Division has devoted its efforts dur-
ing 1961 primarily to the worst property in the
block or neighborhood basis. However, in addi-
tion to city-wide coverage, conservation areas in
salvagable, residential neighborhoods have now
been selected for concentrated effort in 1962 on a
house-by-house basis. This should result in sub-
stantial increased production during 1962.



As of December 31, 1961, .. a
14d r
A CO sont.-
*/6. Major Repoira: Casea 695 B2 Dec. '59
T9a 644 1990
1509 1046 1961
Units 3628 1307 1959
8063 2270 1961
/4, Demolitions: Cages 111 51 1960
326 205 1961
Units 271 216 1960
712 407 1961
/8. Minor Deficiencies: (Usually
clean up of premises) 201 150 1959
306 329 1960
O74 410 1961
/2, Properties Inspected in
Conservation Arens TAT
/2. Cases referred to other Departments 121 1960
207 = 1961
#2. Demolition Pormita complied 887
/2. Court cases for non-compliance with
Demolition Permits (9)
/3. Cases considered by Better
Housing Commission 137) 1960
825) 1961
Units Placarded
(with approval of B.H.0.) (242 1960
(675 1961
Families required to move—
for demolitions 192) 1960
Families required to move 465) 1961
for other rensong (T)

/6. Court Cases for Housing Coda
violations (all won) a6 1960
47 1961

Where no dates are indicated, figures pertain to
1961 operations only,
Figures in ( ) also included under other items,
/6. Requires average of & inspectiona each
7/4. Requires avernge of 4 inapectiong each,
/3, Requires average of & ingpections each.
/2. Requires average of 2 inapections each.
At year end, Inspectors were carrying an average
work load of approximately 225 uncompleted cases

The above was accomplished with only 4 In-
spectors in 1959 and 1960; in 1961 with 6-1/3
Inspectors; 8 Inspectors are now authorized.

The Better Housing Commission has con-
sidered 462 slow moving and difficult cases in an
effort to resolve them without court action; and
has authorized the placarding of 917 dwelling

Relocation Housing:

During 1961, 620 certificates of eligibility (23
to Whites and 597 to Negroes) were issued by the
Relocation Housing Division to displaced families
for the purchase of FHA insured mortgage homes
built by private enterprise. A total of 3,210 cer-
tificates (306 to Whites and 2904 to Negroes)


have been issued under this program to date.
Since this program started in 1958, building per-
mits have been issued for construction within the
City of Atlanta for 2,889 single family, 221
houses (1072 for Whites and 1817 for Negroes),
All but 100 of these have been completed and
all but 137 of the completed houses have been
sold and occupied. This program alone repre-
sents $29,000,000 in new construction in Atlanta.

The Relocation Housing office of this Depart-
ment has relocated 58 displaced families in private
rentals and referred 340 families to Public

Fight Blight:

During April, 1961, the Urban Renewal Depart-
ment, with the assistance of other Departments
and agencies, promoted and spear-headed a very
successful city-wide FIGHT BLIGHT campaign.
This was closely tied in with and supported by
the Women’s Chamber of Commerce in connec-
tion with its annual Clean Up, Paint Up, Fix Up


During the week of August 21-26, 1961, this
Department participated with other City Depart-
ments in providing displays at Lenox Square for
the “Salute to Atlanta.” The Department also had
a very substantial and informative Urban Renewal
display at the Southeastern Fair.


Recertification of Workable Program:

The Department prepared, with assistance of
material furnished by other Departments and
Agencies, Atlanta’s annual report for Recertifica-
tion of Progress in Community Improvement
(Workable Program). The principal comments
by the Federal Government in its Recertification of
the Workable Program (to January 1, 1963)

(1) That progress in Housing Code enforcement
is good, but the City badly needs additional
Inspectors and suggestion was made that
building permit fees might be increased to
finance the cost of the Housing Code enforce-
ment service; and

(2) That activities of the Citizens Advisory Com-
mittee for Urban Renewal be more compre-
hensive and positive in the role of actually
accomplishing community improvements.


Apartment Improvement:

Inspection and upgrading major medium rental
apartment developments has been undertaken by
the Rehabilitation Specialist of the Department.

Revision of Housing Code:

A comprehensive revision of the Housing Code
is currently being undertaken, designed to clarify
and strengthen certain provisions of the Code,
based on our 2% years actual experience in Code


Buttermilk Bottoms:

The 160 acre Buttermilk Bottoms tract has,
since November, 1960, been designated and
adopted by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen as
a future Urban Renewal Project. This area has
long been considered by many as Atlanta’s future
Number 1 Urban Renewal Project.

West End:

A General Neighborhood Renewal Plan study
is underway in a 650 acre area of the “West End”:
to be completed in June, 1962. It is anticipated
that a $1,500,000 Urban Renewal Project will
develop in at least 10% of the area being studied.

Transportation Plaza:

A Feasibility Study for future Urban Renewal
Projects is being made by the Planning Depart-
ment in the 500 acre tract known as ““Transporta-
tion Plaza,” which includes the area between
Whitehall-Spring Streets and Northside Drive,
from McDaniel Street to North Avenue.

Georgia State College:

An Urban Renewal Project for expansion of
Georgia State College along Decatur Street, be-
tween Central Avenue and Piedmont Avenue, is
already definitely underway, with the entire local
share of the cost of the project being borne by
Georgia State College and the State Board of

Howard School:

Application has been prepared for submittal to
the Federal Government for a small Urban Project


—— et

sponsored by the School Department primarily for
expansion of Howard High School. The Board of
Education has conimitted itself to defray all but
$17,500 of the cost of the local share of this

East Atlanta:

An application is being prepared by the Hous-
ing Authority for a 110 acre Urban Renewal Pro-
ject in East Atlanta in the Mayson Avenue-
Hardee Street area. About half of this project is
contemplated for rehabilitation. There is also
sufficient vacant land in this project to provide
location within the project for construction of
additional public housing units required, before
any demolition takes place within the project area.

Bond Issue:

Since 1958 the Urban Renewal Department has
been working consistently for adoption of a Long
Range Program for future Urban Renewal Pro-
jects, has developed such a proposal for con-
sideration by the Urban Renewal Committee and
is prepared to present and support the proposal
before the Bond Commission. This proposal is
for six year program, 1962-7, and, in addition
to the projects listed above, includes five other
badly needed projects. Two of these are pro-
posed as “companion” projects to complement
others. The local share of this proposed six year
program amounts to $8,000,000. This includes a
$1,000,000 revolving fund for non-Federal-as-
sisted projects. This amount is not excessive,
when compared with the needs of the City, and is
in keeping with the financial effort being made in
Urban Renewal by other cities of comparable size.

Relocation Housing:

Other developments in progress, not a direct.
part of but closely related to Urban Renewal, are
the 650 unit Field Road Public Housing Project
for Negroes and 250 units of high-rise Public
Heusing for Elderly (Whites) now underway on
Ashby Street, just South of the Joel Chandler
Harris Public Housing Project. Also commitment
has been made in the Eastern sector of the Butler
Street Urban Renewal Project for 200 units of
high-rise Public Housing for the Elderly


The highlight of citizen participation during
1961 was the enthusiastic and effective part played
by neighborhood groups, business associations,


trade organizations, clubs and individual citizens
in Atlanta’s first FIGHT BLIGHT Campaign.
The Citizens Advisory Committee for Urban Re-
newal was particularly helpful in a clerical, finan-
cial and advisory capacity. Throughout the year
the Acting Director of the Citizens Advisory
Committee published and distributed to its mem-
bership a very informative weekly newsletter. The
Citizens Advisory Committee also provided for
publication of the 1960 Report of the Urban
Renewal Department, and has offered to publish
this report. It has also been very active through
the courtesy of the Trust Company of Georgia
in arranging informative talks and tours on Urban
Renewal for various citizen groups.

The Chamber of Commerce has listed progress
in Urban Renewal as one of its seven major objec-
tives during 1962. The first edition of “Atlanta”
(January, 1962, edition), a publication sponsored
by the “Forward Atlanta” movement of the Cham-
ber of Commerce, contained as its primary feature
an excellent article on Urban Renewal.

The Central Atlanta Association and the newly
organized Uptown Association have both strongly
endorsed and adopted policy supporting Urban

The League of Women Voters published during
1961 a special edition of its “FACTS” pamphlet
devoted exclusively to Urban Renewal. Both
this organization and the Voters Guild promi-
nently featured Urban Renewal in their educa-
tional campaigns for voters during the 1961 Pri-
mary and General Election. All local candidates
for re-election during the 1961 Mayor and Board
of Aldermen campaign endorsed and promised
support for Urban Renewal.

The local press, radio and television have con-
sistently supported and assisted the Urban
Renewal Program.


(a) According to the 1960 census, there are
40,000 dwelling units within the City of Atlanta
that are dilapidated or deteriorating. These repre-
sent areas of the City six times as extensive as
our current Urban Renewal Projects. It takes
little imagination to see the need for Housing Code
Enforcement and Urban Renewal clearance
projects in these areas.

(b) A Long Range Program for future Urban
Renewal Projects, with some degree of acceptance
for future development, is essential to planning
areas for Housing Code Enforcement, taking full


advantage of capital improvements by other De-
partments for Urban Renewal credit purposes and
for controlling, or at least influencing, interim
developments in various critical areas of the City,

(c) Adequate provision for financing such a
program on a continuing basis is a must, if Urban
Renewal is to serve the purpose intended in
Atlanta, and which it is capable of doing, if given
adequate financial support. The City simply
cannot afford to fail to take advantage of the
opportunity now offered, through the Urban
Renewal Program, to rid itself of its extensive
festering slums.

(d) Future substantial Urban Renewal Projects
cannot be undertaken, however, without simul-
taneously providing for additional Public Housing
to accommodate those displaced families whose
income is too low to buy or rent standard dwelling
units in the open market.

(ce) The adoption by the City of Minimum
Standards for existing commercial and industrial
properties, similar to those now in the Housing
Code for residential structures, is essential if we
are to eliminate slums and upgrade neighbor-

(f) Violations of the Housing Code are so
numerous and extensive, it is doubtful that ma-
terial progress can be made in corrective measures
until the Courts adopt the policy of fining
offenders on first notice and summons for Hous-
ing Code violations, in much the same manner as
is now followed in Traffic Court for traffic viola-

(g) The Sanitary, Health and Fire Depart-
ments have been and can continue to contribute
tremendously to Environmental Improvement
throughout the City by assisting in enforcing clean
up of premises and removal of accumulations of
trash and litter from occupied properties and
vacant lots. This will, at the same time, improve
sanitary and health conditions and reduce fire

(h) Improvement of apartment zoning regula-
tions would greatly assist, from an Environmental
Improvement standpoint, prevention of future
slums, through new construction .

(i) Greater restrictions and controls on opera-
tors of junk yards and salvage dumps throughout
the City is very much needed. A requirement for
screening existing establishments in this category
with a woven redwood fence, similar to that now
required for new establishments would be a


tremendous benefit to the City in its Environ-
mental Improvement effort.

(j) Thorough rehabilitation through Housing
Code enforcement is the backbone of the City-
wide Urban Renewal effort. Increased emphasis
now on this phase, with additional Housing Code
Inspectors, is far cheaper and more practical for
the City than clearance and redevelopment /ater,
except in those areas which are already so badly
deteriorated that it is not economically feasible
to rehabilitate them.

(k) The need urgently exists for some appro-
priate incentives, probably tax concessions, to
encourage private enterprise to redevelop, at no
cost to the City, slum areas in accordance with
plans and appropriate controls established and
approved by the City.


The Urban Renewal Department is especially
appreciative of assistance and cooperation
rendered during 1961 in the overall Urban Re-
newal effort by the following on various and
special occasions, for which space herein does
not permit detailed recognition.

Various Departments of the City of Atlanta

(especially the Planning and Construction De-

Housing Authority of the City of Atlanta
Board of Education

Atlanta-Fulton County Joint Planning Board
State Highway Department

Fulton County Health Department

Federal Agencies

Citizens Advisory Committee for Urban Renewal
Municipal Court

Better Housing Commission

Atlanta Chamber of Commerce

Women’s Chamber of Commerce

Central Atlanta Association

Uptown Association

Atlanta Real Estate Board

Fulton County Grand Juries

Grand Jurors Association

Voters Guild

League of Women Voters

Atlanta Urban League

Atlanta newspapers and local radio and
television stations

Trust Company of Georgia

And host of organizations, clubs and individual
friends and supporters

The Urban Renewal Department especially

wishes to acknowledge the valuable services and
consistent support given this Department and the
Urban Renewal Program by two former members
of the Urban Renewal Committee, Alderman Jesse
Draper and W. A. “Bill” Sims, who chose not to
stand for re-election in the 1961 political cam-


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