Box 5, Folder 2, Document 31

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December 16, 1968

A Fight cat All Levels

Two groups in the vital area of housing
heard good news last week in Atlanta, but
members immediately got off their laurels
to continue their work.

The mayor's Housing Resources Commit-
fee was told that Mayor Ivan Allen Jr.’s
five-year goal of 16,800 units of low-cost hous-
ing surely would be met.

More than 3,000 have been completed, an-
other 6,000 are under construction, and more
than 7,090 are in the planning process.

All wasn’t optimism, however. ‘We're
deluding ourselves,” said attorney Archer D.
Smith III, “if we take these figures and
quit working. . . . We’ve got to be realistic
and get behind the package zoning plan.”
The committee voted unanimously to seek
again such a plan, which would zone for
low-cost housing simultaneously throughout
all sections of the city. Such an approach
has been studied by the City Planning de-
partrnent since last August.

The Citizens Advisory Committee for Ur-

ban Renewal, meantime, was hearing that for
the first time in urban renewal history here
housing construction exceeded the demolition

Lest this set off jubilation all over the
place, Atlanta Housing Authority official How-
ard Openshaw had a somber message, part
of which was as follows:

“Tn our affluent society, it is unthinkable
that millions of Americans remain ill-housed;
that affluent whites continue to flee to the
suburbs, leaving our urban core to the poor
and blacks; that spreading slums and blight
are Jeading us not to decay but destruction,
while in many cities, officials remain insensi-
tive to the plight of the people.”

Starkly put, yes, but a,summing of a
national concern. It is well that Atlanta sees
the problem and is fighting it through com-
mittee, agency, and individual leadership,
This is one of America's most imporlant bat-
tles, and it must be engaged at all levels of

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