Box 5, Folder 6, Document 24

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Box 5, Folder 6, Document 24

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Report Requ ire d by Nayor ' s Directive of Har ch
on .11 U-.S. Riot Commission Hepor t
19, 1968
The entire rep ort is quite comprehensive and uell done .
The Committee
deserves crecli t for so thoroughly analyzing and cJ.evelop~ng such a -corr.prehen-·
s ive report on s uch an involve d and expl osive matter.
In gene ral t he r ep"o rt lJc1.s signal ed out and effe ctivel y treat e d many of
the major i ssues i nvolved.
Little fault. can be fou..11cl 1-1i th its pr~ncipal
findine s and r e conmendations.
Hoi.-rever , t he rep ort bas ically pla c es ~11 r e s ponsibility for the riots on
the Ahi te ty and f ails to place any responsibilit y on the participm1ts
in the Riots for the wanton de struc tion a nd other crimes which they cor,~rni ttecl .
Thi s omission i.s unfortunate ~s i t ·coul d r esult in a fe eling among futur e
p~t ential riote ~s tha t such pro ceclure i s cor,doned .
This possibi lity should.
overlooked Ha ti or.all y 2..'1d locally in c;i.ttcrapting to dea l with this
eA-plosive situati on and prevent future riots .
The r eport r ecomm~nds ancl ca lls for drastic a ctions on t he part of Federal,
State , and Local :?;O'rer·nnents a s -~ell as '. Jhite Co,,muni tie s for s pe cific actions
to correct Tu'1satisfactor :r conditions a s a deterrent in preventing f1.:ture riots.
It fails however to call for or place upon the dissi dent oc·cupants of s l um areas
any c ons tructi ve eff orts which t hey t:-1er,1selve s should t ake to improve thei r
conditions .
Of t he spe cial r e comnendations contained in Chap ter 10 of t he repor t , it
appear s tha t corre ctive measu:r·e s for all of them are a dequ a t el y dealt with in
the Eayor 's -1-farch 1 9 Dir e ctive , with the possibl e exception of " }0cpanclcd Legal
Service t o the ?oor" .
Additional corr ective r esponsibilit_y in this fi eld might
b e assign ed to the loca l Bar Ass oci a t ions .
The n eed for c orrectin~ or improvir:g u..11s atis.factory condi tions in t he slur,1s
of our cities , one of t!le foremos t of uhich is housini , is ,vell docunented 2-.nd
in generaJ. t he rernecliec pro~)o sed and r e cor,,11encla.tions mac1e are so1.1.t,d 2J1d ap~)ear
a c1equate , if carried out on the l ocal l evel.
Hi th r espe ct to - C'nw.,ter 17 1-rhi ch deal s spe cifi cally :,;i th proooss d c orr-: ctiv e
meas ur e s , ~: some b e si c considerations i n the hous i1,e fi eld appe2.r to have b een o verl ooke d or at l e~ s t the y are not spe cifj call :;r brou:;ht out i n the re-)ort .
cor:11'lcnt on some of t hese , as t hey affect the l ocal h ous i r.~ si t uation jn Atl;:cnta ,
fo1lom:: .
Three basi c f actor s are cur r en t l y der:1ora.l i ,-,in~ f ut ure progr ess in lo cal
l ow- i nc ome housing constr uction i n At l anta :
Firs t, is the l ocal oppos i t i on t o mul t.:L- fami l y housi ng, part i cul arly
Publi c Housing .
Pr ogress mus t be made in f a cilitating rezoning of ne ces s ary
sites to meet Atl ant a ' s l on-income housi ng needs , if adequate progr ess is t o
be continued i n t hi s i mportant field .
· Se cond, the existine Feder al poli cy of di scouraging approval on sites f or
Publi c Hous ing in r a d al .J_y identif iabl e areas i s hi nd~rinc progre s s of t he
pr ogram and pr eventing the constructi on of many uni t s t hat are badl ;;r ne eded for
t he lowest i ncome fami l ies .
Third, the l egal prohibition agai ns t 221 d ( 3) Federal l ~r assisted proj ect s
being built in governmental entities ( such as nei ghbori ng counti es which do not
have appr ove d 1:·Jor kabl e Progr arns ) is def.e ating the purp ose of the Lou- income
hardsJi j_p for prov:Ldir.e such housi n~ on communities
Housing Progr a.m and is pl a cing unc."ue
which do have 'iJor kabl e Progr ams .
The current polic~.· automat icall y ex clude s t hos e
ar eas whi ch have the mos t avai l abl e land and where t he housing is most needed
(near neHl y l ocat ed industrial establis hments wher e t he occupants could be
pr ofitabl y emplo? ed).
This Comrai t t ee r e comm.ends t hat spe cial effort be made to
over come ea ch of ·the above indi cat ed obs t a cles.
The r ecom:me:r:dat ion cont ained in the report that Pu'b:l_ic Housing be more fl exi bl e
in both desi E;TI and t ]I)es of units (including t o1mhous es , du~~exes and even si ngl e
bution on small er scatter ed sites , is ver y worthy
f amil y hous es ) as well as distri
of encoura;;ement , in orcler t o ge t a·. ,ay f r om t he i nstitutional ima~e of Public
Housing_~ I n fa ct it :-rould be ver y hel pful i f t he Housi n:; Aut hor i ty would el i mi nate
all of i ts signs at the entr ances t o pr oj e ct s adver tizi:r:g t o t he publ i c i n effect
t hat
t his __is a l ow r ent Feder all :, subsidized housing pr oj ect 11 •
Emphc>.sis i ri the r eport on application of the Hou~i ng Code i n substandard and
depr e ss ed areas i s verf appropriate , ho1-1ever ·t he feature t hat could be most effe ct i ve ,
and which hc>.s been mos t ne 6l e ct ed i n Atl anta , i s not ment ioned; t hat is tenant
r esponsibility .
This shoul d and must be stres 9ed continous ly, i n t o get
more effe ct i ve r esult s fro m the Housine Code .
All iWA Neighborhood Centers should promote class es i n hous ek e epi ng and
property maint enance by oc cupant s of rent al housing .
I nstruction in t hi s fi el d
shoul d be _i, ns tit uted , perhaps at ni ght , to whic h clas ses t he Housing Court could
s entence minor of fe nders to a ttend a pr escri bed number of s ess i ons , in lieu of
monet ary f i nes or j ail s ent en ces f or code vi ol at i ons , in a s i mi l ar manner to th e
procedure no~, bei n:; prac t i ced i n Tr affi c Court of s ent encing mi nor of fe nder s to
attend sessions in 'I'raffi.c School.
The cl eanup of premi s e s , effect i ng co:ri:-1ercial a nd indu strial, a s well cJ.s
.r e sidential proper t i es , i s a nother i mporta nt factor in i mproving the Ghe t tos .
The condj_t ion of premis e s should go hand in hand ui th Housing Code en forcement,
· 1-1he t her it is dire ct e d by the Sa nitary Depar t ment or t he Eousinz Code Inspe ctors.
It i s quite f utile to i mprove the living condi tions of a dwelling unit and n ot
r equire the i mmediate premi s e s and surr oundi ng ar eas to b e cle ane d up and kept
cle an_, .'e spe cially in the ghett os.
Siml arl y , it is usel~ss to i mprove a residential
property a nd l eave the c0171P1ercial or i ndustrial prop-e;;ies· in the same vicinity in
a disgraceful and disreputabl e condition •
.Atlant a needs b a dl y a Cominercial and Industrial Code, just a s it has a Housing
Some of t he more pro:;ressive cities have such cede s today ,
legislation r e cent l y a dout
. ed which authoriz e d Atlanta
The enabling
In :?.em 11 Ordin2-n ce
prov· ding for moving direct l::r a gainst dilapidated residential proper ti e s inste ad of,
he traditiona l manner, against the o,-mers, for violation of the Housing Code ,
al1o authoriz es such action a gainst· poorl y 111aintained commercial and industrial
es lablis hnien ts as ;;ell.
All th2.t is needed is a local i rripl er.1enting Ordinan ce .
In order to provi de and encourage much d.esirs d home o, mership a.>rtong loH-i:pcome
familie s , a s pe cial sins l e family zoning district should be ad8pted ,-,hich would
p er mit con str u c t i on of .sin~le farr.ily home s of 720 s quare f eet or l ar;er on lots
having a ma;dmum · i..rea of
S' , OOO
square feet, wi t h a r.iin:L-nurn frontga::;e of
SO 1 •
would provide ample area for lm-r- income sin3l e f ar:lil :r hous e s an d would provide
increa se i n t he d e:nsity by 50:, and redu ce t~e cos t of lots l:iJ 33 1/3; f r or.1 tha t now
authoriz ed by t he current a pplicable
sin5l e family r esidenti2.l zoning district .
It is r e cormnended that some n e~-r l o,r-income devel o:::ime nt be iniate d as s oon as
poss i ble t rais sum,iler in t he 1•'. odel Ci ties area , by s el e ctin g a t l east one lirni t ed
area ( per haps four ci t y blocks ) in the h eart of t he r.:os t dilapidat e d portion of the
area and obtaining authority from the Federal governr:: . nt to acquire the 12nd t hrough
an adva nce a cquis i t i on process , similar to the in whi ch 18.nd. for t he Auditorium and .Civic Center -i--as
a c~uired, and turr.i n~ it over to the Hous in·; Au thority,
or t hrou ~h expedi t e d sale to private enterpris e to -dev elop.
It i s a l s o r e conmende d tha t iI'ia ti on of develop::1.e nt of a t l eas t a o or tion of
t h e }..;eder 2l ? rison s ite be e:,::pedi ted f or s tarting cons truc t ion this S'J.rrcr1er of l owi nco?'1e housing by pr.irate enterpri se .

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