Box 13, Folder 8, Document 68

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Tel. 522-4463 Area Code 404


May 11, 1967

oo _ . ?

FROM: Planning Staff
TO: Mayor Ivan Allen,-Jr. and Alderman Rodney M. Cook

SUBJECT: Background material on Equal Opportunity in Housing Study

In securing the Federal Grant Funds for the undertaking of the Community

Improvement Program one of the conditions was the preparation of an Equal

Opportunity in Housing Study. The following federal guidelines established

the scope and content of such a study.

1. "Survey and analysis of the existing patterns of residence of Negroes
and other minority groups in the community, including an appraisal
of the extent to which the pattern is the result of discrimination.
The survey and analysis shall include considerations of the quality
of housing and of related community facilities and services avail-
able to minority groups, in relation to the quality of housing and
related community facilities and services available in the community

at large."

2. “Development of an affirmative program to expand the housing oppor-
tunities available to minority groups in the community, including
increases in the quantity and improvement in the quality of avail-
able housing, and to eliminate discriminatory barriers obstructing
open access to housing. The affirmative program shall include
consideration of how both federally assisted and other programs
of housing improvement can be used to attain these objectives."

Essentially the Equal Opportunity in Housing Report meets the federal guidelines
and requirements for such a study as a part of the Community Improvement Program.

Our disagreement revolves around the following:




Conformity to and interpretation of the requirements of the contract
for such a study executed between the City of Atlanta and Candeub,
Fleissig & Associates, dated May 6, 1965. The City questions whether
the report meets sections Ib, IId(1) and II(2) of the contract.

Crediting the City for what has been done during the Allen Adminis-
tration in the way of improving public services and facilities serving
Negro areas, and

Reliance on the interview technique as a means of drawing conclusions
on public services and facilities without checking and testing the
validity of the information thus obtained prior to its incorporation
in the report.

Each of the above points are discussed below:


Conformity to and interpretation of contract.

The Consultant appears to have met most of the requirements of the
contract with the following notable exceptions:
Section 1b of the contract reads as follows:

"The Consultant shall determine the adequacy of community facilities
and services in areas in which Negroes lives, (such as schools,
parks, playgrounds, public housing, libraries, streets, utilities,
sewers, and services from data supplied to the Consultant by the
Local Staff). Adequacy shall be determined by applying nationally
recognized standards of adequacy and service as modified by
established local standards and shall include appraisals of inten-
sity of use, variety and scope of services provided, and public
attitude toward such facilities and services. For the latter
purpose, interviews with informed sources in the Negro community
and in various appropriate professional associations will be
used to secure their reactions to the adequacy of these facili-

The phrase, “adequacy shall be determined by applying nationally
recognized standards of adequacy and service as modified by established
local standards..."' was a problem for the reviewers. What proof exists
in the report that this was done? This is not apparent in reading the
text of the report, its appendices or methodology. Were comparable
statistics of cities of Atlanta's size available in so far as the

provision of public services and facilities? If so, how did Atlanta

compare with these cities?

a 3=
Section IId(1) of the contract reads as follows:
"The consultant shall: 1) Appraise factors which are conducive
to the establishment of an atmosphere of equal opportunity and those
factors which create a negative atmosphere to the establishment of
equal opportunity through selective interviews of representative

neighborhood leadership, businessmen, realtors, and residents in
selected neighborhoods of contrasting ethnic and economic compo-


Where in the text or the appendices of the report does a treatment
of this exist? Such a treatment would entail, we would think, an
identification, appraisal, and findings of both positive and negative
factors related to an atmosphere for establishing equal opportunity in
housing. According to Section IId(2) of the contract, the consultant
was to have made such findings. This is extremely important and should
be the crux or basis of the program recommendations. The tenor of
the program recommendations contained in Part II of the report,
essentially requires and demands the existance of a "favorable
environment". If this interpretation is correct, the consultant
has apparently found some positive factors that exist which are
conducive to the establishment of an atmosphere of equal opportunity,
But, the reviewers could not find any di veuaaton of such a "favorable
environment" or positive factors in the report. Apparently, the sole
basis for the program recommendations appears in the Introduction
to the report. It reads as follows:

"Increasing residential segregation, dilapidation of non-white
rental units and accompanying social problems are highly impor-
tant to, but not peculiar to Atlanta. Statistical findings
coupled with interview results indicate that the City needs a
strong program in equal opportunity in housing..."

Section IIe(1) and (2) of the contract read as follows:
"The Consultant shall develop specific recommendations based both

on experience in other cities and on the findings regarding
community attitudes, These recommendations will pertain to:

1) general community attitudes and programs to deal with equal
opportunity in housing and to reduce or eliminate friction and
tension; 2) small area development and programs particularly
applicable for areas for renewal to deal with softening of attitudes

with respect to equal opportunity.

The key words in these three clauses of the contract are the
development of specific recommendations. In reading the recommendations
contained in Section II there are few specific recommendations. A
considerable number of the recommendations are extremely general,

vague and to some extent useless, Examples of specific recommendations


"The City support legislation at the federal and state levels to
prohibit discrimination in the sale or rental of housing on the
basis of race, creed or national origin. If action in this area
is not forthcoming at the federal or state level, it is recommended
that the city adopt local fair housing legislation."

"The City adopt an anti="block=-busting" ordinance which would make
it illegal to employ panic-inducing tactics to promote a rapid
turnover in housing occupancy.”

"It is recommended that the Community Relations Commission be given
the responsibility and adequate staff and budget to carry out the
city's program for the achievement of equal opportunity in housing."

Examples of general, vague and to some extent useless recommendations


"Tt is recommended that the city utilize federal assistance avail-
able to cities through the Department of Housing and Urban Develop-
ment to cover part of the cost of a concentrated code enforcement
program in designated areas of the city."

"It is recommended that the city re-evaluate its housing code and
other codes to make sure that they provide adequate tools for im-
proving existing housing."

"It is recommended that the city move, under the Federal Demonstration
Cities Program to improve selected areas on a massive scale."

"It is recommended that all city departments examine their activi-
ties and levels of service to determine if they serve adequately
each residential area regardless of racial occupancy. Programs
to correct deficiencies and inequalities should be prepared and



"It is recommended that housing for mixed occupancy be encouraged
in outlying areas so that population shifts to the suburbs, if any,
will be racially balanced."

"It is recommended that the city prepare and implement a formal
program to more actively accomodate in-migrants."

Crediting the City for what has been done.

The Report uses the statistical technique of comparing public
services and facilities serving Negro areas to those serving the
entire City. Although this technique provides an absolute comparison,
it does create a false impression and a negative connotation that
nothing is or has been done to improve the situation found to exist.
This technique combines what has been done in the ancient past to
what has been or is being done in the immediate present with no
differentiation between the two. Such a statistical technique makes
the current administration look exceedingly blameful, when in fact
the current administration has made great strides in these areas.
Public services and facilities have been improved and subsequent
administrations siould be encouraged to follow its example, Although,
the contract does not specifically require the consultant to provide
this credit to the City, it is deemed advisable and desirable in order
to dispell the false image created.

To illustrate statistical technique mentioned above the following
discussion appears in the appendices, (Section III, page 11), under
Parks and Recreation. :

“Community parks in the city container a total of 287.9 acres,

Of this total 34.1 percent (98.2 acres) are located in areas

in which Negroes live. This indicates that 43.6 percent of the

population of the City of Atlanta has only 34.1 percent of the

parks space available in their neighborhoods. Another method

of stating this deficiency is that there is one acre of community

park space available for every 1,753 people in the city as a
whole but only one acre for every 2,240 persons in neighborhoods

in which Negroes live.


The parks classified as neighborhood parks contain 216.2 acres

in the whole city of which 41.7 percent of 90.1 acres are located
- in areas in which Negroes live. This category of park space comes

closest to providing space equivalent to population ratios,

Green spaces in the Negro residential areas are the mose inade-
quate of all three park categories analyzed. Of the total 88.3
acres in this category, only 10.3 percent (9.1 acres) are located
in Negro residential areas. To indicate this vast difference
another way, the city-wide average is one acre per 5,717 people
whereas in the Negro residential areas there is only one acre
per 24,296 people."

In the Summary of Interviews the following statements appear,

(Section III, pages 14 and 15):

"One interviewee covered the entire range of responses relative
to parks recieved in all interviews in this brief statement:

"Park services are woefully inadequate. Fifteen years ago there
was only one (Negro) park for the whole city. The parks we have
now are poorly maintained. The programs that are given are pretty
good, but there's a need for more programmed recreation. The

city promised to build about seven parks in the last bond issue;
none were built’

These remarks were all repeated in one or more other interviews.

All indicated that Negroes thought conditions were better in

all-white neighborhoods,"

This illustrates a damaging statement which was not verified or
substantiated, particularly when the facts of the last five years

or more are that:

l. Presently there are a total of 13 playlots in the City.
Twelve of these are in Negro areas.

2. Twenty-one playlots are planned; 20 of these are for Negro

Since September, 1964, twenty-two major park projects have
been initiated. Ten of the twenty-two are clearly in Negro
neighborhoods with the remaining twelve categorized as gen-
eral service type facilities, such as the Grant Park Child-
ren's Zoo.

The City has purchased 14 new park sites in the last 2 years;
7 of these are clearly in Negro neighborhcods.

relation to schools, the Report recommends, (page 12) that:

"The City take immediate steps to improve the educational programs
and facilities serving Negro residential areas and to bring them
up to the level of white areas."

Yet the facts indicate that within the last 5 years or more that:

1. Eighteen schools have either been built, or have undergone
modernization and/or enlargement of facilities. The latter
would consist of new classrooms, gymnasiums, etc. These schools
primarily serve Negro areas.

2. Seven schools are currently under construction which would
primarily serve Negro areas. If the new school at Grant Park
which will have a ratio of about 50% white and 50% Negro
were included this would bring the total to eight.

The above are intended as examples only, but should serve to

give the consultant some idea of the type of credit that the City

is due.

3. Reliance on Interview Technique

The use of interviews was made a part of the contract as a means
of securing local comments and criticisms of facilities and services
provided to Negro areas in the city. As a part of this effort,
the consultant did invite CACUR to suggest the names of knowledgeable
individuals whom they might consider for inclusion in such interviews.
But, to our knowledge, the City has never seen and been provided the
whole and official list of those interviewed, what was asked, what
was said, or how the results may have been used by the consultant
in this report.

As the interview technique has been used in this report the following
observations are made:

1. The names of the persons interviewed are not listed in the

2. The Consultant apparently has taken verbatim the responses
which were derived in the course of the interviews as repre-


senting absolute factual information. Obviously, the results
of the interviews contained in the report represent slanted
and damaging statements which could have been heard in any
section of the City - White or Negro. Yet, nowhere did the
report attempt to verify the validity of the comments obtained
through the interview technique.

3. The information generated by the interview technique has been
used in some instances as a basis for program recommendations
(as set forth in Part II of the text of the report). Since
no attempt was made to verify these comments, responses from
the interviews can be teken for no more than heresay infor-
mation. Yet, it is this information which provides the basis
for some of the program recommendations.

It would have been more appropriate had the Consultant attempted
to extend the scope of his interviews to include responses, replies,
and/or reactions from the officials and agencies being criticized.
Such an expanded technique would have given a much broader and fairer
presentation of the two or more viewpoints, while at the same time
such a technique would not have precluded the Consultant from making

a judgement between which of the two or more viewpoints was more


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