Box 15, Folder 12, Document 5

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Box 15, Folder 12, Document 5

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Report ,.equired by ifay or I s Di rective of Har ch 19, 1968
on .1'U . S. Riot Commission Report
The e n t ire report is quite compreh ensi vc and uell done .
The Cerami ttee
des erves credit for so th?r:oughly analyzing and such a -cor;-,preh ensive r eport on such 2n invol ve d and expl osive matter.
I n. general the r eTiort ha s siznaled out and effc cti vely tr eate d P1any of
the maj or i ssues i nvol ved .
Little fault ccrn be found uith its pr~ncipal
fi nclinzs and 1~econl".lendations .
Ho-:-1ever, t he rep ort oasi ca1ly plac e s all respon sibility for the riots on
the 1:lhi te Cor·,muni t y a11d fai1s to plac e any r e sp onsibility on the parti cipa!,ts
he Riots. for the wanton des truction a nd other crir.1es which they cor-.:r,itted.
Th _s oms s ion is u.rlfortU,'1ate as it ·c:iuld r esui t i n a f eeling among future
p~tential rio t\r:s tha t such pro cedure is co;-_cloned .
not be overl oo'.~ eci lfatior.all y
This p ossi:.ility shoul ci
l ocall y in c;i.ttcr.1p tine to deal 1,i th thi s
explo sive situation and prevent future ri ots.
The r er,iort r eco:1ms,nds and ce.lls for cir-2.stic a c tior.s on t he p aTt of ?e ds ral,
State , and Local :;o•rer nnen ts as -.-ell as ~Jhite Co~::iw1ities for SDe ci.fic acti ,:ins
to co1·J.·E: t.: t uJ1s2..tis fa ctor ~,- conditions a.s a deterr ent i n preventi ne future rj_ ots .
It fails ho,;-r ever to call f or or place upon the dissic\ent occupants of slum 2..reas
any cons t ructive e.f:or ts ,-: hich they t:-:er.~selves should take to i mprove their
conditions .
Of t h e special r e coni;-,endat:.::ms c :intaiLed in Chapter 10 of the rep or t, it
appears t hat corre ctive r~eas s for all of t hel11 are a.decrG&te l ;:,r decl. t i-Ti t h in
the 1·'.a~ror"s -1-:arch 19 .Jir e ctive , 1-1ith the po ssi bl e exception of " I::xpancled Le gal
Service to t he ? oor".
Adcli t ional corre cti ie r esponsitili t :;r in t his fi eld mi gh t
b e a ssi gn ed to the local Bar Ass ociations.
The n e ed fo r c orr ec ting or i mprovir;g lL'r 2.tisfactory condi tio11s i n t he s l ur,1s
of our cities , one o.f t he forer,iost of whi ch is housin~ , i s \-, ell ciocuuentecl and
i n general t he r e1c.e _ pro9os ed and r e cor".r.endations made 2.r e soll.!,d arid ap:)~ar
adequate , if carr i ed out on the l ocal l evel.
\-:i th r e spect t o Cha·:)t er 17 which de a l s s ~Je ci f i cally ~ri t h prooosed c orr e ctive
measur e s , .: so,".e basic cons i derations in t he r.ousir.~ fie ld. ap~) e2. r to rave b een ov er l ook ed or at l east they arc not s pe ci f i cal l y brought out in the re~ort .
comr1ent on s o:-:e of the se , as t hey ai'.fect t he l ocal housir..;; situation in !ltl,=rnta ,
follo-.; s .
Tlu·ee basic factor s are currently der1orali z ing fut uTe progress in local
low-income housing construction in Atl anta:
First., is the l ocal opposition to t i-family housing, parti culaTly
Public Housing .
Pr ogress must be made in facilitati ng r ezoning of necessary
sites to me e t Atl anta I s l o:1-incorn.e housi ng ne eds , if a de(luate progr ess is to
be continued in this i mportant field.
· Second, t he exis tin G Federal pol i cy of discouraging approval on sites for
Public Hous ing i n r acidl;-,.- i dentifiabl e are2 s i s hindering progress of the
progra,:1 a.rid preventi ng the construction of r:an;-t uni ts th a t are badl:- n e eded for
t he l oHes t incor::e farr.ili es .
Third , t he l egal prohi bition a gai r.s t 221 d (3 ) Fe derc?..ll/ assisted pr oje cts
beirf built i n :;ov ernne nta l entities ( such 2s n ei g hboring countie s which do not
hav1 . approved ~!orkabl e ?ro:;r a,1s) is def_e2 t ir. ; the purp ose of the Lo;-;-in come
Ho:~ing Progr ai11 and is pl a cin3 un due har ds hip for pr oviclir:g such housing on co:'lmuni tie s
w' · ch do have ';Jorkabl e Pro ~rams .
The curre:r.t polic,· automatice.lly excludes those
ar ea s which have t he mos t availabl e l and and i;here the hous iq~ is r:ost n e ::: de d
(near ne,·rl y lo cated industrial establishments where t he occup2.11ts c culd be
profitably empl o? ed) .
This Corrc.r;,i tt ee recorr: ends th2.t s pe cial effort be mac.e to
overcome each oi' ·t he above indicat ed obsta cl e s.
The r e conmendation contained in the re!)ort tha t ?ublic Housins be more fl exi ble
in both des i gn and t :rpes of units (includin 5 toimhouses , dur~ ex e s and even sin~le
f amily houses ) a s ";>Tell as distribution on s:,-:c?J_ler scattered sites , is ver-J i-iOrth)'
of' encoura:;er:1ent , in or der to 6et a·.·ay fro::: the i nstitutional i l'la ;; e of Publ i c
In f a ct it :,roulc. be verf hel?ful i .f t he Housine AuttJri ty ,,ould elininate
all of i ts si gns a t the entrances to projects advertizing to the public in e ffe ct
t hat "this ._is a l ow r ent ?e derall:r subs i di zed housing proj ect".
Emph2.sis in t he rep ort on applic ation of the Hou~i ng Code in subs tandard and
depress ed aTea s is ver~: a ppropriate , however ·the f eatur e that could be most effective,
and which has b een most n e ~lecte d in Atlanta, is not r:ient ioned; that is tenant
r esponsi bility .
Thi.s shou ld and must be s tressed conti nous1..,v J in order to ge t
more ef.fe c ti ve r es ults fro :-1 the Housir\ :; Cocie .
All 1~0A 1'-~ei ghborhood Centers should pronote classes i n hous e~eeI)ing wd
propert y maintenance by occupants of r ental housing ,
Instruction in this f i eld
s hould b e ins ti tuted J perhaps at ni ght , to -,::1ich class e s t he Housing Court c


senten ce minor offen de rs to att end a :orescriced n umber of s ess ions ) in l of
monetary fi nes or jail sentences f or co de viola t i ons , in a sir-,2.l ar
to the
procedure no:r being practi ced i n Traffic Court of sentencing minor offe nder s to
attend sessfor.s in Tra.f.;'.'i c 3chool.
T\1e cle anup of premis es, effe ct ing commer cial and indus tr i a l, as uell a s
r esi dential proper t i es , i s a nother i mporta nt factor in improving tho ghe t t os .
The condition of premis e s should g o hand in ha.nd ui th Hous ing Code enforcement,
· whe t her it is dire cte d b? the Sanit ary Dep ar t ment or the Eousing Code Insp ectors.
It is quite futile to i mprove the living conditions of a di,ielling unit a nd not
require the i mmediate pr elfliscs and surroundin~ areas to b e cle an e d up and kept
clean., ·espe cially in the gh_ettos .
Similarly , it is usel~ss to improve a res idential
property and l eave t he commercial or industrial p1·ope-;ties· in the same vicinity in
a dis;:;raceful and di sreput nbl e condition.
Atlanta n eeds badly a Commercial and Industrial CocJ.e, just as it I1as a Housing
Some of the mor e pro~ressive citi e s have s uch code s today.
The enablinr;
legi s l a tion r e cen t l y a douted which author i z ed Atlanta'°s
"In Hem" Ordinance

providing for moving directly a ga inst dilapidate d re s idential properties i nstead of,
in the traditional manner, a gainst the owners, for violation of the Hou.sine Code,
also authoriz e s such action a gainst· poorly ina i ntai necl comrnercial and indust rial
e s tablis hments ·as , rell.
All tha t is n e eded i s a local irnpler,1enting Or dinan ce •
In order to pr ovide and encourage much de s ired home ovm ershi p among low-income
famili e s, a spe cial singl e family z oning district should be adopted 1-:hich would
p er mit con struc tion of .s i n ~l e f amily home s of 720 squar e f eet or larger on lots
having a maximum area of .S ,000 square feet, i-rith a minimum front ~a:::e of
50 1 •
would provide ample ar ea. tor lm-r-int..;OH18 sin;:;l e f amily hous es and would provide
incr e a s e i n t he density by 50~; and r e duce the cos t of lots by 33
author iz e d by the Cllr r er.t applicable


fr or,1 that now
single family r esidential zoning district.
It is r e qormnended tha t some neH loi,r-income developme nt be iniated as s oon a s
possi bl e t :ti s su.'Tu",1er in the l-1odel Ci ties area , by s el e cting a t l eas t one limited
area ( pe rhaps four city bl ocks ) in the he ar t of the mos t dilapidat e d p ortion of the
area and obtaining authority fr om the Fe deral governm,,nt to acquire the land t hrough
an a dvance a cquisit i on proces s, s imilar to the manner in whi ch lci.nd for t he Audit or ium and Civic Center . Fas
acquired, and t urning it ove r to the Housin g Authori t y,
or thr oueh expedite d s ale to private enterprise to·cl.ev elop .
It is a l s o r e commended tha t i niati on of devel opment o f' a t l e a s t . a por t i on of
t he Feder a.l Prison s i t e be e:x:pe di t ed f or s t art i ng cons tru ction t his ·s urmrier of l owi ncone housing by pri vate enter pri se .

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