Box 18, Folder 11, Document 8

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Dertherte pic

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14 he Atlanta Journal and CONSTITUTION SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1967


Los Angeles Times News Service

ments in living conditions.


=, | tenants.

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 4—Almost
2,000 tenant families of the
largest public housing develop-
ment here are preparing for a
rent strike March 1 against the
Public Housing Authority in an
effort to force major improve-

Tenant spokesmen who set
the strike deadline said the al-
ternative to over-all upgrading
of the huge development is
widespread rioting. Tenants re-
ferred to “another Watts” and
some teen-agers told a reporter,
“Tt’s coming, man, it’s coming

Involved in the dispute are the
Pruitt homes and the Igoe
apartments which form a single
housing complex about two
‘miles from downtown St. Louis.
They are operated by the hous-
ing authority for low-income


Representing the tenants is

| the Pruitt - Igoe Neighborhood} i

Corp., a community group or-
ganized last summer by the
Urban League and the War on
Poverty to upgrade the com-

Housing authority officials
and members of the citys |
board of aldermen agree that

have deteriorated rapidly in re-
cent years. But the housing au-
thority is required to operate
entirely from rent receipts, and
the officials say they do not
have the money to make needed

RECENTLY, they promised

spring, but tenant spokesmen
said work must begin immedi-
ately if the strike is to be

When it was built 13. years
ago, Pruitt - Igoe was widely

praised as one of the best pub-
lie housing facilities in the na-

conditions at the development

to begin major repairs in the}

each with 11

ing buildings,
floors, set in a tract of 30 square
blocks. pone land_¢ e

only at the first, fourth, seventh
and 10th floors. ‘A reporter went
into four buildings before he
found an elevator that worked.

The hallway walls are gray
cement stone blocks. They
never have been painted. Most
of the floors also are gray. he

an eLipige hia bie i
The stench in some buildings
is overwhelming; many venti-
lating fans do not work. Broken
windows are common, and
many refrigerators and drain

pipes do not work. A number

ms i ock out hallway lights.

utside. ‘Pruitt-Igoe, and all but one of
ee eva or which stops

Tenants Pledge Rent Strike |

of kitchen stoves no longer work
because tenants oyer-used them
to heat their cold apartments.

BANDS OF roving youths
am the elevators, break laun-
iry machines and windows and

About 10,000 people live 4
the 2,000 families is Negro.
More than 60 per cent of the
families have no male head of
household and an equal per-
\centage are on public relief.

The tenant corporation’s de.
mands include adequate heat

and hot water immediately, im-

.,mediate repair of broken stiven! ,
refrigerators, windows and ele-

yators, and regular police pro-
‘tection to replace the two

: “guards assigned by the housing

authority to the entire project. —

It also wants a janitor as-
signed to each building, ae
tending that the present assign;

ment of one for two buildings is
insufficient. It wants immediate

} even

lel of Nee. 2s IP bb. MW aiid elitoee,
ofile, aaet prick ge prnerFe

attention given to work orders
placed by tenants which the cor-
poration says have been ignored
for months.

All these things, the corpora-
tion says, must be done on a
crash program.

Eugene Porter, corporation’
president, claims his corpora:
tion represents 1, 900 of the 2,000
tenant families ‘and could en-,
force its rent strike easily. The
housing authority says a rent
strike would, in fact, cut off
the meager operating

funds it now has for the project.

at serve alcoholic beverages
even at state dinners.

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