Box 3, Folder 3, Document 2

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Box 3, Folder 3, Document 2

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For Release:
3:00 P. M., Wednesday
December 11, 1968
I
URBAN RENEWAL PROGRESS - 1968
REMARKS BY HOWARD OPENSHAW
DIRECTOR OF REDEVELOPMENT
FOR
THE ATLANTA HOUSING AUTHORITY
BEFORE THE
CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
FOR URBAN RENEWAL
DECEMBER 11, 1968
�In reporting to this Committee one year ago this month, I predicted
that in 1968 cons truction totaling $26.2 million would be started on urban renewal
land, i ncluding the start of const ruction of 1,468 dwelling units, a subst antial
increase over the previous year .
I am happy to r eport that construction wa s
~ct ual y §tart
§d on 1mprovement g t otali ng $39 ,9 mi lli.on, including the st art of
,.
1,033 dwelli ng ·units of which 884 dwelling units have been compl et ed.
This housing
construct ion r e pr e sents over fo ur t imes t he number of dwelling unit ~ started and
21 times t he number of units compl eted t he previ ous year .
This i s t he first time
in Atlanta 's Urban Renewal Program history wher e hous ing construction exceeded the
number of dwelling uni t s demolished.
I site this as a specif ic exampl e of a con-
scious ef for t on the par t of the Housi ng Authority not only to demonstrat e a
fe asibl e reloc ation plan by sj ting the availabilit y of housing fo r f amilies being
reloca ted by governmental ac tion at r ents peopl e c an affo rd - but actually t o provide sufficient housing f or those f amil ies being di splaced .
This has not been the
pat t ern of urban r enewal in t he pa st in t hi s City or any other, a f ault well t aken
by crit ic s of the Urban Renewal Program .
It seems to me t hat we are clearly moving
in the r ight di rection.
From t he period Dec ember 1, 1967 t o December 1, 1968, t he Atlant a
Hous i ng Authori t y has acquired 285 parcels of l and at a cost of $6. J million .
Authority r eloc at ed 180 f ami lies , 77 individual s , and
The
55 bus i ness concerns f rom
urban renewal ar eas , and provided hous i ng assi st ance ·to an addit io nal 328 f amil i e s
and 98 indi viduals r el ocat ed a s a r esult of other governmental acti on (i .e . Code
Enforc ement, Stat e Hi ghway, Board of Educ at i on, and airport expa nsi on ) .
During the past 12 mont hs the Authority demol ished 284 s t r uctures comprising 484 dwelling units , and compl et ed r ehabi lit ation of 154 dwel l ing units .
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�The Authority sold 31 parcels of land for $3.5 million and put under
contract for sale an additional 21 parcels having a value of $ 2.6 million.
I
Construction was begun on improvements totaling $39.9 million.
These
tmprovements include the star~ of 1,033 dwelling units, the Ira Hardin office
building, an addition to :the Marriott Motor Hotel, and improvements at Georgia
State College and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Improvements totaling $11.2 million were completed in the past 12
months, including 884 dwelling units.
Several other activities during this period should be noted.
The
Housing Authority received Federal authorization to provide 60 relocatable housing
units in the Bedford-Pine Area.
This was the first authorized use of relocatable
housing units on urban renewal land in the country, and was in direct respons e to
a corrnnittment made by the City to residents of the Bedford-Pine Community that only
those areas ready for rede velopment would be cleared, and that every effort would
be made to permit the maximum number of f amilie s to remain in the area - even while
permanent housing was being constructed.
Site improvements fo r these units is now
underway, and we ho pe that the first relocatable housing units will be in place and
ready for occupancy befo re the end of the ye ar.
A seco nd item of note wa s the development compe tit io n by the Housing
Author ity of t he 96 acres of Federal surplus l and, fo rmerly U. S. Penete nt i ary
pro perty, made ava ilabl e to the Cit y by President Jo hnson i n December , 1967, to
help meet cr i t ic al urban needs .
The natio na l competition consisted of the design
of an entire community, i nc l uding housing f or f amilies of l ow and moderate i ncome,
school s, parks and shopping fac i lities - a community designed to encourage a
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�harmonious social and economic mix .
Five r edevelo per 's proposals were r eceived
and submitted f or r eview and evaluation by a jury of five nationally reco gnized
professionals experienced in housing development (the first time a professional
-
jury was employed to j udge improvements on urban renewal land in Atlanta).
On
Monday of this week, t he Mayor- announced that the Atlanta Housi ng Authority had
selected the National Home s .Corporation of Lafayette, Indiana to develop the
Federal. surplus l and.
The National Homes propo sal contains 600 units of housing
for familie s of low and moder ate income , shoppi ng f acilitie s, a town center, t wo
elementary s chool sites , a middle s chool site , and a six acre park .
The
redeveloper's improvements are est imated to cost $8,7 million.
A third signific ant act ivity during this period wa s the preparation
of a Nei ghborhood Devel opment Program appl i c ation out lining the Ci t y ' s ur ban
renewal activitie s to be undertaken in 1969 .
The Neighborhood Development Pr ogram
author i zed by t he Housing Act of 1968, is a program of urban renewal action now.
The program wa s developed :
(1) to permit pl anning and executio n activi t ies t o be
undertaken concµr rentl y , i. e . to permi t r ehabi litation, clearance and redevelopment
to be undert aken i n spec i f ic area s , even while planning i s still underway ;
( 2) to
mor e quickly r espond to the critical ur ban needs of t he Cities by accel erat i ng
provi si ons of publi c fa ciliti es and s ervices; and ( 3 ) to fa ci litate a more effect ive
pro gramming and budgeting of urban r enewal activit i e s on an annual cash- needs ba sis ,
i. e . the Feder al government and the City provi ding funds annually f or ur ban r enewal
activities to be c arried out in specific areas of t he Ci ty.
The City ' s Nei ghborhood Devel opment Program applicati on, f i l ed with the
Federal government on December 6, for the peri od J anuary 1 t hrough December 31 , 1969
includes executi on acti vities in t hree areas :
Bedford-Pi ne , Georgia Tech I I, and
Model Ci tie s , and planni ng activities in East Atlant a and Vine City .
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The appl ication
�requests a Federal grant in the amount of $24.3 million.
The City's share is made
up of completed non-cash grants-in-aid in the amount of $10.8 million.
Looking ahead to 1969, the Atlanta Housing Authority will continue its
· urban renewal activities in 8 existing projects and begin planning and execution
activities in the five are a s included in the City's Neighborhood Development Program.
These urban renewal activities encompass 5,700 acres of the City - a sizable task
indeed.
In addition, the Authority estimates that construction will be started
on improvements to taling $59.7 million on urban renewal land in 1969.
These improve-
ments include 1,037 dwelling units, the Butler Street elementary school (which will
permit the Authority t o close out Atlanta's first urban renewal project), t he stadium
motel, elementar y schools in Roc kdale and Thoma sville , improvements at Geo rgia State
College and Georgia Tech, and the enclosed mall shopping c enter in We st End.
As
we sta nd on the threshold of a new day, a new year, Atla nta shares
the s ame f ate as every major City i n Americ a .
pover t y? Wha t fate bef alls our Cities?
How can the poor be lifted from
In our affluent society , i t is unthinkable
that millions of Americ ans rema i n ill-housed ; that affluent white s co ntinue fl ee i ng
to the suburb s, l eaving our urban co re t o the poor 8nd the black; that spreadi ng
slums and blight are l eading us not to decay but destruction, while in many cities;
off i ci als remai n i ns ens itive to t he plight of the peqpl e .
The bell continues to t oll .
Time i s runni ng out .
We will sur vi ve onl y
as we succee d in re spond i ng to the de sper at e ne eds of our peopl e, in terms of providing opportunities for housing, educati on, and employment; in t erms of impro ving
the qual ity of urban life; i n terms of l ift i ng t he hopes and aspi rations of the poor
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�and the depressed; in terms of involving people in their destiny.
As we face a new year, this is our choice, our opportunity, our
challenge.
-s-

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