Box 18, Folder 24, Document 2

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Box 18, Folder 24, Document 2

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R[E IT\l[E\W[R
Vol. 5 No. 11
Atlanta, Georgia
December 1967
Delivering an inspiring report of notable progress in urban renewal during 1967
to our Dec. 19 full committee meeting, Howard Openshaw, Atlanta Housing Au ..
thority redevelopment director, also sounded a call for private enterprise, churches.
labor organizations and civic groups to join with public efforts in a concerted en ..
deavor to turn back the spread of blight. Summed up Mr. Openshaw: "Too many
people look to a single tool to solve all the problems of the city. For example,
urban renewal was not designed to speak to the problems of unemployment,
lack of education, crime, and other social diseases. Too long have we looked
to public programs alone to solve our problems. Churches, civic organizations,
labor unions, industry - private enterprise must become involved if we are to
succeed in our endeavors."
In addition to citing the gains achieved by Atlanta'~ urban renewal program duz,ing
196 7, Mr. Openshaw also reviewed the exciting outlook for 1968. The text of his
report follows: SLUMS AND BLIGHT ARE GROWING - "Atlanta, like every maj<,r
city across our land, has awakened to find itself sitting on a potential powder keg.
Countless ages of neglect and apathy has resulted in an accumulation of urban
blight and decay. People are rebelling against their environment, and we see the
resulting strife and turmoil in Milwaukee and Detroit. To make matters worse
the slums and blighted areas are growing, not shrinking. In the last 5 years,
Atlanta has increased its number of dwelling units by 9, 141. During this period,
the number of dilapidated structures were reduced from 12, 000 to 3,000. How.
ever, the number of substandard units increased from 22,800 to 49, 300.
"The City's population increase is projected at an annual rate of 2%, with the
negro population increasing by 62% and the white population by 4%. Those who
can afford it are moving to the suburbs. The City's financial resources are
limited, there is no help from the State, and the demand for Federal funds is
three times the available supply. We simply do not have adequate resources to
cope with all of our problems. 11
MUST USE EVERY AVAILABLE RESOURCE - "The time for action is upen us.
We must use every available resource, every tool to make our cities more
livable, to enrich the quality of men's lives, and to make every citizen a pro.
ductive member of Society. We must eliminate our slums, yes. But also, we
must halt the spread of blight. Urban renewal is the tool that can allow us to
have a slumless city. An effective program of code enforcement is essential
to preserve our neighborhoods and to halt the spread of blight. A top priority
in the city is to provide housing for low and moderate income families. The
mayor has set a goal of 16,800 units to be constructed in the next five years.
But even here, we are finding it difficult to find suitable, reasonably priced
land for low-cost housing."
PROGRAMS - "In 8-1 /2 years, Atlanta's urban renewal program has made
giant strides in redeveloping its blighted areas.
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"From the period D e cember 1, 1966 t o December 1, 1967, the Atlanta Housing
Aut hority ha s a c ed 538 parcels of land at a cost of $4. 7 million. The Autho r ity r e locat ed 5,6 f a m ilies from urban renewal areas, and provided housing
a ssis tanc e t o 6 8 7 a dditional families relocated as a result of other governmental
a ction , During the past twelve months, the Authority demolished 477 structures
c omp r i sin g 76 6 dw e lling units, and completed rehabilitation of 201 dwelling units.
T he A uth o ri ty sold 97 p arcels of land for $886, 72a and put under contract for sale
a n a d diti o nal 60 pa.reel s of land having a value of $2 million.
Construction was
b egun on improvem en ts t otaling $2~ 1 million. These improvements include 106
a part men t unit s in the Butl e r Stre e t Project, and 38 single family units in Thomasville. Improvemen ts t c':.:.·~::~~ $4, 8 million were cortipleted in the past 12 months,
i ncludi ng office bu 1 ldin gs ·for the tJ,
Rubber Company, Ford Motor Company,
A vis Rent - A- Car, and Cousins P ~operties, Construction was, started on 240
dwelling u nits and a n a dditional 41 dwelling units completed during th~ peribd. 11
N INE P ROJEC T A ME N DMENTS APPROVED - "Amendments were submitted and
F ed e ral a pp r ova l r ec e i ved on the following urban renewal projects: Butler Street,
t o p r ·ovid e a s e con d },_i_g !1- rise for the elderly adjacent to Graves Homes on
Hilliard S tre e t, and l and expansion for Ebenezer Baptist Church; Rockdale, to
p rovide f o r c hange s i n land use a nd street pattern; Thomasville, to provide public
h ousing n ort h of M'CDo n ough Road; Georgia State, to add the block north of the
p olic e st a tion t o the p r oject area; Georgia Tech, to include an additional $737,810
a s Sectio n 112 c r e d it s toward the City's share of project cost; Buttermilk Bottoms,
r eceived Fede ral a pp r o val of Part I of the Application for Loan and Grant;
B e dford-Pine , to com bine the Buttermilk Bottoms project with Bedford-Pine;
Bedford- Pine Lett er of Consent, to permit acquisition of additional street rightof- w a y fo r th e Auditorium; Bedford-Pine draft Part I Application for Loan and
Gr a nt. A m endrne n t,s w ere submitted on the following urban renewal projects for
w hic h Fed eral app r ov a l has not yet been received: Rawson- Washington, to extend
p r oj ect b o undary t o p r ovide land for school expansion, park, and neighborhood
c enter; B edfo rd- Pine E arly Land Acquisition Loan, to provide a site for public
h ousi n g, a nd to m a ke a v ailable rehabilitation loa ns and grants for properties
a l on g Bou levar d , 11
C OMPETITIO N SP URS SUPERIOR PROPOSALS -"A significant achievement of the
r enewal p rogram w as the development competitions for land in Rockdale, Rawson ..
Wa s h ingto n and Um.ive r sity C e nte r Projects. A fixed price was e stablished on the
l and, a nd rede v elo p ers propos a l s w e re r e stricte d to r e side ntial development under
S ection 2 2 1 d 3 . ..,,..he Atlanta Housing Authority staff, the City Planning D e part.
ment, the Am eric a n In stitute of Architects, American Society of Landscape Archi.
t ee t s, the Citi z en s Advis ory Committee for Urban Renewal, the Housing Resources C ommi ttee, the State Planning Bureau, the U~ban Renewal Policy Com.
m itte e a n d the Hou s ·ng Authori ty' s B o a rd of Commissione rs reviewed four re d eveloper s propo s a ls in R oc kda l e , seven proposals in Unive rsity Cente r, a nd six
proposals in R a ws on- W a shington. T he fixed land pric e , development compe tition
a pproach not o nly .result e d in superior proposals from redevelopers, but assured
maximum livabili ty fo r families of low and moderate incomes. The Authority,
w ith assi s t a nce fr o m CACUR, conducted l, 271 p e ople on tours of Atla nta's urban.
ren e w al a nd p u bli c housing p r o grams ."
NEW YEAR - " Ex.,citing t hing s a nd a lot of hard work lie ahead for 1968. The
C ity , in c oope r at i o n w ith o the r agencie s and residents of the a r ea, will begin
pla nning t he m o deA city a rea, T h e urb a n ren ew a l a nd public hou s ing prog r a m s
will be i n volved i m. the tota l attack on t h e s ocia l a nd phy s ic a l blight of t h e 3 , 000
acres of .la n d extending fr om We st End t o the other s ide of Grant Park. T h e
Bedfo r d - Pine Ur b an R enewal Area w ill enter execution. The Authority will
p rovid e t empor ar y r e l ocation hou s ing for those famili e s living in the initial cle ar .
anc e a r ea. Stagin g t he e xecution a c tivities will minimize the number of fam ilie s
displac ed. Con str uc tion w ill b e started on improvement s c o sting $ 26. 2 millio n on
urban renewal lan d i n 1968. The s e improveme nts include 1, 468 dw e lling u nits ,
the Ira H ardin Office B uild ing , s t a dium mote l, a n d the I nt e rna tional Hou s e in
Universi t y C ent eit".
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"The ninety-five areas of land on McDonough Road :b,ic~rttiy made available to the
City by the Federal Government will be added to the Thotnasville Project; and
plans will proceed immediately to IFl'Ovide land for public housing, townhouses,
single-family development, and an elementary and middie-high school. We must
continue our commitment to eliminate slums wherever they occur, and to halt the
spread of blight. We must provide decent housing for all our people, with special
emphasis on low and moderate income families. But we must do more than this.
We must become more sensitive to the physical design and development of our City.
For, unless Atlanta is to become a haven for the homeless and the poor, we must
create an environment t o attract people of every economic level of life as together
w e seek to make Atlanta the great city it is destined to become. 11
Thanking Mr. Openshaw for his
pertinent and perceptive report,
Chairman Sommerville emphasized
the importance of the model city program and called on Charles N. Straub, Federal
Agency Liaison Specialist, from HUD, to bring our committee abreast of developments in this new city-federal cooperative endeavor, Explaining that Atlanta was one
of only nine southeastern cities and 63 in the nation t o receive conditional approval,
Mr. Straub pointed out that final disposition of the planning grants reserved, depended
upon the cities presenting acceptable work programs to HUD. Such plans are exptected within 45 days. He specified that HUD had requested Atlanta to outline a
five year program with a specific work plan for the first year. He pointed out that
Atlanta 's plans would have to be revised because the city's request for $500, 000
as a planning grant was cut to $152,000. In discussing this reduction, Mr. Straub
mentioned that Atlanta had received an additional $100, 000 from EDA, but only
$18, 000 of this would apply directly to studies in the model city area.
Then Mr.
Straub congratulated Atlanta warmly on innovating the plan of holding a convention
open to all residents of the model city area. This convention, held at Hoke Smith
Technical High School Sunday.~afternoon, Dec. 10, is regarded as a new departure
in citizen participation, Mr. Straub stressed. Said he 11 No city has really thrown
the model city program open as Atlanta did with this convention. The city also is
to b e congratulated on accepting what the people asked for. 11 (NOTE- This refers
to action by the Aldermanic Board Dec. 18 approving the request made at the convention for a representative from each of the six neighborhoods involved on the
governing board of the model city program)
In a following discussion, Mrs. S . F . Crank pointed out that EOA was a prime
mover in organizing the c onvention. Mrs. Grace Hamilton a lso e xpressed congratulations to the Aldermanic Board in accepting the recommendations made by
the convention. (NOTE - Among others representing our committee at the conve ntion was Director Howland.)
Action is under way to locate
houses for s uitable r e habilitation
by our nonprofit corporation,
CAC URRCI under the 221 H program, the full committee meeting was informed.
Executive committeewoman Hamilton reported that with Walter Screws of the Atlanta
Housing Authority, and Director Howland , s he inspected a number of dwellings in
and n e ar the University Center project on De cember 14. She s tressed the point
that if such houses could be found in this area, their rehabilitation would improve
the pr oject's public image. Mr. Screws added that all houses seen were single
family occupied. In reply to a question from Executive committeeman Percy Hearle,
Chairman Sommer ville said 19 houses had b een located east of Gl en Iris and north
of Hunter Street. A guess~ s timate would b e tha t th e houses would rang e in value
fro m $ 4 , 500 to $8,000 and that rehabilitation would cost from $2,000 to $4,000.
E xecutive committeeman Harold Arnold a lso suggested some houses on Morgan
Street and Boulevard Place. He pointed out that also considered had been the area
Mrs. Hamilton inspected , the area .adj ac ent to the Nash-Banns section, the South
Atla nta region beyond the model cities area a nd the a r ea east of Bedford-Pine.
In s upport of the B oule v a rd Place - Morgan Street location , Mr. A rnold pointed
out th at it h a d exp e rie nced racial unrest and that location of the 221 H project
there, would indicate interest in solving its problems. In the following discussion,
Mrs. Ha milton urg e d that the Atlanta Housing Authority keep a coordinated list of
pro pertie s s cr een ed~ C h a irman Somme rville pointed out that such lists would be
a v ailable fr o m the city B uilding Depa rtment and the Housing Authority.

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