Box 18, Folder 24, Document 3

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fA. ‘ dae lhc


Vol. 5 No. Ill 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's urban renewal program during
1967, Mr. Openshaw also reviewed the exciting outlook for 1968. The text of his
report follows: SLUMS AND BLIGHT ARE GROWING - "Atlanta, like every major
City across our land, haa 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,"

MUST USE EVERY AVAILABLE RESOURCE - "The time for action is upon 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.


From the period December 1, 1966 to December 1, 1967, the Atlanta Housing
Authority has acquired 538 parcels of land at a cost of $4.7 million, The Au-
thority relocated 576 families from urban renewal areas} and provided housing
assistance to 687 additional families relocated as a result of other governmental
action, During the past twelve months, the Authority demolished 477 structures
comprising 766 dwelling units, and completed rehabilitation of 201 dwelling units,
The Auth sold 97 parcels of land for $886, 722 and put under contract for sale
an additional 60 patcels of land having a value of $2 million. Construction was
begun on rovements totaling $2.1 million, These improvements include 106
aperim ee in the Butler Street Project, and 38 single family units in Thomas-
ville, Improvements tctding $4.8 million were completed in the past 12 months,
including office buildings for the U. S. Rubber Company, Ford Motor Company,
Avis Rent-A-Car, and Cousins Properties. Construction was started on 240
dwelling units and an additional 41 dwelling units completed during the period."

NINE PROJECT AMENDMENTS APPROVED - "Amendments were submitted and
Federal approval received on the following urban renewal projects: Butler Street,
to provide a second high-rise for the elderly adjacent to Graves Homes on
Hilliard Street, and land expansion for Ebenezer Baptist Church; Rockdale, to
provide for changes in land use and street pattern; Thomasville, to provide public
housing north of McDonough Road; Georgia State, to add the block north of the
police station to the project area; Georgia Tech, to include an additional $737, 810
as Section 112 credits toward the City's share of project cost; Buttermilk Bottoms,
received Federal approval of Part I of the Application for Loan and Grant;
Bedford-Pine, to combine the Buttermilk Bottoms project with Bedford- Pine;
Bedford-Pine Letter of Consent, to permit acquisition of additional street right-
of-way for the Auditorium; Bedford-Pine draft Part I Application for Loan and
Grant. Amendments were submitted on the following urban renewal projects for
which Federal approval has not yet been received: Rawson-Washington, to extend
project boundary to provide land for school expansion, park, and neighborhood
center; Bedford-Pine Early Land Acquisition Loan, to provide a site for public
housing, and to make available tehapiiitetion loans and grants for properties
along Boulevard,"

COMPETITION SPURS SUPERIOR PROPOSALS -'A significant achievement of the
renewal program was the development competitions for land in Rockdale, Rawson-
Washington and University Center Projects. A fixed price was established on the
land, and redevelopers proposals were restricted to residential development under
Section 22143, The Atlanta Housing Authority staff, the City Planning Depart-
ment, the American Institute of Architects, American Society of Landscape Archi-
tects, the Citizens Advisory Committee for Urban Renewal, the Housing Re-
sources Committee, the State Planning Bureau, the Urban Renewal Policy Com-~
mittee and the Housing Authority's Board of Commissioners reviewed four re-
developers proposals in Rockdale, seven proposals in University Center, and six
proposals in Rawson-Washington, The fixed land price, development competition
approach not only resulted in superior proposals from redevelopers, but assured
maximum livability for families of low and moderate incomes. The Authority,
with assistance from CACUR, conducted 1,271 people on tours of Atlanta's urban
renewal and public housing programs,"

NEW YEAR - "Exciting things and a lot of hard work lie ahead for 1968, The
City, in cooperation with other agencies and residents of the area, will begin
planning the model city area, The urban renewal and public housing programs
will be involved in the total attack on the social and physical blight of the 3, 000
acres of land extending from West End to the other side of Grant Park, The
Bedford-Pine Urban Renewal Area will enter execution. The Authority will
provide temporary relocation housing for those families living in the initial clear-
ance area, Staging the execution activities will minimize the number of families
displaced, Construction will be started on improvements costing $26.2 million on
urban renewal land in 1968, These improvements include 1, 468 dwelling units,
the Ira Hardin Office Building, stadium motel, and the International House in
University Center,


' The ninety-five areas of land on McDonough Road recently made available to the
City by the Federal Government will be added to the Thomasville Project, and
plans will proceed immediately to provide land for public housing, townhouses,
single-family development, and an elementary and middle-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 to attract people of every economic level of life as together
we seek to make Atlanta the great city it is destined to become,"'

ON PIONEERING MODEL CITY CONVENTION 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 develop-
ments in this new city-federal cooperative endeavor, Explaining that Atlanta was one
of only nine southeastern cities and 63 in the nation to 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 ex-
ptected 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 '' No city has really thrown
the model city program open as Atlanta did with this convention. The city also is

to be congratulated on accepting what the people asked for,'' (NOTE- This refers

to action by the Aldermanic Board Dec, 18 approving the request made at the con-
vention 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 wasaprime
mover in organizing the convention. Mrs. Grace Hamilton also expressed con-
gratulations to the Aldermanic Board in accepting the recommendations made by
the convention, (NOTE- Among others representing our committee at the con-
vention was Director Howland, )

ACTION BEGINS TO LOCATE 221 H HOUSES; Action is under way to locate
TWO LISTS OF SUGGESTED DWELLINGS GIVEN houses for suitable rehabilitation
by our nonprofit corporation,
CACURRCI 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, she inspected a number of dwellings in
and near the University Center project on December 14, She stressed the point
that if such houses could be found in this area, their rehabilitation would improve
the project'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 Sommerville said 19 houses had been located east of Glen Iris and north
of Hunter Street. A guesskstimate would be that the houses would range in value
from $4,500 to $8, 000 and that rehabilitation would cost from $2,000 to $4, 000.
Executive committeeman Harold Arnold also suggested some houses on Morgan
Street and Boulevard Place, He pointed out that also considered had been the area
Mrs, Hamilton inspected, the area adjacent to the Nash-Banns section, the South
Atlanta region beyond the model cities area and the area east of Bedford- Pine.
In support of the Boulevard Place - Morgan Street location, Mr. Arnold pointed
out that it had experienced racial unrest and that location of the 221 H project
there, would indicate interest in solving its problems. In the following discussion,
Mrs. Hamilton urged that the Atlanta Housing Authority keep a coordinated list of

properties screened, Chairman Sommerville pointed out that such lists would be
available from the city Building Department and the Housing Authority.

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