Box 18, Folder 24, Document 22

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Box 18, Folder 24, Document 22

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NEWSLETTER OF THE CITIZE NS ADVISORY COMIViITTEE
FOR URBAN RENEWAL
Vol. 5 No. 5
Atla nta, G·e orgia
April 1967

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CAN COUNT ON ONE PROJ E C T APPROVAL ANNUALLY
DESPITE FUNDS SQUEEZE, EDMUNDS GIVES ASSURANCE
Speaking informally to
our executive committee
for the first time May 24,
John T. Edmunds , HUD a s sis tant regional administrator for renewal assistance, told
us that -Atl.a nta c ou l d reasonably expect approval of one new urban renewal project
anmrally, ~despite the ex isting s queeze in federal funds. Said Mr. Edmunds: "It now
looks as though Congress will appropriate $750,000,000 for urban renewal nationally
for the new fis cal y ear . This is the same amount as for the past two years. That
would s eem t o mean t ha t Atlanta could count on one additional project being approved
each year, exc lusive of the model neighborhood program. As it now looks, the second
Georgia Tec h p roject probably will be financed. Administrator Edmunds added that
HUD is seeking to work out a priority plan for financing of projects in this region.
He pointed ou t tha t t he demand for federal financing of urban renewal in the region
already is three times t he supply of money available. He stressed the point that top
priority would be give n p rojects which are designed to center on residential reuse
with low and m od erate income housing. Institutional projects, such as Georgia Tech
and Geor gia State w ould receive moderately high priority.
The code enforcement
type programs offer
cities new opportunities
for action, Mr . Edmund s also mentioned. He pointed out that the federal government
assumes two-thirds of t he cost of these programs, plus site improvement. He
explained that particularly suitable for such programs are areas where little
demolition i s required. He singled out Grove Park area in Atlanta as suitable for this
type of progr am. M r. Edmunds stressed the point that HUD's regional headquarters
is eager to s ee Atlanta's pioneer projects closed out and that it now appears that this
may be possi b l e f or But ler Street, University Center and Thomasville within the
coming year .
CODE ENFORCEMENT TYPE PROGRAMS PRESENT
NEV\T OPPOR T U NI TIES, ADMINISTRATOR POINTS OUT
In reply to a question
at the May 24 executive
committee meeting,
Lester H. P e r s ells , AHA redevelopment director, said that the work of combining
the Butterm ilk Bottoms and Bedford-Pine projects into a single project now is in the
last stage of i t s f ir s t part. The proposal should be turned over to the regional HUD
headquarters w ithin two months, he estimated. Mr. Persells also made the point that
the city should re ceive a non cash credit of two and a quarter million dollars in the
combined p r oje c t for the new municipal auditorium and exhibition hall. He also called
to the attention of ou r ex ecutive committee that the Citizens and Southern National Bank
had obtained a ruling from the comptroller of the currency that bank funds may be used
to assist non profit organizations in building low rent housing and 221 D- 3 type housing.
This opens up an e ntir e ly new f inancing channel, he explained.
WORK OF J OINING BEDFORD-BUTTERMILK PROJECTS
APPROACHING FINAL STAGE, PERSELLS REPORTS
Shortly before noon on
May 18, R. Earl Landers,
administrative assistant
to Mayor Allen, Collier Gladin, city planning director, and 'William S. Howland,
our executive director , ste pped into Room 645 of the Peachtree-Seventh Building to
deliver a most important document with illustrative maps to Ed Baxter, regional HUD
a clrninistrator. The blue bound docume nt, which weighed one pound and was threefourths of a n inch thick, was Atl anta ' s application for recertification of its workable
p rogram for community improve m e nt. T his i s the basic "charter" under which federal
urban re n ewal fund s are made availab le.
LANDERS, GLADIN, HOW LA ND HAND DELIVER
V:' ORKABLE PROGRAM DOCUMENT TO ADMINISTRATOR
�,
..
-2 With Regional Administrat or Bax ter to receive the ~pplication were S. Frederick
Smith, assistant regional admini s trat or f or program coordination and service, and
.,.,t
George Papageorge, director of workable program bra.~ch. As Mr. Landers handed
the document to Mr. Baxter, it was pointed out that deHvery was being accomplished
14 days ahead of the June 1 deadline • . Included in the application was a four page
condensed summary of ou r c ommittee's activities. supported by various data and
photographs . The summary pointed out that during the past year Memphis and
Jacksonville had sent their a dvisory directors to Atlanta to study our citizen participation methods and that a l a r ge delegation of South Carolina officials had come to
Atlanta for a program ar ranged by our committee~
l
NASH-BANS AREA MEET ING JUNE 6
Our executive committee
was informed that a
meeting of citizens of the Nash-Bans area (formerly called Vine City) will be held at
7: 30 p . m . on June 6 in the Cosmopolitan Church. Purpose is to determine if citizens
are inte r e sted in a nd will support future designation of the area as an urban renewal
project. Mayo r Allen and Alderman Cook will be among the speakers.
HOPES F OR M ODEL CITY WORD JULY 1,
FEELS CHANC E S GOOD, GLADIN SAYS
Saying he thought that
Atlanta's chances of
obtaining a planning
grant are good, Collier Gladin, city planning engineer, told our executive committee
he hoped to receive word on the model neighborhood program by July 1. Mr. Gladin
also briefly discus s e d the city's application for recertification of its workable program.
He expla ined that the a nnual application had become more of a progress report th'an in
previous ye ars and, a s such, it was put together this year by two Planning Department
staff m embers. He also expressed appreciation of the cooperation shown by other
departments . Referring to the model neighborhood application, Mr. Gladin explained
that the type of program to be launched would depend on the amount of money made
available. He t old our executive committee that the Community Improvem e nt Prog ram
is now in i t s h ome s tretch. The aldermanic planning and development commit t e e i s
holding three special m eeting s to review final CIP reports. Mr. Gladin also r eported
that during the m o r ning of May 24 he had joined Mayor Allen and Rodney Cook, chairman of the alderm a nic pla nning and development committee, in taking Charles Haar,
assistant secretary of HUD for metropolitan development, on a tour of Atlanta and a
discussion of the city ' s problems.
In a discussion following
Mr. Gladin' s talk, it
was brought out that
many problems for which solutions are sought in Atlanta reach out over areas that do
not have workable program s . Pointing out that two of these are housing a n d transportation. Mr. Gladin mentioned t o M r . Papageor ge tha t such problems w ere a matte r
of concern to the planning departme nt. Dan E. Sweat, city director of gove rnmental
liaison, joined in t o empha size the point that the city is directly affected by what takes
place all over the metro a rea and stressed the importance of getting other parts of the
area to formulate workabl e programs. He also made the point that areas that receive
federal assistance for other p r o gr a m s should share in efforts to solve the housing
problem.
REGIONAL ACTION SEEN AS ESSENTIAL
ON PRO B LEMS REACHING BEYOND CITY
Following his remarks,
Mr. Edmunds p a rticipate4
in a live ly que stion a nd
answer session. Executive Committeem a n B ob Bive ns ask e d why r eside ntia l renew a l
w a s be ing given preference over hel p t o central core a r eas . In reply, Mr. E dmunds
said that central city projects were v ery costly, but added that cities which have a
good record in low rent housing s tand be tter chance s of getting h e lp for core projects.
Member John Wilson requested clarificat i on on p olicies fo r locating low i nc ome
housing. He asked why such housing should not b e pl aced on l and presently vacant,
suc h a s in the Nash-Ba ns area (formerly known as Vine City). In reply Mr . E dmunds
m ade the point tha t present policy seeks to put new housing in areas other t han t h ose
known to be preponderantly occupi ed by one race.
CORE CITY HELP, VACANT LAND USE
DISCUSSED IN SPIRITED Q & A SESSION
�-3Executive Committeeman William L. Calloway offered the comment that one
thouJht regarding the Nash-Bans situation was that there were other areas available
for such housing. Said he "What is known as ghettoing, and I'll not try to define that
word, contributes to the continuation of old slums or the formation of new slums."
Mr. Calloway recalled that when the Butler Street project went into execution, his
realty company alone transferred a thousand families to the Carroll Heights section.
In reply to a second question from Mr. V.Tilson as to what becomes of vacant land, Mr.
Calloway emphasized that this was an old problem to which we are continually seeking
solutions . Said he with a smile "There is no finger pointing at anyone". Chairman
Sommerville concluded the discussion by commenting "Sooner or later, we are going
to have to come to a policy of open housing. Over a long period of time, that will
sort of work out a solution to the entire problem, but it is not a short job. "
ATLANTA PROGRESS IN CODE ENFORCEMENT
WINS HIGH PRAISE FROM PAPAGEORGE
"Atlanta is really moving
forward. That note of
hi 6 h commendation for
the city's advance in code enforcement was struck by George Papageorge, regional
HUD direct or of workable pro 15 ram branch, in speaking to our executive committee
May 24. Said he 11 \ \ihen the federal housing act was revised three years ago, the
housing code provisions gave the cities three years to ~et set and put their plans into
operation. That's just what Atlanta has done. The budget for code enforcement has
been raised from $690, 000 to $1, 028, 000. The staff has been increased from 99 to
128 employes. We can recall that previously there had been some prodding from
HHFA -- and this has not been without results. The records for the eight states in
this region shows that 117, 000 units have been brought into compliance with workable
program standards and that 32, 000 additional units unfit for human habitation have
been demolished. Ri 6ht here in Atlanta, 24, 000 units have been brought up to code
standards and 3, 500 units have been demolished. It is very significant that 24, 000
units have been brought up to standards. This is the practical way of protecting
neighborhoods from deterioration. Rehabilitation is better than demolition because it
does not reduce the number of units a.nd displace people. That figure of 24, 000
includes only those reported by inspectors. In addition, many have been repaired by
property owners without receiving citations." Mr. Papa3eorge concluded on a warning
note saying "There can be no let up on the program of rehabilitation. It must be
carried on permanently. For once a neighborhood has been rehabilitated, it is
necessary to go back and reinspect it to keep it from deteriorating again. This should
be done every two to five years. 11
Explaining that Atlanta's
application for recertification of its workable
program was now being reviewed, Mr. Papageorge praised the city's action in making
increases to its code inspection staff and comrr~ented that there would be no question
about approval of the codes section of the application. Then he paid our committee
a high tribute. Said he "And there is no question about citizen participation.
Atlanta's record on this is excellent. A substantial part of the credit for this excellent
record is due to this committee's work. 11
HUD OFFICIAL ACCLAIMS COMlV~ITTEE
FOR "EXCELLENT CITIZEN PARTICIPATION 11
EDITORIAL COMMENDS CHAIRMAN'S POINT
Saying that he had been
impressed by evidences
of individual fixing up that he had seen in the Summerhill area, Chairman Sommerville
made the point that all over Atlanta there were little things that could be done by
private citizens on their own as well as by the city. On M~ 28, the Atlanta Journal
and Constitution commended our chairman's point. Said the editorial in part:
"Little things mean a lot as the song, always, and Robert Sommerville, sometimes,
reminds us. Mr. Sommerville issued his most recent reminder of that fact as
chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee on Urban Renewal.
The city is
apparently making some progress on providing equal service to all citizens.
Many things do get done that should be done. It is not a bad thing, however, to be
reminded that a better job should be done. And Mr. Sommerville has done the city
that service admirably. "
FULL COMMITTEE MEETING -- JUNE 21 •••• : •• DETAILS LATER

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