Box 18, Folder 24, Document 23

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Box 18, Folder 24, Document 23

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7r. / ? L ~
lflHl[E IRlEIN[~N[IR
NEWSLETTER OF THE CiTiZENS ADVISORY COM?v'ilTTEE
FOR URBAN RENEWAL
Vol. 5 No. 5

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Atlanta, Georgia
April 1967
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CAN COUNT ON ONE PROJECT APPROVAL ANNUALLY
DESPITE FUNDS SQUEEZE, EDMUNDS GIVES ASSURANCE
Speaking informally to
our executive committee
for the fir st time May Z4,
John T. Edmunds, HUD assistant regional administrator for renewal assistance, told
us that Atlanta could reasonably expect approval of one new urban renewal project
annually,, despite the existing squeeze in federal funds. Said Mr. Edmunds: "It now
looks as though Congress will appropriate $750,000,000 for urban renewal nationally
for the new fiscal year. This is the same amount as for the past two years. That
would seem to mean that Atlanta could count on one additional project being approved
each year, exclusive of the model neighborhood program. As it now looks, the second
Georgia Tech project 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 out that the demand for federal financing of urban renewal in the region
already is three times the supply of money available. He stressed the point that top
priority would be given projects which are designed to center on residential reuse
with low and moderate income housing. Institutional projects, such as Georgia Tech
and Georgia State would receive moderately high priority.
CODE ENFORCEMENT TYPE PROGRAMS PRESENT
NE Vi OPPOR TU NI TIES, ADMINISTRATOR POINTS OUT
The code enforcement
type programs offer
cities new opportunities
for action, Mr. Edmunds also mentioned. He pointed out that the federal government
assumes two-thirds of the cost of these programs, plus site improvement. He
explained that particularly suitable for such programs are areas where little
demolition is required. He singled out Grove Park area in Atlanta as suitable for this
type of program. Mr. Edmunds stressed the point that HUD's regional headquarters
is eager to see Atlanta's pioneer projects closed out and that it now appears that this
may be possible for Butler Street, University Center and Thomasville within the
coming year.
In reply to a question
at the May 24 executive
committee meeting,
Lester H. Persells, AHA redevelopment director, said that the work of combining
the Buttermilk Bottoms and Bedford-Pine projects into a single project now is in the
last stage of its first part. The proposal should be turned over to the regional HUD
headquarters within two months, he estimated. Mr. Persells also made the point that
the city should receive a non cash credit of two and a quarter million dollars in the
combined project for the new municipal auditorium and exhibition hall. He also called
to the attention of our executive 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 2.2.1 D-3 type housing.
This opens up an entirely new financing channel, he explained.
WORK OF JOINING 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 Vdlliam S. Howland,
our executive director, stepped into Room 645 of the Peachtree-Seventh Building to
deliver a most important document with illustrative maps to Ed Baxter, regional HUD
administrator. The blue bouftd document, which weighed one pound and was threefourths of an inch thick, was Atlanta's application for recertification of its workable
program for community improvement. This is the basic "charter" under which federal
urban renewal funds are made available.
LANDERS, GLADIN, HO\i' LAND HAND DELIVER
Y'ORKABLE PROGRAM DOCUMENT TO ADMINISTRATOR
�-2Vl ith Regional Administrator Baxter to receive the application were S. Frederick
Smith, assistant regional administrator for program coordination and service, and
George Papageorge, director of workable program branch. As Mr. Landers handed
the document to Mr. Baxter, it was pointed out that delivery was being accomplished
14 days ahead of the June 1 deadline. Included in the application wa.s a four page
condensed summary of our committee's activjties. supported by variou.s data and
photographs . The summary pointed out that during the past year Memphis and
Jacksonville had sent their advisory directors to Atlanta to study our citizen participation methods and that a large delegation of $outh Carolina officials had come to
Atlanta for a program arranged by our committee~
NASH-BANS AREA MEETING 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 interested in and will support future designation of the area as an urban renewal
proje ct. Mayor Allen and Alderman Cook will be amorig the speakers.
HOPES FOR MODEL CITY WORD JULY 1,
FEELS CHANCES 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 discussed the city's application for recertification of its workable program.
He explained that the annual application had become more of a progress report than in
previous years and, as such, it was put together this year by two Planning Department
staff members. He also expressed appreciation of the cooperation shown by other
department s. 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 told our executive committee that the Community Improvement Program
is now in its home stretch. The aldermanic planning and development committee is
holding three special meetings to review final CIP reports. Mr. Gladin also reported
that during the morning of May 24 he had joined Mayor Allen and Rodney Cook, chairman of the aldermanic planning 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.
REGIONA L ACTION SEEN AS ESSENTIAL
ON PROBLEMS REACHING BEYOND CITY
In a discussion following
Mr. Gladin 1 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 programs. Pointing out that two of these are housing and transportation. Mr. Gladin mentioned to Mr. Papageorge that such problems were a matter
of concern to the planning department. Dan E. Sweat, city director of governmental
liaison, joined in to emphasize the point that the city is directly affected by what takes
place all over the metro area and stressed the importance of getting other parts of the
area to formulate workable programs. He also made the point that areas that receive
fede:r al assistance for other programs should share in efforts to solve the housing
problem.
Following his 1·emarks,
Mr. Edmunds participatep
in a lively question and
answer session. Executive Committeeman Bob Bivens asked why residential renewal
was being given preference over help to central core areas. In reply, Mr. Edmunds
said that central city projects were very costly, but added that cities which have a
good record in low rent h ousing stand better chances of getting help for core projects.
Member John Wilson requested clarification on policies for locating low income
housing . He asked why such housing should not be placed on land presently vacant,
such as in the Nash-Bans area (formerly known as Vine City). In reply Mr. Edmunds
made the point that present policy seeks to put new housing in areas other than those
known to be preponderantly occupied by one race.
CORE CITY HELP, VACANT LAND USE
DISCUSSED IN SPIRITED Q & A SESSION
�-3-
Executive Cotnmitteerrlan William L. Calloway offered the cott'l.ment that one
thou 6ht 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 contihuation 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 f~mi1ies to the Carroll Heights section.
In reply to a second questioh from Mr. V.7ilson as to what becomes of vacant land, Mr.
Calloway emphasized that this was an old problem to which we are continually seekihg
solutions. Said he with a smile "There is no finger pointing at anyone". Chairman
Sommerville concluded the cliscussion 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~h commendation for
the city's advance in code enforcement was struck by George Papageorge, regional
HUD director of workable program branch, in speaking to our executive committee
May 24. Said he 11 \Vhen 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. Right 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 protectL.-ig
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."
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 ins p ection 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."
HUD OFFICIAL ACCLAIMS COMMITTEE
FOR "EXCELLENT CITIZEN PARTICIPA TION 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 Ma.y 28, the Atlanta Journal
and Constitution commended our chairman's point. Said the editorial in part:
Little things mean a l ot 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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