Box 3, Folder 6, Document 35

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REGION III . October 18, 1968
Housing Assistance Office : 7


Mr. M. B. Satterfield, Executive Director
‘ The Housing Authority of the
City of Atlanta, Georgia
824 Hurt Building
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Dear Mr. Satterfield:

This acknowledges your letter of October 16, 1968, enclosing a copy of
Mr. Rodney Cook's letter to you of October 11, 1968, for our observations,
since many of the points raised involve matters which eventually require
approval of this Office.

We are always encouraged when a man of Mr. Cook's stature gives as much time
and thought to a program as is reflected in his letter. We wish to point out,
however, several complications in his proposal that arise based on our local
and national experience with the Low-Rent Housing Program.

The first matter that concerns us greatly is the fact that construction costs

are at least $2,000 more per unit on high-rise than on low-rise structures.
Further, if we constructed all our larger units in a project without an inter-
mix of smaller units, we would experience an exceptionally high average cost

per unit. Since the smaller units in a high-rise would cost us at least $2, 000
per unit more than normally experienced, we could not even average two projects
together to get an acceptable unit cost. In other words, this policy will result
in an extra unacceptable construction cost to the Government.

Of grave additional concern to us is the fact that concentrating the large
families with their high density of children in projects such as proposed will
greatly increase maintenance costs as well as management problems. We have
found this true even when we concentrate the larger units in one section of a
project. In fact, in project planning, we endeavor to intermix larger and
smaller units to avoid this larger unit concentration.

With this type concentration, increased juvenile crime and delinquency, increased
frequency of juvenile gangs, increased peril to the personal safety of tenants,
an increase in social problems and difficulty in handling them all become factors
with which Management has to cope.

The stabilizing effect of older families is lost under any system which involves
up-rooting and moving them to high-rise projects. Many older families also do
not like high-rise living and would only move into the environment under protest.

Young families moving into the high-rise in turn would be required to move
when they began to have children. The practice of concentrating two-person
or less families in one group and larger families in another group creates
an unnatural type community.

In the past, we have altered unit sizes in existing projects only on a case
basis where the market had changed. In some instances, we created more units
by the conversion of larger units and in other instances we created fewer units
by conversion of smaller units to make larger units. In most instances, this
has been a costly process, justified only because a vacancy problem over a long
period of time had developed. Further, because of the physical layout of
existing units, the amount of conversion to larger or smaller size units that
can be made is usually quite limited. It must also be realized that when you
reduce the number of units in a project, you also reduce the rental income,
while at the same time, as indicated above, you increase the maintenance cost.
We could not agree to any such plan in Atlanta merely to relocate families in
high-rise structures.

There are instances throughout the Country now where, because of the high
density of children and large families involved, consideration has been given
to abandoning the projects to a different design concept.

‘The present policy in public housing programming favors disbursing the units
into smaller clusters and avoiding the large project developments. Land and
construction costs in a large city usually prohibit the development of single
family units under our program

The plan outlined by Mr. Cook reflects serious and responsible thinking and

concern on his part; however, it does not take into consideration some of the
problems known to us that would make it unacceptable to this Administration.

Sincerely yours;

A, R.“ HANSON” * “
Assistant Regional Administrator
for Housing Assistance

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