St. Louis University School of Public Law Review
Copyright (c) 2000 Saint Louis University School of Law
Saint Louis University Public Law Review
19 St. Louis U. Pub. L. Rev. 259
LENGTH: 24576 words
SYMPOSIUM: "THE POSSIBILITY OF A BELOVED PLACE": RESIDENTS AND PLACEMAKING IN PUBLIC
* Professor of Law and Director, Community and Economic Development Law Clinic,
Washington College of Law, American University. The author wishes to thank her
dean, Claudio Grossman, and the Washington College of Law, for generous
research support; her research assistants, Heather Buanno and Mary Burford, for
their diligence and persistence; her colleagues, Michael Diamond, Susan Jones
and Sidney Watson, for their kindness in reviewing the draft; and her Symposium
reader, Michelle Adams, for going above and beyond the call in her careful and
... Among the marginal communities most recently to be dispersed in the
process of urban renewal is that of public
housing residents. ... The first, and older strategy, resulting from the Gautreaux
litigation initiated in the 1960's against HUD and the Chicago
Housing Authority, promoted
"de-concentration" as a remedy for a civil rights violation: the collusion of local and federal
government in the segregation of African Americans in substandard public
housing. ... Unlike their predecessors in Boston and St. Louis, the projects of the
demonstration program were all generated from the top down, by program staff of
Ford and HUD who saw the goal of tenant management as stabilization of the
tenant body and cooperation with the
housing authority, rather than as empowerment. ... The new section mandated a process
for creating a resident management entity, in which the elected resident
council would be responsible for approving or rejecting the creation of a
nonprofit resident management corporation, and allowed the allocation of up to
$ 100,000 in funds per public
housing complex for technical assistance to establish resident management entities and
for training. ... Consequently, HUD's 1999 round for funding technical
assistance to public
housing residents eliminated TOP, and substituted for it the Resident Opportunities
and Self Sufficiency Program (ROSS). ...
What we need to live well, to dwell, is to trust in the possibility of a
beloved place and our own significant part in the making of such places.
[*259] I. Prologue:
"It is to be hoped that their removal will be effected with as much gentleness
n2 - The Death and Discovery of Seneca Village
Between 1825 and 1829, a Dutch immigrant landholder sold off fifty parcels of
farmland lodged between what are now 89[su'th'] and 82[su'nd'] streets on the
north and south, and the Great Lawn of Central Park and Central Park West, of
n3 Of the fifty lots, twenty-four were purchased by elders of the African
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and by a group of free African American
families. These first settlers raised nine wood frame houses in those first
n4 Over the next three decades, some six hundred souls, in sixty households,
would build their homes, pay taxes, and rear children in the community of
n5 On this ground they built a church, and then two more; consecrated two
cemeteries, and established a
"Colored School" for the children. By 1856, 264 residents lived there, about two thirds of them
[*260] African Americans, and about one-third the more recent arrivals, mostly Irish
with a scattering of German immigrants.
By the fall of 1857, the houses were condemned, the families were dispersed,
and the AME church and school were gone.
n7 The rest of the dwellings and institutions followed. Construction on Central
Park began in 1858. Seneca Village disappeared to all but a handful of
n8 until the excavation of Central Park's Great Lawn in 1996, when archaeologists
uncovered the foundations, shards and other fragments of a thriving, racially
and ethnically diverse community.
Why this settlement grew, died, and was forgotten so quickly, is a lesson in
the power of
"spin" and the persuasiveness of a dominant story. One among many pressures that
produced Central Park was the agitation of wealthy landholders on the Upper
West Side for a barrier against the swelling population of African American and
particularly Irish residents to their immediate south.
n10 A contemporary account of the plan to clear the land expressed sympathy for
and distinguished the village's African American residents from their less
"...west of the reservoir, within the limits of the Central Park, lies a neat
little settlement known as
"Nigger Village.' The Ebon inhabitants... present a pleasing contrast in their
habits and the appearance of their dwellings to the Celtic occupants, in common
with hogs and goats, of the shanties in the lower part of the Park... ."
"It is to be hoped that their removal will be effected with as much gentleness
as possible." (italics in the original)
Subsequent renditions omitted any mention of the existence of a stable
settlement within the bounds of the future park. Egon Viele, the first engineer
for the Central Park project, described the site as:
"...the refuge of about five
[*261] thousand squatters, dwelling in rude huts of their own construction, living
off the refuse of the city... ."
n12 and set the tone for all to follow. Ten years later, the memory of the
"neat little settlement" had metamorphosed further. One writer dismissed the village as less than
"...a dreary waste of sterile rocks..., relieved now and then by filthy
sink-holes and pools of stagnant water. Upon these rocks and around these pools
were gathered a large number of rickety little one-story shanties, and a mixed
"squatters,' mostly Irish, and pigs, goats, chickens, cows and children... . .
an excrescence on the fair features of the City... ."
Celebrating the dispersal of this
"population" by the police, the writer commemorated the
"...herculean task which lay before them, particularly that of ridding the round
of its squatters, pigs and other animals. The raid made by the police upon
"insects' will not be forgotten."
n13 In a final and lasting transformation, in 1907 a local historian depicted the
neighborhood buried under the Park as a
"...many families of colored people with whom consorted and in many cases
amalgamated debased and outcast whites."
"Urbicides": Marginalization and Dispersal of Distressed Communities
To clear the way for the new park, the residents of Seneca Village had to be
made to disappear. Their marginality made the trick easy. The repeated
depiction of the settlement as ragged - a wasteground of discarded,
disconnected pieces of urban life, some of them human - sealed its elimination
from place and from memory.
What happened to Seneca Village set a pattern for a process: the diminishment
of a population in preparation for its dispersal. One author has combined the
triple processes of diminishment, dispersal and demolition under one coinage,
"urbicide," and has located it as early in history as the sack of Troy and the diaspora of
the Jews under the Babylonian captivity.
n15 Seneca Village presents a more recent example. Closer to our time still, the
urban renewal sparked by the incentives offered through the 1949 National
Housing Act bears all the hallmarks of urbicide:
n16 the subordination of local and
[*262] particular to city-wide and abstract interests; the imposition of one
aesthetic vision of a city on one neighborhood's vision of itself; and the ease
with which local interests and neighborhood visions could be minimized, held as
they were by populations already isolated by race. The examples are legion -
the West End in Boston,
n17 Oak Street in New Haven,
"Southwest" in the District of Columbia,
n19 - as are the critiques, the most powerful of which mourn the loss of
self-contained, flawed but vibrant worlds.
Among the marginal communities most recently to be dispersed in the process of
urban renewal is that of public
housing residents. By architectural and political design, public
housing complexes began their history in racial and geographical isolation, an
isolation intensified over the years by demographic shifts, labor and
housing market forces, and vicissitudes of federal
housing policy. Atrocious management and withdrawal of federal financial support for
maintenance made of many complexes notorious hellholes that replicated the
worst features of the early twentieth century slums that they were built to
replace. From the early 1970's on, media coverage of spectacles such as the
demolition of the Pruitt-Igoe towers in St. Louis heightened public awareness
of the reality of physical decline of some public
housing, so that all public
housing came to represent the most removed, the most
"other" of isolated poor communities, the archetype of the
[*263] Today's prescription for curing what have been depicted as undesirable
concentrations of poverty, joblessness and attendant social pathology, is to
disband them: to integrate present configurations of public
housing community by type of
housing tenure and consequently by income. This is a goal that can only be achieved by
moving current residents out, moving residents able to rent units and purchase
homes at market rate in, and in some cases by demolishing the structures that
have come to symbolize failure. The HOPE VI program, HUD's primary capital
housing initiative from 1993 to the present, has funded the demolition of an eventual
total of 82,000
"severely distressed" public
housing units, to be replaced with 51,000
"revitalized" units with a mix of
housing types and rent levels.
n22 In this present incarnation, this is a strategy that has evolved in fits and
starts over the past thirty years of federal
housing policy. Taking the long view, one can see in it an echo of the urban renewal
of years past, and the Seneca Villages and other urbicides of long ago.
The question is whether the current residents of public
housing will have a place in the new world order: will they have reason
"to trust in the possibility of a beloved place," and to take
"significant part in the making of such places?" The question might seem as irrelevant now as it did to the mid 1950's
generation of policy makers and urban planners who looked at communities, saw
none, and bulldozed them over. Indeed, some commentators look at the urban
renewal of the 1950's, with its significant loss of affordable
housing units, displacement of thousands of poor tenants, and alliances with private
developers, and at the
"new urbanism" of HOPE VI, with its significant loss of affordable
housing units, displacement of thousands of poor tenants, and alliances with private
developers, and see little difference.
n23 Whether the participation of public
housing tenants in place-making is possible or even desirable depends in part on the
perception of which Seneca Village these residents now inhabit: the
"neat little settlement" of contemporaneous description and present-day historians' revelation; or the
"wilderness and waste" that was, and is, the prevailing view of public
That participation may also depend on what this essay will explore as an
anomaly, or at least a contradiction within federal
housing policy: a sporadic history of support for public
housing residents to organize and to take control of their physical environments. From
the early 1970's, when foundation and federal funds picked up on spontaneous
insurgencies to help tenants take over
[*264] management of their properties, through a resurgence of enthusiasm for tenant
training for self management in the mid 1980's, federal programs focused on
resident management as a favored strategy for resident involvement. Resident
management is only one of any number of strategies, and only one of any number
of markers for the ability of tenants in public
housing to constitute community. More recently, Congress deepened and broadened its
funding of resident initiatives to include training in basic board development;
most recently, funding for community building in public
housing has responded to time limits imposed in the revised public welfare system, and
focused more on assisting the individual resident in developing job skills for
use off the premises than organizing skills for use on them. Today's
articulation of the mandate for direct provision of low rent
housing, the Quality
Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998 (QHWRA)
n24 simultaneously espouses tenant empowerment and tenant dispersal, two goals
that seem so hard to reconcile that they pose an internal contradiction.
Few raise their hands in support of public
housing. People even like to blow it up. The dramatic, and dramatized, implosion of the
fourteen-story high rises at the Murphy Homes in Baltimore assumed an air of
cathartic celebration, scheduled as
"a spectacular kickoff to the July Fourth weekend."
n25 The Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) listed the demolition of 100,000 public
housing units by fiscal 2003 as one of its performance goals in its 1999 Annual
n26 since 1992, some 56,500 units have been lost to the public
housing inventory, approximately eighty percent of them removed through demolition.
n27 A tangible, visible target, public
housing has been easier to vilify than public welfare. But in a
housing economy in which many who earn minimum wage would have to work between 103 and
133 hours a week to earn the amount necessary to make rent on a two bedroom
n28 and full time teachers, police officers and
[*265] laborers seek emergency overnight shelter,
housing resource can be taken for granted. The question is whether populations
associated with public
housing can be.
"Where Does Community Grow?"
n30 - Depictions, De-concentration, and Dispersal of Public
Some might dispute that
"community" fits with
housing" - that public
housing, often described early in its history as a way station, and later as shelter of
last resort for the hardest to house, was in its conception and its very
physical design intended to discourage any formation of community. As I will
describe later, there is consensus on at least some of the history, politics,
and assessment of the physical features: that much public
housing was deliberately sited in areas rejected by builders of market-rate
housing, where poor people of color already endured limited access to jobs,
transportation and public services; and that often its builders corrupted its
maladaptive design with structural shortcuts and shoddy materials. What is much
less clear is that these historical antecedents of necessity produced
conditions that crippled the generation of community. But media attention to
some of the more spectacular physical deficiencies, and the acceptance into
popular perception and social policy of theories with far-ranging import -
theories about the impacts of physical structure, and segregation by geography,
race and income on the behavior and self-image of residents of public
housing - ultimately have made of these conditions a kind of inevitability, and of the
dispersal of these communities an unexamined given. I will review some of those
A. A River of Trees, A Sewer of Glass: Theories of the Influence of Design on
the Construction of Public
Many theories contribute to the conviction that public
housing complexes provide inhospitable soil for the growth of community. One of the
most persuasively argued is that the very design of public
housing structures doomed them to decay, and their inhabitants to dysfunctionality,
from the beginning. This conclusion derives from several analyses that often
get compacted together. Each proceeds from different assumptions, depending on
[*266] the belief of the proponents in the inherent power of architecture to create
patterns of social interaction and behavior.
One view of public
housing construction and design is that it was built to look
"cheap and proud of it," to save money but also demonstratively to distinguish low rent from ingrained
expectations of the appearance of middle class
n31 At least one commentator has suggested that, in general, renting historically
has enjoyed less social and political support than owning, and renters in any
income bracket are considered to be more questionable contributors as citizens
than are home owners.
n32 If one accepts that thesis, then renters in low rent, government-owned
housing labor under a dual opprobrium. Lawrence Vale, a professor of urban studies and
planning at MIT who has contributed to the re-design of several public
housing complexes in Boston and has written extensively about the design and history
n33 has pushed the position further: that public
housing was designed not only to distinguish but to stigmatize. He has observed,
first, that there is
"...a hierarchy of architectural styles and spatial arrangements"
n34 that manifests the hierarchy of
housing tenures, with owned
housing at the top of the scale and public
housing at the bottom. Next, he has suggested that public
housing renters feel the impact of living at the bottom of the architectural pile not
merely from the shame of association with visibly stigmatized structures and
exclusion from the world of those who live in more acceptable ones, but from
internalization of the architectural stigma: that
"...layers of stigma blend and merge into a single image of the
n35 This image projects to the
"outside" world, but intrudes inwardly as residents absorb the pain of the
This last contention - that physical environment works as a molder of character
and of world view - extends, but also says something different from, the
observation that the built physical environment of public
housing operates externally, as political symbol. It claims a power for bricks and
[*267] configuration of space that others see as incidental. But some have argued
that the most-maligned features of public
housing architecture actually were conceptualized not to stigmatize, but to uplift.
Alexander von Hoffman has noted that the two characteristic features of 1950's
housing design - the
"super-block," the parallel rows of buildings that extend beyond the limits of a city block,
and the high-rise tower - simply adopted the fashions of post-war European
n37 Von Hoffman views the adaptation of these elements of design to public
housing as just one more example of what he calls
"visionary idealism," the idea that
"...manipulation of the environment can improve the social circumstances and
behavior of the poor... ."
n38 This architectural hubris channeled the more altruistic impulses of affordable
housing policy from the Progressive through the post-war eras. The goal of
architecture for the poor was not to punish them for their poverty, but to
pluck them from the disease and moral disorder of tenements and re-lodge them
in more salubrious settings.
As von Hoffman has summarized the history and theology of the architectural
modernism of the 1950's, architects did not confine their faith in the ability
of architecture to transform and provide moral uplift only to the poor. As one
of the first proponents of
n39 principles of urban architectural design inspired by Jane Jacobs's The Death
and Life of Great American Cities, and formulated in part in direct reaction
against the case history of the Pruitt-Igoe towers, Oscar Newman himself in
retrospect viewed that debacle of design not primarily as a construct meant
deliberately to stigmatize the poor people living within it, (though that may
have been the effect), but as one example of the International Style gone
wrong. Pruitt-Igoe's eleven story towers, all thirty-three of them, were
intended to accommodate desires for green space with a
"river of trees" planted in the large, undifferentiated open spaces between the towers, and for
living space with common laundry and garbage facilities, and common rooms on
every third floor. Flaws in the execution, but primarily flaws in the basic
concept, turned the
"river of trees" into a
"sewer of glass and garbage."
n40 Pruitt-Igoe and other exemplars ignored not merely the elements associated
with that object of desire - the middle class home with a front and a back and
land the owner could walk around - but some more organic principles that the
"home" shared with
"defensible space:" the role of physical environment in creating for residents
"surveillance opportunities" that contribute to the ability
[*268] to exercise
"territorial influence," or real control over space, and therefore increase residents' psychic
investment in the places in which they live.
"Obsolescence" - that which is so overtaken by time or fashion as to seem useless beyond
repair - has become an indicator for the public
housing units that will be marked for drastic renovation or removal. Several years
ago, HUD described the purpose of the HOPE VI program as one of
" a vision attainable through the obliteration of past mistakes:
Changing the physical shape of public
housing. This includes tearing down the eyesores that are often identified with
housing and replacing them with homes that complement the surrounding neighborhoods
and are attractive and marketable to the people they are intended to serve,
meeting contemporary standards of modest comfort and liveability.
As currently authorized through the QHWRA, the HOPE VI program funds the
"...demolition, rehabilitation, reconfiguration, or replacement of obsolete
housing projects (or portions thereof)."
n43 In applying for awards for revitalization or demolition, public
housing authorities must show that targeted buildings qualify as
n44 defined under the Act first as requiring the following:
"...major redesign, reconstruction or redevelopment, or partial or total
demolition, to correct serious deficiencies in the original design (including
inappropriately high population density), deferred maintenance, physical
deterioration or obsolescence of major systems and other deficiencies in the
physical plant of the project;... ."
n45 (emphasis mine)
The fatalism underlying what I would call the
"architectural determinism" position - that the flaws were poured into the concrete and lay as embedded
there as original sin - has made it easy to collect all of the problems
housing, deem them irreparable, and call them
"obsolescence." While headline value and visceral appeal contribute as well to the
attractiveness of the solution,
"obsolescence" justifies the ultimate course of action for reform of public
housing, which is to dynamite the mistakes. As the National Commission on Severely
Housing noted, whatever the impact of flawed design, public
housing throughout its tenure has suffered from shortfalls in funding for capital
improvements and for routine and long-term maintenance.
n46 It is simpler, and quicker, to eliminate buildings as
[*269] outmoded, rather than to acknowledge that at least some of them represent the
sad results of years of neglect.
It is true that HUD relies on renovation as well as demolition to rejuvenate
its inventory. It has awarded fewer than half of its HOPE VI grants over the
seven years of the program to projects solely for demolition.
n47 But as noted earlier and I will describe more fully below, the image of
demolition carries its own momentum.
"Obsolete," as an element of
"distressed," has been stretched to cover not merely elements of physical design but
philosophies of how and why poor people should be housed.
Does it matter whether the contribution of architecture to the decline of
housing, and to public perception of it as
"other," was deliberate or maladroit? Whether design in and of itself predestined
housing to deteriorate, or whether deterioration resulted from the many political
forces to which design only gave expression? And above all, did design of
housing cause residents to self-destruct within it? Ironically, at least one proponent
of the theory that public
housing was built bad, to look bad, to make residents feel bad, does not believe that
confinement in public
housing has drained residents of their will to create community. Vale comments
positively on the cohesiveness of the Commonwealth Tenants Association, which
negotiated a 223 page redevelopment management agreement with the Boston
Housing Authority and with private management.
n48 As I will describe below, one premise underscoring a quarter century of
governmental support for resident management of public
housing is that tenants can, or can be trained to, muster sufficient internal
organization and drive to engage in self-management.
B. Faulty Towers: The Power of Media Images of
"Wilderness and Waste"
As Joseph Shuldiner, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian
Housing in the first Clinton administration admitted, the appearance of some public
housing has fed its own bad press. In an interview in 1994, Shuldiner explained the
difficulty of moving the public beyond its disapproval of public
housing, when the physical face of public
housing (especially in big media markets) so readily presents such easy grist for
When I was back in New York everybody always used to say the thing that was
killing us was Newark, because the editors from the New York Times
[*270] would drive in from New Jersey and they would go by those vacant buildings and
say, that's public
housing... .If it's good public
housing, nobody knows it's public
housing. If it's bad
housing, everyone assumes it's public
Some of the worst satisfy expectations of the worst so easily that it is
impossible to get beyond the gut-turning images of linked social and physical
decay. A tenant of the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago, frustrated at his
inability to enlist Jesse Jackson in efforts to save the project from
demolition, ("If you (Jackson) can go to Kosovo, Bosnia, why can't you come to the Robert
Taylor Homes?") fared no better when he tried to engage a reporter's sympathies through a
tour of the property:
His purpose was to show me that
"it's totally a normal life" and that the answer was honest management, not demolition. But the smell of
urine in the hallways and sewage in the courtyards, the out-of-service
elevators, the pitch-black stairwell, the prison-grade steel webbing that
encased the buildings, the young drug courier grinning boyishly at us as he
played hide-and-seek with plainclothes cops - an hour and a half into Galtney's
tour, his case was in ruins.
The reporter concluded that he
"began to understand why Belgrade under NATO bombing might be preferable... ."
Popular conception that community cannot grow in public
housing has been reinforced by best-selling
"hero stories," such as There Are No Children Here. Alex Kotlowitz's graphic account,
published first in a series of occasional pieces in the Wall Street Journal,
and then as an extended chronicle, follows two brothers growing up amidst the
deplorable conditions of the Henry Horner Homes.
"Hoop Dreams," the documentary, spends two years in the lives of talented high school
basketball players in Cabrini-Green,
n53 another of the several public
housing complexes in Chicago that attract so much journalistic attention. Ron Suskind,
another reporter for the Wall Street Journal, portrayed a teenager struggling
to escape an unnamed public
housing project in southeast Washington, D.C. to make his place in the Ivy League.
n54 In these extremely sympathetic narratives, only the superhuman strivings of a
[*271] single parent or an occasional teacher enable the courageous young
protagonists to surmount their surroundings. Their immediate neighborhoods
offer them nothing. The only
"community" that the public
housing complexes present consists of a gauntlet of obstacles to be overcome. Other
depictions of life in public
housing present the decay, without even the possibility of redemption.
n55 Exceptions, such as the documentary
"No Place Like Home," which chronicles the successes of public
housing residents in managing their properties in Washington D.C., St. Louis and
Boston, are few and far between - and shown on PBS.
As noted earlier in the example of coverage of the demolition of one of the
housing complexes in Baltimore, if squalor in high-rise public
housing buildings draws media coverage, then the explosion of high-rise public
housing buildings draws even more - and the promise of coverage draws explosions.
Hartung and Henig evoke the image of then-secretary of HUD Henry Cisneros in
1995, taking a sledgehammer to the wall of one project in St. Louis, and
pushing the button to bring down five towers in Philadelphia.
n57 If the trip had been a rock concert, it would have been billed as the
"HUD Ten City Demolition Tour" (without the T shirts). Through the saga of Claribel Ventura, the mother of
six who became a media icon for every possible negative association of welfare
receipt with generational dependency and parental unfitness, Lucy Williams has
demonstrated how coverage that seeks out the most sensationalist, stereotypical
aspects of an image or event can affect policy more profoundly, and more
swiftly, than the most carefully documented presentation.
n58 Coverage in mass print, visual, and other media has pushed the negative
archetypal symbols of public
housing - the high rises, the garbage, the gangs - into prominence, and more shaded
images into the background. Despite the reality - that, as of the early 1990's,
only 6% of public
housing stock was assessed as
n59 that only 27% of
housing buildings were high-rises,
n60 and that only seven of the thirty-four sites showing sufficient indicators of
"severe distress" to merit HOPE VI awards between 1992 and 1995 included high-rise buildings
housing" in the popular imagination means super-blocks, big towers, and bad-smelling
C. The People in the Buildings: Federal Preferences and Loss of Confidence in
the Capacity to Build Community
With the exception of the
"hero stories," images of public
housing residents tend to take a back seat to images of the buildings they live in.
n62 Deep digging into government monographs of limited circulation,
n63 unpublished manuscripts
n64 and small press materials
n65 offers a glimpse of
[*273] neighborhoods with thriving institutions. One can infer from materials even
less widely available to the general public - court decisions and litigation
materials - the determination of residents in some bitterly contested struggles
over redevelopment to hold their own against dispersal of what they at least
consider to be their community
n66 - or certainly to care enough to dispute as to who among them most deserves to
represent the community.
n67 Truly to get a good picture would require interviews with the residents, or at
least resident leaders, identifiable to outsiders through, for instance, their
association with HOPE VI redevelopment plans
n68 - a labor-intensive project which is regrettably not part of this paper (or at
least of this stage of it). But the dearth of popularly broadcast images of
anything good leaves space open for assumptions to control. Some assumptions
are supported by data: that people who live in public
housing are very poor;
n69 and that in some communities they are disproportionately minorities.
n70 Other assumptions - that residents in
housing do not work, that most of them receive income from public assistance,
n71 and that they consist overwhelmingly of female-headed households with many
n72 - are not.
Rational or irrational assumptions about who public
housing residents are may fix presumptions about their capacity to organize and to
participate actively in the formation of community. Even sophisticated students
housing policy have inferred something from the operation of the federal preference
program about the
"place-making" capacity of public
housing residents. Never in the history of the program has public
housing supply met demand; since almost the beginning, it has been a tenet of public
housing law that
housing authorities had to set priorities for managing their waiting lists, usually in
ways that indicated current thinking about who public
housing was supposed to serve and what needs it was supposed to meet. The National
Housing Act of 1949 required priority placement in public
housing - at least on paper - for persons displaced by the urban renewal it set in
n73 Some twenty years later, the National Commission on Urban Problems assessed
that accommodation as creating pockets of the residents least able originally
to re-locate themselves, and
"...often referred to as problem families or the pathologic poor...," whose presence in public
housing prompted more
"self-respecting families" to move out.
In 1979 Congress enacted the first of what are commonly known as the
"federal preferences" for waiting list management, requiring public
housing authorities to reserve annually at least 50% of available units for families
who were displaced or occupying substandard
n75 Over the next thirteen
[*275] years, the categories of preference expanded to include homeless families, and
persons paying more than 50% of their income in rent. For the other 50% of
available units, public
housing authorities were to engage in a public process of formalizing their own
preference systems, with suggested priority holders to include families seeking
reunification with children in foster care, and families in transitional
n76 It was this structure of preferences that Congress suspended in 1996,
n77 and which QHWRA repealed in 1998, leaving localities to decide which, if any,
preferences to institute.
To my knowledge, no one has examined data sets - if such sets exist - from 1979
to the present, to ascertain how or whether the legislation of federal
preferences actually changed the composition of public
housing residency. The empirical answer may not matter. When public
housing authorities were freed from the preference system in 1996 to favor tenants
with earned income, many did so, as much as a means of collecting more income
from rents as to vary the demographics of the tenant bodies. But they also
chose working families to counter a perception, one born out anecdotally if
impossible to quantify statistically, that public
housing was occupied with unstable, expensive-to-manage, families.
n79 Lawrence Vale expressed the popular wisdom that the preference system created
"disproportionate concentration of poverty and of households with multiple
problems... .", and warned that, whatever the truth, the very existence of the preference
system contributed to the opinion that public
housing had become a
"repository for the nation's
housing residents themselves may feel the same way. Although earlier lapses in
screening tenants may also have been to blame, loss of control over and
apprehensiveness about who their new neighbors might be, may indeed have
created cleavages between the
"old-line" tenants and those admitted under the preference system.
D. The Concentration Reality and the De-concentration Imperative
"De-concentration" Became the Reigning Current
No mandate in current federal policy for public
housing rings more emphatically than the call for
"de-concentration:" the dispersal of clusters of poor public
housing tenants. There is little dispute that
"concentration" is not only a demographic truth about public
housing but a result of calculated political engineering. Historians of public
housing concur that, from the beginning of the public
housing program, policies of racial containment steered African Americans to
particular complexes, and situated segregated public
housing complexes in already segregated urban neighborhoods.
n82 In Chicago as elsewhere, New Deal public
housing policy focused on improving
housing for northward-migrating African Americans without disturbing existing racial
neighborhood patterns, a concession reinforced by the Public Works
Administration's adoption of the
"neighborhood composition rule."
n83 No locale was forced to accept public
housing, and it was a prize that few suburban enclaves wanted - so it was cities that
housing authorities, and cities that absorbed greater concentrations of poor and
minority tenants into areas already concentrated for class and race.
n84 Local urban
housing authorities were susceptible to political pressures against locating public
housing units in white, middle class neighborhoods, and to commercial pressures
against competition for richer tenants. These influences forced decisions to
squeeze more units into more expensive, more densely populated city space.
[*277] The question is not whether there is concentration of minority and poor people
housing so much as whether that concentration itself has caused the evils associated
"De-concentration" can be implemented in two ways; each has different purposes and histories, and
arises from different premises about the impacts of clusters of poor people of
color on neighborhoods. The first, and older strategy, resulting from the
n86 litigation initiated in the 1960's against HUD and the Chicago
Housing Authority, promoted
"de-concentration" as a remedy for a civil rights violation: the collusion of local and federal
government in the segregation of African Americans in substandard public
n87 The Gautreaux project, and its progeny, the Moving to Opportunity
n88 operate by moving small numbers of public
housing tenants out, one by one, to neighborhoods more fully integrated by race and
class. While the
"mobility" strategy does assume a dearth of opportunity, and perhaps of community, in the
projects from which it helps tenants re-locate, it also acknowledges a truth -
that the same forces of discrimination that created
"outcast ghettoes" also placed resources for education and employment beyond their residents'
reach, and, with assistance, public
housing residents are capable of taking advantage of those resources.
Compared to the incremental, long-term course of the family-based mobility
"de-concentration" as a feature of present-day
housing policy has a short history with broad impact. As that history has been
re-constructed, it began with Congress's creation in 1989 of the National
Commission on Distressed Public
Housing, with the charge
"to develop a national action plan to eliminate by the year 2000 unfit living
conditions in public
housing projects determined by the Commission to be the most severely distressed."
n89 In its report, issued in 1992, the Commission recommended that Congress
dedicate a ten-year appropriation to the
"capital improvement and related needs" of the 86,000 units that the Commission had evaluated as
n90 The Commission cited the presence of one or more of the following as
"families living in distress; rates of serious crimes in the development or the
surrounding neighborhood; barriers to managing the environment; physical
deterioration of buildings."
n91 Recognizing some baseline imperatives of what it costs for a public
housing authority to run low rent
housing, the Commission also suggested changes designed as much to raise more money
from rents as to effect sociological experiments with the composition of the
tenant body: to allow
housing authorities to jettison the preference system; to admit a higher percentage of
higher income families if rents were still to be calculated based on income;
and, in some cases, to attract working families by setting flat maximum rents
that would not increase with increases in earned income.
By 1999, that background had been re-written. HUD has pointed to the National
Commission's Report as the direct ancestor of the HOPE VI program, stating that
the core recommendation of the Report was that severely distressed units be
n93 There was no such recommendation, the only reference to
"eradication" being mentioned in the prefatory cover letters to Congressional committee
n94 Despite this claim for intellectual cover, the definition in QHWRA of
"severely distressed -
" a definition that justifies the demolition of public
housing stock - expresses a very long journey from the Commission's original four-part
articulation. As quoted earlier, Congress expanded this definition in the QHWRA
considerably, to include
"inappropriately high population density" among the
"serious deficiencies in the original design" of public
housing defined as
n95 QHWRA defines
"families living in distress" as those who were
"very low-income families with children, unemployed, and dependent on various
forms of public assistance." It also adds as an indicator of distress any building that
"...is a significant contributing factor to the physical decline of and
disinvestment by public and private entities in the surrounding neighborhood...
n96 The many indicators, old and new, are conjunctive: a
[*279] building must fulfill all of them in order to qualify for funds for demolition
The emphaticness with which QHWRA treats
"concentration" leaves little doubt as to the prevailing political wisdom on its contribution
to urban decay. The
"Findings" of the QHWRA list
"the concentration of very poor people in very poor neighborhoods" first among the problems by which public
"facilitating mixed income communities and decreasing concentrations of poverty
housing" follows close behind among the
n99 The Act affirmatively forbids public
housing authorities to
"concentrate very low-income families ... in public
housing dwelling units in certain public
housing projects... ."
n100 QHWRA takes what were in part the Commission's recommendations to allow
flexibility in management and cost containment, and makes of them the technical
instrumentalities to dismantle guarantees inserted in the U.S.
Housing Act in the 1980's that public
housing would serve the poorest of the poor: it lowers from 75 to 40 the minimum
percentage of residents who must have incomes at or below 30% of the area
n101 and it repeals the federal preferences mentioned above, allowing public
housing authorities latitude to choose working families and adopt
"local preferences," based on assessments of
housing authorities must incorporate in their
housing agency plan," an innovation of the QHWRA, the steps they will institute in their admissions
policies to assist in the
"de-concentration of low income families."
n103 Other statutory changes collaterally assist the drive towards
de-concentration. They reverse guarantees on the supply side, parts of the
statute added to hold the line
[*280] on, though not increase, the number of federally subsidized
housing spaces for very low income people. The Act permanently eliminates the
"one-for one replacement rule," introduced in 1981 and suspended in 1995.
In contrast with the
"mobility" strategy contemplated by Gautreaux and its spin-offs, the current strategy for
"de-concentration" consists of simultaneously moving large numbers of public
housing tenants out and either higher-earning eligible tenants, or market rate tenants
in. This is the version of
"de-concentration" that most of the U.S.
Housing Act was repealed in order to accommodate. Where mobility strategies are
gradualist, it is precipitous. It also aims to assist a different constituency:
not solely, or even primarily, the residents who are being displaced, but a
more ambiguously defined community of stakeholders, those whose revulsion at
the deterioration they see or imagine may have prompted them to
"disinvest" in the neighborhood.
"Second De-concentration" and Social Uplift: The
"Truly Disadvantaged" and the Power of an Idea
Intellectual history is always risky, but several factors may have influenced
the change from, first, a preference for amelioration of public
housing to eradication of it; and next, from broad characterization of the problem as
one involving physical deterioration, crime and family distress, and unnamed
"barriers" to management, to one far more specifically involving families receiving
welfare, some causal connection between public
housing and neighborhood-wide decline, and high density of residents as an element of
faulty design. I have discussed a few possible influences: media portrayal of
housing as all high-rise and all decaying, despite data to the contrary; the belief
that physical design inevitably marked public
housing complexes for obsolescence; and the more quietly spoken conviction that the
housing for the most desperately in need had brought in a less desirable tenant
Some analysts of the evolution of public
housing policy have commented that a confluence of factors has produced the imperative
"de-concentration" of the residents of public
housing: a newly defined problem (as stated by the theory that concentrations of poor
people, or of poverty, are responsible for the ills of the inner city) plus a
solution available and already activated for other purposes (the shift from
construction of public
housing units to issuance of
housing certificates or vouchers as a way to meet demand for very low rent
housing), plus the political needs of the Department of
Housing and Urban Development to
"re-invent" itself and dodge the strafing from a newly elected Republican Congress hostile
to its mission in general and to the concept of public
housing in particular.
n105 Other influences included the advent of
"welfare reform" in 1996,
n106 which renewed focus on the minority of residents of public
housing who receive public welfare,
n107 and shifted priorities within HUD's programs for tenants training from
community organization to individual self sufficiency, a development I will
discuss more fully below. Other elements derive from popular conceptions, hard
to prove or disprove, on the deleterious effect of public or subsidized
housing complexes on property values and the economies of surrounding neighborhoods.
One influence on the drive to deconcentrate can be traced with an unusual
clarity. In his studies of concentrated poverty in Chicago, William Wilson has
theorized that the departure from the inner city of jobs and, thus, of working
people who can serve as role models, has reinforced the economic and geographic
isolation of already marginalized poor neighborhoods. This isolation fosters
the perpetuation of
"ghetto-related behaviors and attitudes," which in turn contribute to a fatal loss of productive community.
n109 While other researchers contend that the persistence of discrimination in
housing and employment, not the absence of middle class exemplars, isolates poor and
[*282] minority residents in undesirable localities,
n110 Wilson's thesis has been influential at HUD. At least one HUD-commissioned
study of public
housing communities explicitly cites Wilson's work in The Truly Disadvantaged in
support of the proposition that isolation from mainstream norms and breakdown
of interior institutions both cause and manifest an all-entrapping,
"culture of poverty."
n111 Other commentators have attributed former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros's
enthusiastic embarkation upon the policy of de-concentration to the influence
of William Wilson and Douglas Massey.
The corollary of Wilson's thesis - that the dysfunctionality of the
"outcast ghetto"arises partly from the absence of role models - is that conditions of ghettos
will improve if role models are introduced. One example of the thesis made
flesh is the completion in 1991 of Lake Parc Place in Chicago, a renovation of
two of six towers of public
housing stock owned by the Chicago
Housing Authority (CHA), which had vacated seven hundred families from the
deteriorating site in 1985.
n113 Funded in part as a demonstration under the
"MINCS" (Mixed Income New Communities Strategy) program which Vincent Lane, head of
the CHA, lobbied into the Cranston-Gonzalez Affordable
Housing Act of 1990,
n114 Lake Parc represented Lane's espousal of the hypothesis that the severe
isolation of ghetto residents deprived them of the opportunity for
"collective socialization" through exposure to role models.
[*283] The MINCS legislation allowed the
Housing Authority to fill half of 282 apartments with
"low income families" earning between 50% and 80% of median income, and the rest with
"very low income families" earning below 50%, a departure from the usual income targeting requirement
that 75% of residents of public
housing earn below 50% of median.
n116 The goal was explicitly to put Wilson's theses to the test: to monitor whether
interaction between wage-earning tenants attracted from outside public
housing, with average income of $ 22,000, and the returning former residents of this
and other public
housing complexes, with average income of $ 5000, would inspire the latter to economic
self-sufficiency and compliance with house rules.
n117 The incentives to attract the higher income residents included significant
spending on security and amenities not normally approved for public
housing, such as landscaping and closet doors;
n118 and a cap on rents at $ 371 for the first five years of tenancy, as long as
the tenant's household income remained below 80% of area median.
The lessons learned from this experiment in social engineering may not be the
ones sought. Researchers from Northwestern University surveyed (by interview
and questionnaire) two groups of residents after they had lived at Lake Parc
Place for a year. The first group consisted of twenty female heads of household
of whom half were lower income former residents of public
n120 the second, of 198 families, of which slightly under half were former
residents of this or other public
n121 What made the results ambiguous was the difficulty of asking what everyone
really wanted to know: do you talk to/watch the children eat meals with tenants
who are richer/poorer than you are, and if so, what effect has this had on you?
The discomfort and flat-out insulted reactions of the poorer tenants to
questions about their perception of their wage-earning neighbors as role models
deterred interviewers from asking the same questions of the larger sample.
Actual proof of any
"role model effect" was hard to come by: the much smaller sample of residents who responded to a
follow-up survey two years later reported decreases in employment.
n122 A different summary of the same study reports significantly more negative
responses: the less poor interviewees regarded their
[*284] poorer neighbors as messy and loud, and stated that they had either no time or
inclination to socialize with them.
One critic of the Lake Parc project, and of Rosenbaum's, Stroh's and Flynn's
overview of it, finds the real lessons of the experiment to be unsurprising:
that spending the kind of money for security, amenities and physical plant long
withheld from conventional public
housing properties will produce greater satisfaction on the part of residents, greater
desire to maintain the properties in good condition, and generally better
environments. The hoped-for lessons - that it takes wage-earning tenants to
show their un-or under-employed neighbors how to act in rental
housing and how to enter the job market - are unsupportable by the research designs,
and may be ultimately unascertainable.
IV. An Alternative Vision: Organization for Tenant Management
The Federal government has provided systematic recognition of, and support to
tenants in, their capacity for self-governance in one particular context: that
of property management. As the result of a campaign born of strange alliances,
Housing and Community Development Act of 1987 instituted resident management as a
routine, formalized feature of public
n125 But resident management emerged in the 1970's as a spontaneous, indigenous
movement of residents outraged at the incompetence of their
housing authorities; it expanded as a foundation-funded social experiment; and it
flowered as a conservative strategy for the empowerment of individuals.
Supporters of the concept came to it from all points on the political spectrum.
It is useful to trace the resident management movement from its inception to
the present as the one program which has drawn and continues to draw federal
support for tenant capacity-building. Particularly telling is how resident
management has served changing concepts of the purpose of public
housing - as a way station, as shelter of last resort, as training arena for life
skills, and as laboratory for citizenship.
One historian of the public
housing residence management movement has divided advocates for resident management
into three camps, labeled by the company they kept:
"conservative," those who saw resident management's value solely as a training ground for
homeownership and eventual freedom from dependency on government subsidy;
"liberal," those who saw inherent good in resident management as an outgrowth of other CD
endeavors, as a
[*285] collaboration which would make government more accountable, and as a strategy
to improve residents' quality of life; and
"progressive," those who saw resident management as neither a goal or means of empowerment,
but one of any possible outgrowths of distinct processes of community
organizing and strengthening.
n126 While strains of each justification for resident management echo throughout
the entire history of such endeavors, four distinct periods of financial
support for resident management emerge, each marked by the priorities and
ideologies of the funders: the foundation-backed limited demonstration
initiatives of the 1970's; the homeownership - focused projects funded by the
National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise through the 1980's; the assumption
by HUD, through the
Housing and Community Development Act of 1987, of responsibility for a wide-scale
program of technical assistance to residents in the late 1980's through the
early 1990's; and the more diffuse technical assistance initiatives funded
through the Tenant Opportunities Program (TOP) and Resident Opportunities
Self-Sufficiency Program (ROSS) from the mid-1990's to the present.
A. An End or a Means: Early Experiments in Resident Management
A synergy of emerging strong tenant leadership and collective indignation over
neglect by local public
housing authorities of daily and structural maintenance produced the first attempts at
resident management. In 1971, the Bromley-Heath Tenant Management Corporation
signed its first management contract with the Boston
Housing Authority. Expanding to control three developments by 1973, the Corporation
had grown from a base of grass-roots organizing in the 1960's, when residents
had built a tenant organization dedicated to providing social services, health
care, and security.
n127 After a protracted rent strike and exhaustive negotiations with
housing authority officials, from 1973 to 1975 tenant leaders in St. Louis assumed
partial management responsibilities in five projects, with training sponsored
by the Ford Foundation.
n128 Following closely on the St. Louis example, from 1976 to 1979 the Ford
Foundation and the Department of
Housing and Urban
[*286] Development co-sponsored the National Tenant Management Demonstration Program,
funding and monitoring seven new management sites in six cities.
The National Tenant Management Demonstration embarked on a gamble: could
outside funders, trainers and program designers generate the same conditions
for resident control that had arisen out of the spontaneous activism of
indigenous tenants' leaders? Progress was slow in the first year. Although the
initial elected directors of the tenant management corporations tended to be
long-term, stable residents dedicated to restoring their properties to the
orderliness they recalled from an earlier time, most of them struggled with
their responsibilities. Most averaged an education level through 11[su'th']
grade, and functioned as single heads of household. Initial turnover among the
elected directors was high.
n130 The difficulty experienced by
housing authority staff in adapting to changing roles, and residents' unfamiliarity
with group process forced trainers to scale back their expectations from
training in property management to training in basic board functions such as
how to conduct a meeting.
n131 Ultimately, after extensive training, tenants performed as well as their
housing authorities had in executing key functions such as rent collections, filling
vacancies, and responding to maintenance requests, and out-performed their
housing authorities in other measures.
n132 But the expense was considerable - training of residents and technical
assistance ran up management costs from 13-62% over those incurred by
housing authority management alone.
The most important findings from the demonstration may have been the most
difficult to measure: what levels of tenant involvement and leadership
correlated with (if not caused) the tangible measures of success? Some
connections emerged: for at least the duration of the study, the resident
management corporations most successful at executing
"key functions" were those with the strongest tenants' associations and leaders, where
"strongest" is defined by extensive organization of and participation from the tenant
body; and with the strongest links to local leaders outside the
n134 Other measures of success fell short of concrete standards such as reliability
of rent collections, but had meaning for residents nonetheless. Despite some
burn-out, by the end of the demonstration tenant managers and their employee
staff reported pride in their acquisition of not only the technical skills of
[*287] property management, but of the
"soft" skills of listening, negotiating and meeting people's needs, and in their
ability to make a difference in their neighbors' lives: a sense of
"...altruism and public spirit."
n135 However significant the demonstration may have been for nurturing community
cohesion and real improvement in living conditions,
housing authorities saw no value in continuing this level of investment on their own:
of the seven demonstration sites, only one survived past the expiration of the
In 1978, a year into the Demonstration project, enthusiasm during the Carter
administration for tenant management generated a task force and a report, with
recommendations for adoption of national regulatory standards for tenant
participation in functioning of
n137 What was striking about the Task Force's recommendations was that, despite the
title, they emphasized first above all the importance of developing broad-based
democratic participation by tenants in their own governance and in the
governance of public
housing. The report set out elaborate procedures for formation and recognition of
tenants' associations, and for triennial elections with third-party monitors.
n138 The organizational process was to culminate in a formal contract between the
newly constituted and recognized tenants' association and their
housing authorities, in which the parties would agree on the substance of at least
twenty-four management items, including lease provisions, tenant selection,
eviction policy, rent ceilings, and demolition or rehabilitation.
n139 While these agreements were necessary preparations for tenant management, they
could exist apart from it - this report conceived of community organization in
a tenant body as an end in and of itself.
The Task Force report and the short-lived National Demonstration experiment
illustrated well the conflicting perspectives about the value of intense
participation of tenants in the management of their dwellings. Unlike their
predecessors in Boston and St. Louis, the projects of the demonstration program
were all generated from the top down, by program staff of Ford and HUD who saw
the goal of tenant management as stabilization of the tenant body and
cooperation with the
housing authority, rather than as empowerment. As products of policy rather than of
tenant initiative and hard-won collaboration with the local
housing authorities, these programs lacked the internal strength and external support
to survive the expiration of the
[*288] foundation's funding.
n140 In contrast, the Task Force emphasized an incremental, bottom-up approach to
resident management, in which - following William Peterman's
"liberal" typology - strengthening of tenants' capacity to organize became the most
important factor. While the details of the Task Force's recommendations
concerning tenant elections re-surfaced some fifteen years later in the form of
the re-vamped Tenant Opportunities Program, arguably this was all that survived
of them. That tenants could ever become full partners in management decisions
short of actually assuming liability for management themselves was lost from
B. Technical Assistance and Training for Management: The Advent of A National
Sharply curtailed budgets for every aspect of public
housing - construction, renovation and both simple and capital maintenance - in the
early 1980's exacerbated deterioration of physical plants and neglect of basic
services, re-creating (and in some instances reinforcing) conditions that had
prompted the tenant-takeovers of the early 1970's.
n141 Beginning in 1985, Robert Woodson's National Center for Neighborhood
Enterprise (NCNE) received funding from the Amoco Foundation to administer a
three year technical assistance and property management training program for
residents in twelve resident management corporations, some of which had
operated continuously since the early 1970's, some of which the new project
sought to revive from the National Tenant Management Demonstration.
n142 Woodson, and to an even greater degree some of the resident leaders whom he
sponsored, viewed resident management as an expression of self-determination
and moral uplift. Federal support of resident management would do more than
deliver a good return on scarce federal
housing dollars in the form of improved rent collections and better services; it would
counter the practice of channeling all federal program dollars towards problem
populations, thereby implicitly
"punishing responsible behavior."
n143 In a later writing in which he excoriated affirmative action and public
housing and social welfare programs as benefitting respectively only the black middle
class and the
n144 Woodson extolled resident management in public
housing as a force for channeling neighborhood talent into local production of local
assets that would remain in and enrich poor communities.
n145 Kimi Gray, a NCNE grantee, and chair of the only wholly resident-managed
housing complex in the District of Columbia, envisioned resident management as nothing
less than the vehicle for re-engineering community through re-construction of
Once we educate our people, reprogram their different habits, take away their
dependency, make them independent, restore pride, then we change our
Evaluators of the NCNE grantees found that some did a better, and cheaper, job
of delivering on routine maintenance and administrative services than their
housing authority counterparts, particularly in cities with troubled public
n147 As was true of their predecessors (and for some, their younger selves) ten
years earlier, tenant leaders saw the empowerment of participants as a more
important product of management than the tangible deliverables.
n148 In contrast to public
housing authority personnel, those residents who were involved in management at any
level saw their role as one of strengthening their complexes into permanent
communities within which they all could stay and prosper, rather than of
holding the line on conditions long enough to enable residents to move up and
But there were some caveats. Even if tenant leaders acknowledged empowerment of
residents as an important by-product, or even goal, of tenant management, it
was not always clear that tenant management provided a vehicle for
democratization or even broad community participation. Several of the enduring
resident management corporations were dominated by visionary founding leaders,
who moved the organizations forward but had scant regard for broadening tenant
involvement in governance. The much elegized, and recently eulogized, late Kimi
Gray exemplified the strengths and weaknesses of this model.
n150 Her management style in the mid 1980's generated
[*290] controversy and dissension among her constituents, particularly with her
single-minded determination to evict lower-income residents in favor of those
who were more economically secure, in preparation for conversion of the units
"success" meant the capability not only to deliver on the day to day demands of routine
maintenance, rent collections, and enforcement of house rules, but to promote
new initiatives and address systemic problems, then resident management
corporations with strong boards of directors and consistent interactions with
the tenants carried the day - more so than did those with the isolated, strong
leaders and more quiescent boards.
n152 Generally, all tenant organizations had trouble in sustaining the involvement
of residents over the long term. Attrition of energy, plus the monopolization
of authority and administration by a few, raised serious issues of succession,
with low turnout at elections and little demonstration by tenants of interest
in challenging the established leadership.
Of the twelve residents' groups which Woodson's project supported, only three
remain on HUD's current list of
"full-service" resident management corporations - out of a total, across the nation, of
n154 Given this survival rate (on which more, later), the most lasting of the
NCNE's accomplishments may have been its convocation of grantees to lobby in
1986 for H.R.4026, a federally funded program of technical assistance to assist
in the formation development of new
"resident management entities" and in the support of existing ones.
n155 The successor to H.R.4026, Section 122 of the
Housing and Community Development Act of 1987, added Section 20,
Housing Resident Management," to the United States
Housing Act. The new section mandated a process for creating a resident management
entity, in which the elected resident council would be responsible for
approving or rejecting the creation of a nonprofit resident management
n156 and allowed the
[*291] allocation of up to $ 100,000 in funds per public
housing complex for technical assistance to establish resident management entities and
The primary questions which this newly institutionalized national program had
to answer were no different from those posed by the experiments of the 1970's
and 1980's: is community-building in public
housing best conceptualized as culminating in the management of public
housing properties; is there measurable value in community organization as a goal unto
itself; and can
"community" be generated by external infusions of cash and technical assistance? Over
three hundred resident organizations received technical assistance funds under
the Resident Management Technical Assistance Grant program as an immediate
result of the
Housing and Community Development Act.
n158 A study required by the Act
n159 and conducted in 1992 of eighty recipients, all of them new organizations,
showed that most of the recipients channeled their funding towards training of
residents in organization-building. This included learning about the mechanics
of formerly structuring themselves as organizations through incorporation and
the drafting of by-laws, and about how to conduct elections and meetings.
n160 As resident leaders had mentioned in studies of previous efforts at training
tenants to assume management roles, many participants in
"emerging resident management corporations" considered this training in organization-building to be intrinsically
valuable, apart from its worth as a means to building competence in management.
C. From Building the Collective to Uplifting the Individual: Changes in
Direction of the Technical Assistance Program
As the technical assistance program created in the late 1980's continued, it
was confronted with the question of whether community organization should take
precedent over other priorities in the scramble for federal funds. Three
uneasily reconcilable demands buffeted the program during the mid-1990's: for
financial integrity and signs of tangible accomplishment from the residents;
for signs of tangible accomplishment from HUD, as the agency fought for its
life under Congressional fire; and for performance to fulfill the goals of
welfare reform. These demands hastened a movement in the program that had
already begun: away from training residents to serve the entire tenant body
through resident management, and towards support for individual efforts at
[*292] Despite the award of 986 grants of about $ 80 million in total to public
housing tenants organizations under the 1987 Act between 1988 and 1998, since its
congressionally-mandated study of 1993 HUD has commissioned no evaluations of
the accomplishments of resident organizations.
n162 It is necessary to re-construct the history of the program through
administrative notices and other sources. In 1994 HUD re-named and restructured
the resident management assistance program as the
"Tenant Opportunity Program" (TOP), with emphasis on insuring the organizational integrity of tenant bodies
through formally monitored elections, the institution of fixed three year terms
and recall provisions for officers, the adoption of by-laws, and delineation of
the relationship between resident management corporations and their parent
n163 This re-emphasis on the core activity of organization-building addressed
baseline problems concerning
"internal conflicts between competing resident councils" and the need among residents and resistant
housing authorities for clear guidance on election and training procedures to insure
the participation of representative, responsive tenant organizations.
n164 HUD would continue for the next few years to use proof of incorporation,
by-laws, application for recognition of federal tax exempt status, and
democratic, fair elections of residents' council representatives as benchmarks
of achievement, stressing their importance in administrative notices and
including them as items to be checked on work plans and on formal semi-annual
HUD extolled the value of TOP-sponsored training in organizational development
as enabling residents to
"... .move toward responsible roles in
[*293] their communities... ."
n166 But in its re-structuring of the program the agency also made it clear that
its goals for TOP extended beyond the preparation of leadership for community
(1) (To) Prepare residents to experience the dignity of meaningful work, to own
and operate resident businesses, and to move toward financial independence; (2)
enable them to choose where they want to live; and (3) assure meaningful
participation in the management of their
HUD also stated its intent to advocate amendment of the technical assistance
portion of the U.S.
Housing Act to allow for funding resident initiatives apart from resident management.
The dual emphasis on capacity building for the sake of the individual, and on
capacity building for the sake of the community, underscored a basic worry:
could training in fiscal accountability, program management, and board
development remedy the lack of experience which public
housing residents may have had in these areas? HUD needed to be concerned about
residents' capabilities to bid for and run multi-thousand dollar programs for
the sake not only of pure program integrity, but of challenges to HUD's own
credibility. As noted earlier, HUD faced congressional pressures for its
elimination; in 1994 the agency authored its
"Reinvention Blueprint" to pre-empt externally imposed crippling budget cuts.
n169 The agency echoed the
"reinvention" theme at every opportunity, highlighting how its re-design in 1994 of the
resident management technical assistance program
"reinvented resident management."
n170 Anxiety over what residents were doing with federal funds, and what Congress
thought about it, was warranted: in 1996 Congress threatened to defund TOP for
weaknesses in financial controls.
n171 Whether this warning was justified by conditions in the field, or motivated by
political considerations, HUD's administrative notices to the field between
1995 and 1997 did indicate concerns about the accountability of inexperienced
grantees. Most residents councils were dependent on consultants to assist in
grant-writing and program design, and needed guidance in the proper competitive
[*294] process and the merits in choosing those consultants.
n172 HUD also communicated concern about whether the grantees were spending
training money appropriately, and were choosing training appropriate to the
goals of the program.
n173 Citing a
"lack of focus on performance objectives" and
"failure to target TOP grants toward the basic self-sufficiency needs of
residents," in 1997 HUD reported that it put 64 grantees in default for failure to comply
with the terms of the program.
Responding to passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity
Reconciliation Act of 1996, in 1997 HUD restructured the TOP again, with
channeling funds towards
"welfare to work" as the explicit goal. The prospect that a significant minority of the public
housing population could lose income through the imposition of time limits on welfare
set a priority for action, an urgency that elevated the strain in the program
that delivered social services to individuals over that which built capacity
for the collective.
n175 Reflecting that preoccupation, the grant notice required applicants to
demonstrate that a minimum of 75% of the residents assisted by their programs
"by the welfare reform legislation.
n176 It also characterized the TOP as focused on individual enhancement, with
"...aimed at furthering economic lift and independence" and technical assistance grants as targeted to benefit residents
"... by obtaining skills that will make them more employable in the local
n177 It is noticeable that, of the six categories of activities eligible for
[*295] building" in areas such as community organizing and board development was fifth,
"resident management" and
"resident management business development" for individual entrepreneurs in descending order, with first place accorded to
"social support needs" such as child care, literacy, services for elderly and disabled residents, and
training programs on substance abuse.
n178 HUD also incorporated ongoing concerns about residents' capabilities to take
on projects, for the first time requiring applicants already to have secured or
to have applied for recognition of federal tax exempt status.
n179 The notice of funding availability for the 1998 TOP program echoed the
emphasis on moving
"welfare dependent families" to work. For the first time, HUD explicitly directed organizational
development grant funds to enable residents to engage not only in managing
property, but in running welfare to work programs.
n180 At the same time, HUD did authorize use of TOP funds for less targeted, more
community-building activities, such as training board members of residents'
organizations in community organizing.
To the present, the pressure to move residents from welfare to work has
dominated what began as a training program for public
housing residents to exercise collective self-determination in managing their
properties. In the 1998 QHWRA, Congress formalized what the agency had for all
purposes already accomplished: it deleted section 20(f) of the United States
Housing Act, that part of the 1987
Housing and Community Development Act that had authorized expenditures for training in
resident management, and added a new section 34,
"Services for Public
n182 The new statutory section confined eligibility for funding to activities
"...designed to promote the self-sufficiency of public
housing residents or provide supportive services for such residents,... ." Of the specifically enumerated eligible activities, resident management ranked
fifth out of five, behind funding service coordinators, space for the delivery
of supportive services, and the services themselves, which included services
such as adult literacy, job search skills and child care ancillary to work
Consequently, HUD's 1999 round for funding technical assistance to public
housing residents eliminated TOP, and substituted for it the Resident
[*296] Opportunities and Self Sufficiency Program (ROSS).
n184 ROSS funds an expansive range of activities. These include existing and new
resident management initiatives and resident business development, and services
one would normally associate with them, such as aid in negotiating management
contracts and in drafting business plans.
n185 Also as before, HUD has stretched the list of eligible projects to encompass
programs to deliver social services such as employment counseling, youth
programs, housekeeping and personal care for the elderly and disabled, and
child care. What ROSS does not do explicitly is reserve funds for the
"soft skills" of community organizing, board development or leadership training, although it
"capacity-building grants" to enable resident associations to participate in resident management,
administer their grants, or
Housing Agency decision making."
n186 As HUD has offered since 1998, the technical assistance program does fund
residents to hire mediators actually to mediate disputes among residents, and
to train residents in principles of mediation.
D. Training for Resident Organizations: Whose Measure of Success?
The absence of any collection of, or assessment of, performance data for most
of the twelve year history of national technical assistance to public
housing residents' organizations cripples any attempt to evaluate the impact of the
program. As is so often the case, we hear about the failures: about the program
funds that pay for trips to Las Vegas and for big screen TVs, the
irregularities that justified apprehensiveness about residents' savvy in
choosing consultants and using other people's money.
n188 We also know, as stated earlier, that in roughly only thirteen complexes do
residents exercise full management control over their properties. If management
is the measure, then a quarter century of private and public funding to groom
tenants to take charge of their physical environments has been a failure.
[*297] What we can know only imperfectly is whether, by other measures, funding to
resident organizations has ever been a success. Where goals mix and shift, as
they have throughout these programs - between collective and individual
empowerment, between building both concrete and intangible structures for
staying in a stable community and for giving individuals the tools to move out
- measurement is almost impossible. As I have described, the studies that
reviewed the first decade and a half of experiments in resident management
training frequently return over and over again to the
"soft skills" in which trainees took great pride - the education in listening, in conducting
effective meetings. Arguably the acquisition of these skills as an end in
itself was the unintended byproduct of some residents' lack of formal education
in the most basic skills of management; trainers were forced to focus long and
hard on what they initially thought would be quick first lessons in
organization -building. As analysts of community-based organizations know, the
creation of an organization whose chief product is the building of capacity for
citizenship is not an achievement which funders easily can or will quantify,
assess, and pay for.
n189 In this respect, Congress and HUD were no different from any foundation or
corporate grantor. Particularly once welfare revision made moving residents
into jobs, any jobs, an imperative, the federal funder's impatience with
collective empowerment as a product manifested itself in the strengthening of
emphasis in the TOP program on individual economic self-sufficiency.
But training in the
"arts of democracy" is in fact a part of what funders of private community-based organizations are
now orienting themselves to do, under the theory that
"capacity-building" for stable, accountable institutions is a necessary prerequisite to more
"Capacity," much over-used and under-defined, has been described as consisting of the
internal strength of an organization's board, employees and members, that
enables the organization to engage in the functions most significant for its
ability to improve its community: running programs, collaborating with other
institutions, advocating for residents in the political arena, and collecting
[*298] resources for its own support.
n191 It is certainly not clear that successful resident management, with more
measurable outcomes, is successful at promoting resident participation and
democracy, and consequently at developing broad-based capacity. Not all
residents want to become involved in the nitty gritty of property management;
conversely, residents consumed with the details of property management may have
no time, or inclination, for democratic process.
n192 Desirability of training residents in capacity building as a long term
investment in community building, just as foundations now pay for it for
neighborhood-based organizations, depends again on the perception of whether
there is anyone worth training. If the
"human capital" equivalent of
"severely distressed" is
"severely without capacity," as Wilson's theories and the mixed income ideology suggest, then there is no
role for capacity-building for the current tenants of public
V. Community-Building in a Diaspora: the Mixed Messages of Current Public
The HOPE VI program, and the QHWRA that formalized many of its features into
n193 achieve a contradiction: the enhancement of resident participation in planning
for new communities
"...when virtually no residents remain to participate."
n194 As noted earlier, the 1998 overhaul of the U.S.
Housing Act makes law the theory that clusters of poor people, primarily unemployed
single female heads of household with children, produce unhealthy
neighborhoods. To dissipate these clusters, the Act removes elements of former
housing law that conserved low rent
[*299] for very poor people. The HOPE VI program provides one vehicle for
implementing the objective of de-concentration.
"De-concentration" need not mean elimination:
housing authorities' applications for HOPE VI funds are rated for the effectiveness of
their de-concentration plans, and not for reduction in the numbers of public
housing units. In theory,
housing authorities may replace demolished units as long as they locate them in
"...with low levels of poverty and/or concentrations of minorities."
But reduction in the numbers of public
housing units affordable for residents of extremely low income in fact seems to be a
hallmark of HOPE VI plans. In his study of HOPE VI projects in Chicago,
Atlanta, and San Antonio, Jerry Salama found that of the 1001 units of public
housing to be replaced in the Techwood/Clark-Howell Homes in Atlanta, 360 would be
targeted to tenants eligible for public
n196 and in Cabrini-Green in Chicago, 139 units would remain for unemployed, very
low income residents out of an original 1,324, in a neighborhood in which 7% of
the residents received income from work.
n197 Other HOPE VI projects present similar profiles.
n198 While the high vacancy rates in some complexes means that few residents remain
to be displaced,
n199 the destruction of these units still results in a net loss of units affordable
to very poor people. Although HUD allows a
housing authority to dedicate up to fifteen percent of HOPE VI programs funds for a
"Community and Supportive Services Program," one that must provide intensive services to relocated and remaining residents
alike to enable them to achieve, among other goals, living wage jobs,
n200 no one has monitored whether these programs have enabled residents initially
earning below 10% of median income to gain enough income to afford rents and
mortgage payments targeted at residents earning up to 80%. One study that HUD
commissioned depicts the newfound stability, cleanliness, and community spirit
of the renovated HOPE VI communities - and also describes several former
housing projects to which fewer than a third of the original residents have returned.
n201 The five and ten year follow-ups that HUD promises of its assessment in 1996
of fifteen HOPE VI projects should give a more systematic picture of who moves
back in, and under what circumstances.
As Salama notes, the three developments demonstrate the market realities of
de-concentration and public-private partnerships. One attraction of HOPE VI's
"mixed finance" possibilities is the ability it gives public
housing authorities to diversify types of
housing stock and, of course, incomes of the occupants; another is
"leverage," to enable a
housing authority to augment public with private funds, so that the profits from
market rate rental units could subsidize replacement of public
housing units affordable to very low income renters.
n203 But at least in this sample,
"cross-subsidization" only worked one way. Of the three projects studied, none commanded sufficient
private resources to offset the considerable costs of keeping the rents in
[*301] apartments affordable to renters at 30% of median income.
n204 The only way that the San Antonio
housing authority was able to replace with public
housing units virtually all the 421 units it was tearing down in the Spring View
Apartments was with its own grant money - a very large HOPE VI award for a
relatively small number of units.
In noting the possibilities which HOPE VI offers for partnerships between
housing authorities and developers, one commentator has enumerated the ability to
"valuable tracts of developable land" as among the assets that any
housing authority has to contribute to any deal.
n206 For some residents who see (as with the Lake Parc example) the sudden
outpouring of resources for benefits they never had, for the sake of new
residents with incomes to which they can never aspire, the new public
housing communities may seem like less of an opportunity for them than a land grab for
n207 Indeed, a study of ten HOPE VI redevelopment plans suggests that
gentrification is what makes HOPE VI possible, as
housing authorities count on new real estate activity in surrounding areas to attract
more up-scale clientele to market rate rentals.
n208 HUD's own study forecast gloomy outcomes for HOPE VI projects in a few cities,
due partly to the residents' well-grounded skepticism about whether their
housing authorities could or would make good on their commitments.
n209 Sometimes, residents have rejected the rhetoric of a better tomorrow and
fought to keep what they know of an imperfect today.
[*302] other instances, residents have litigated and negotiated to preserve as much
as possible of an opportunity to return in strength, re-knit as a community.
What then is peculiar about current
housing policy is that, despite its explicit goal of uprooting and re-shuffling very
poor residents to achieve diverse economic populations,
n212 it not only retains vestiges of the old resident empowerment programs such as
ROSS, but provides two vehicles for participation if not decision-making by, as
noted above, residents who may not be there. The HOPE VI application process
itself gives residents an opportunity to voice concerns about development. HUD
mandates some degree of resident involvement in the application process for
HOPE VI grants. For the year 2000 grant cycle the Department not only requires
housing authorities to hold at least one training session for residents, and three
public meetings for residents and other community members, on the mechanics of
HOPE VI and on the details of the authority's proposed plan, but lays out the
particulars of what the meetings should cover, including relocation,
re-occupancy, and the extent of demolition.
n213 In addition to the threshold requirements it sets for holding public meetings,
HUD also rates applications for HOPE VI funding on the quality of outreach to
"the broader community."
Other mechanisms provide potential for residents to affect not merely the
progress of a particular development, but the governance of their public
housing authority. With some exceptions, the QHWRA requires governing
[*303] boards of
housing authorities to include in their membership at least one tenant
"directly assisted by the public
housing agency," whom, depending on the agency's five year plan, the tenants may elect.
n215 In addition, a newer institution through which residents may exert influence
on the direction of their public
housing authority is the resident advisory board, an innovation instituted by the
n216 The resident advisory board exists to participate in the formulation of five
year and annual public
housing agency plans, another new requirement, plans which dictate the direction of
housing authority on all critical activities such as admissions and occupancy,
assessment of how to meet
housing needs, and plans for demolition or disposition of properties.
Housing authorities must document the participation of, or at least consultation with,
resident advisory boards in the formulation of these plans before they can
submit them to HUD.
As with so many policy directives, it is hard to know whether the dictates on
paper translate into a difference in the field. No data is available on the
housing authorities with the creation of resident advisory boards, let alone on the
substantive contributions of the boards themselves. Though commentators have
expressed optimism about the potential for residents to use their boards to
build the goal of conservation of affordable
housing into the five year plans, and the annual plans to review compliance with the
n219 true participation will depend on whether residents receive adequate notice of
public hearings on the plans in time to do
[*304] anything about them, and whether the resident advisory boards engage in
As for resident participation in the HOPE VI process, a sample of HUD's ratings
of the HOPE VI applications might indicate whether a proposal ever stood or
fell on whether it could show attendance at informational meetings of thirty
residents or three hundred - or whether those residents' opinions made a
difference in the decisions made about development. HUD's study of fifteen of
the first recipients of HOPE VI grants and of the residents in the affected
housing complexes revealed a range of involvement by residents in the planning, from
"broad and active participation" to
""next to nil.'"
n221 HUD's informal program guidance to
housing authorities sends a mixed message about the essentialness of the participation
housing residents in the design of HOPE VI projects. While the Department calls upon
local authorities to solicit the
"advice counsel, recommendations and input of affected residents and the broader
n222 it also emphasizes that as the grantee, the authority has ultimate power to
decide the disposition of funds, and that resident input is
"integral" to planning and implementation,
"without controlling it."
Finally, only the regulations for the resident advisory boards even attempt to
answer the question of who will participate when it's up to the last person
who's left to turn out the lights.
The regulations anticipate a range of possibilities for selection of members -
from existing jurisdiction-wide or individual resident councils. As may be the
case for complexes where tenant participation either never took hold, or where
significant numbers of residents lose their homes so that the function of the
resident councils is disrupted, from whatever remains of the resident
VI. Conclusion: Counter-Images: Defenders of Community
A study performed at the Ida B. Wells and Robert Taylor Homes public
housing complexes in Chicago knits up some of the themes - environmental
[*305] determinism; characteristics, real and imagined of the community of public
housing residents - that I have discussed, and also suggests some possibilities for
different conceptualizations. Researchers enlisted the residents' councils of
these two complexes to recruit three
"resident observers" to study and record where residents congregated in the public spaces of these
two very different physical plants: the Taylor Homes with its multiple sixteen
story high rises; and the portion of the older Ida Wells apartments that
consisted of low rise row houses. The women who were chosen had lived in either
of the two developments for between nineteen and thirty-two years.
n225 Over the course of several days during June of 1994, these resident observers
documented ninety six sets of observations of the four sides of any of several
targeted buildings where people were congregating within fifty yards of any one
side. The observers noted information for each site on number of adults and
youth, number of trees, the activities, the distance of the people from the
trees and from the building, and the distance of the trees from the building.
Researchers culled patterns from these reports: that overall, three times as
many people congregated near spaces with trees as near spaces without them;
n227 that more residents were attracted to the trees that were planted closer to
the buildings; and that children and adults with children gravitated even more
"treed outdoor spaces" than did groups of adults alone.
n228 They extrapolated a good deal more: that by creating manageable zones to which
people are attracted in large, unmanageable
housing complexes with little private space,
"treed spaces" provide some of the
"defensible space," - opportunities for surveillance and supervision of children, and for social
interaction - that these physical spaces lack.
n229 Another study of the Robert Taylor Homes by the same researchers posits
stronger social networks among the residents who live in
"high nature areas."
The researchers in the
"tree" study concluded that there may be methods for providing more livable public
housing complexes that are less drastic than demolishing them.
n231 One could conclude a good deal more. The study's design implicitly
acknowledged the presence of several resources in a population deemed to be
without any: the influence of long term residents who
[*306] can be trained and who have a stake in the community, and the ability of
residents to make something of the few amenities that they are given. Without
romanticizing the conditions present in some public
housing, other researchers of the resident populations in the Chicago complexes slated
for demolition also have stressed how residents create their own networks to
compensate with mutual self help for the historic lack of resources: with rides
to jobs, with baby-sitting, and with doubling-up and combining incomes.
n232 This is not to say that better facilities and access to services would not be
welcome. It is to say that the mere presence of decaying structures may not be
a perfect indicator of the capacity of the people inside.
The benchmarks of
"distress" that qualify a public
housing project for demolition and renovation highlight deficiencies. They do not
consider counter-benchmarks: the residents' organizations that, with or without
federal financial assistance, have cohered long enough to be effective
organizers, service providers, and advocates against their own dispersal. Some,
like the Mission Main Tenant Task Force in Boston, are strong enough to survive
relocation and return. In place since the late 1980's, the Task Force functions
with a sixteen member board and paid staff, runs recreational and cultural
programs and provides other social services - and with original and new board
members retained enough cohesiveness to persist in tough negotiations with its
housing authority and political figures to retain the best deal possible for its
constituents through the HOPE VI reconfiguration.
n233 Others, like St. Thomas Resident Council in New Orleans, have received far
less consideration. Despite a host of organizing and economic development
initiatives, and the association's record in building a consortium of providers
across the city to supply meaningful social services to the residents,
n234 St. Thomas faces imminent demolition,
n235 with few truly affordable
housing units planned in replacement.
There are doubtless countless other public
housing residents' organizations whose activities were considered insufficient proof
of the community's viability to warrant less desperate remedies, and which will
be compromised or
[*307] stopped by demolition and relocation. It is too soon to tell whether, as
happened with their historical predecessors, their efforts will vanish without
an imprint on memory.
Last summer PBS premiered a series,
"Great Streets," a showcase for the history of the world's famous avenues. The inaugural
episode featured Fifth Avenue in New York City. As any chronicle of this
thoroughfare must, the program gave prominent place to Central Park. There was
plenty of narrative about the genius of Olmsted's design and about the feats of
engineering. Of the Park's pre-history, all that was said was that the Park was
built on largely vacant land.
How soon we forget.
n1. Lynda H. Schneekloth
& Robert G. Shipley, Placemaking: The Art and Practice of Building Communities
n2. See infra note 11 and accompanying text.
n3. New York Historical Society,
"What is Seneca Village" Exhibition Flier (1997) (on file with the author).
n4. Roy Rosenzweig
& Elizabeth Blackmar, The Park and the People: A History of Central Park 65
n5. Id. at 70.
n6. New York Historical Society, supra note 3. For a detailed description of the
New York Historical Society's exhibit,
"Before Central Park: The Life and Death of Seneca Village," including information on the individual households of the settlement, see
Douglas Martin, A Village Dies a Park is Born, N.Y. Times, Jan. 31, 1997, at
C1. Many reporters covered the opening of the Society's exhibit in January
1997; a particularly engaging story described one Brooklyn resident's discovery
that his ancestors on his mother's side may have lived in Seneca Village. See
Clyde Haberman, The History Central Park Almost Buried, N.Y. Times, Feb. 28,
1997, at B1.
& Blackmar, supra note 4, at 89.
n8. For interviews with historians Roy Rozenzweig and Peter Salwen, whose research
of city maps and tax records had persuaded them of the existence of a
settlement even before physical artifacts of Seneca Village were uncovered, see
Douglas Martin, Before Park, Black Village: Students Look Into a Community's
History, N.Y. Times, Apr. 7, 1995, at B1.
n9. Michael Finnegan
& Chrisena Coleman, Central Park Hiding Village Artifacts, N.Y. Daily News, Jan.
9, 1998, at 35.
n10. Edwin G. Burrows
& Mike Wallace, Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, at 792 (1999).
n11. N.Y. Times, July 9, 1856.
& Blackmar, supra note 4, at 64.
n13. Local Intelligence - Central Park, N.Y. Times, Aug. 19, 1866.
& Blackmar, supra note 4, at 67 (quoting John Punnett Peters, Annals of St.
Michael's, 1807-1907, at 445-6 (1907)).
n15. Marshall Berman, Falling Towers: City Life After Urbicide, in Geography and
Identity: Living and Exploring the Geopolitics of Identity 172, 172-5 (1996).
n16. For a critique of the financial incentives for residential demolition provided
in the United States and National
Housing Acts, see Robert Halpern, Rebuilding the Inner City: A History of Neighborhood
Initiatives to Address Poverty in the United States 67-8 (1995).
n17. Herbert Gans took up residence in the West End to study the impact of the
impending redevelopment of the neighborhood on the residents. He left seven
years later, at the beginning of demolition, an opponent of the redevelopment
and a believer in the vitality and cohesiveness of the West End's Italian
immigrant working class community (as did my parents, then newlyweds and
medical residents at nearby hospitals, who remembered the West End as a
bustling and welcoming place to live). See Herbert J. Gans, The Urban
Villagers: Group and Class in the Life of Italian-Americans 305-6 (1962).
n18. Robert A. Solomon, Building a Segregated City: How We All Worked Together,
16 St. Louis U. Pub. L. Rev. 265, 287-8 (1997).
n19. The video documentary, Southwest Remembered: A Story of Urban Renewal (Lamont
Productions, Inc. 1990), depicts the elimination and redevelopment of the
community of southwest D.C. during the mid-1950's. For the decisions that
expanded the power of eminent domain to allow condemnation for not only public
use, but public purpose, and in doing so cleared the way for the D.C.
Redevelopment Land Authority to take down both residential and commercial
buildings and re-sell the property to commercial developers in the name not
only of elimination but prevention of the hypothetical recurrence of
"slums and blight," see
Berman v. Parker, 348 U.S. 26 (1954); and
Schneider v. District of Columbia, 117 F.Supp. 705 (D.C. Cir. 1953).
n20. In addition to Gans's study, supra note 17, for other contemporaneous
descriptions of the impacts of 1950's - style urban renewal, see Martin
Anderson, The Federal Bulldozer: A Critical Analysis of Urban Renewal,
1949-1962, at 54 (1964) (estimating the eviction of some 609,000 persons by
March, 1963 as a result of urban renewal); and Marc Fried, Grieving for a Lost
Home, in The Urban Condition: People and Policy in the Metropolis 151 (Leonard
J. Duhl ed., 1963).
n21. Peter Marcuse, The Enclave, the Citadel, and the Ghetto: What Has Changed in
the Post-Fordist U.S. City, 33 Urb. Aff. Rev. 228, 229-32 (1997) (describing
the emergence of the
"outcast ghetto" an urban phenomenon distinct, in its greater exclusion from mainstream
society, from the
n22. Department of
Housing and Urban Development, HOPE VI Fact Sheet (1999).
n23. See Larry Bennett, Do We Really Wish to Live in a Communitarian City?:
Communitarian Thinking and the Redevelopment of Chicago's Cabrini-Green Public
Housing Complex, 20 J. Urb. Aff. 99, 113-4 (1998).
Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998, Pub. L. No. 105-276, 112 Stat. 2461, 2518
(1998) [hereinafter QHWRA].
n25. Sarah Pekkanen
& Zerline A. Hughes, After 36 Years, a Pile of Memories, Baltimore Sun, July 4,
1999, at A1.
n26. Martin D. Abravanel et al., Building Healthy Communities Through Federal
Housing Policy: Current Developments in the United States 10 n. 7 (1998).
n27. Conversation with Ainars Rodin, Dir. for Demolition and Disposition, Special
Applications Unit, Dep't of
Housing and Urban Development (June 15, 2000); U.S. Dep't of
Housing and Urban Development, Demolition/Disposition Fiscal Activity Summary,
National Report (as of June 14, 2000) (reporting 101,906 units approved for
removal from the public
housing inventory, to include demolition or disposition, between 1992 and 2000, with
56,544 units actually removed).
n28. National Low Income
Housing Coalition/Low Income
Housing Information Service, Out of Reach (1999), available at
n29. Evelyn Nieves, Many in Silicon Valley Cannot Afford
Housing, Even at $ 50,000 a Year, N.Y. Times, Feb. 20, 2000, at 20 (reporting that some
full time employees in service jobs in northern California use their full day
passes to nap all night on public busses, as the only shelter they can afford;
that 34% of homeless people in Santa Clara County work full time; and that
teachers, police officers, firefighters, and others earning more than $ 50,000
a year must seek help at overnight shelters).
n30. Rebekah Levine Conley et al., Where Does Community Grow? The Social Context
Created by Nature in Urban Public
Housing, 29 Env't
& Behav. 468 (1997).
n31. John Atlas
& Peter Dreier, From
"Projects" to Communities: Redeeming Public
Housing 21, 26 (1993).
n32. See Donald A. Krueckenberg, The Grapes of Rent: A History of Renting in a
Country of Owners, 10
Housing Pol'y Debate 9, 10 (1999).
n33. See, e.g., Lawrence J. Vale, Public
Housing Redevelopment: Seven Kinds of Success, 7
Housing Pol'y Debate 491 (1996); Lawrence J. Vale, The Revitalization of Boston's
Housing Development, in Affordable
Housing and Urban Development in the United States 100 (Willem van Vliet ed., 1997).
n34. Lawrence J. Vale, Destigmatizing Public
Housing, in Geography and Identity: Living and Exploring Geopolitics of Identity 226
(Dennis Crow ed., 1996).
n35. Id. at 439.
n36. Not all observers of public
housing residents and their attitudes towards their homes would agree; surveys
performed in the mid 1970's of residents of many different public
housing complexes scattered across the country suggest that many felt positive about
housing. See Rachel Bratt, Rebuilding a Low-Income
Housing Policy 63-4 (1989).
n37. Alexander von Hoffman, High Ambitions: The Past and Future of American
Housing Policy, 7
Housing Pol'y Debate 423, 426-7 (1996).
n38. Id. at 439.
n39. Oscar Newman, Defensible Space 50 (1973) (summarizing discussion principles
"defensible space," including the influence of design on the
"perception of a project's uniqueness, isolation, and stigma").
n40. Oscar Newman, Creating Defensible Space 9-10 (1996).
n41. Oscar Newman, Defensible Space 50 (1973).
n42. Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Notice of Funding Availability For Public
Housing Demolition, Site Revitalization, and Replacement
Housing Grants (HOPE VI),
61 Fed. Reg. 38,024, 38,025 (1996).
n43. QHWRA 535(a), 112 Stat. at 2581.
n44. See Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Notice of Funding Availability for the HOPE VI
65 Fed. Reg. 9599, 9603 (2000).
n45. QHWRA 535(j)(2)(A)(i), 112 Stat. at 2584.
n46. National Commission on Severely Distressed Public
Housing, The Final Report 76 (1992).
n47. HOPE VI GUIDEBOOK, HOPE VI PROGRAM AUTHORITY AND FUNDING HISTORY 1, 6 (2000)
(of 274 grants HUD awarded 35 for planning, 131 for revitalization, and 108 for
demolition only). Since some revitalization projects also include plans for
demolition, the number of demolition grants alone does not indicate fully the
amount of demolition supported by the HOPE VI program. Id. at 6 (describing
revitalization grants for 1999 as assisting the demolition of 9815 units).
n48. Vale, The Revitalization, supra note 33, at 110.
n49. Chester Hartman, Shelterforce Interview: Joseph Shuldiner, Assistance
Secretary for Public and Indian
Housing, 77 Shelterforce Online (Sept/Oct. 1994), available at http://www.nhi.org.
n50. George Packer, Trickle-Down Civil Rights, NY Times Mag., Dec. 12, 1999, at 75,
n52. Alex Kotlowitz, There Are No Children Here (1991).
n53. See W. David Koeninger, A Room of One's Own and Five Hundred Pounds Becomes a
Piece of Paper and
"Get a Job:" Evaluating Changes in Public
Housing Policy from a Feminist Perspective,
16 St. Louis U. Pub. L. Rev. 445, 445 n.1, 446 (1997) (citing Hoop Dreams, Kotlowitz's book, and describing media coverage of
conditions at Cabrini Green in Chicago).
n54. Ron Suskind, Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey From the Inner City to
the Ivy League (1998).
n55. In The Promised Land, Nicholas Lemann chronicled the pilgrimage of African
Americans from the Deep South to Chicago through, among others, the story of
Ruby Daniels and the public
housing unit she moved into at Robert Taylor Homes. By 1985, the apartment building
showed all the archetypal symbols of public
"...littered with empty bottles and piles of uncollected garbage." Nicholas Lemann, The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How it
Changed America 295 (1991).
n56. Corporation for Educational Radio and Television, the New Urban Renewal:
Reclaiming Our Neighborhoods, Park III: No Place Like Home (PBS television
broadcast, May 30, 1997).
n57. John M. Hartung
& Jeffrey R. Henig,
Housing Vouchers and Certificates as a Vehicle for Deconcentrating the Poor: Evidence
form the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area, 32 Urb. Aff. 403, 404 (1997)
(citing T. Uhlenbrock, Vaughn Complex is on its Way Down, St. Louis Post
Dispatch, May 2, 1995, at B1, 2).
n58. Lucy A. Williams, Race, Rat Bites, and Unfit Mothers: How Media Discourse
Informs Welfare Legislation Debate,
22 Fordham Urb. L.J. 1159, 1159-61 (1995).
n59. The Final Report, supra note 46, at 15.
n60. John Atlas
& Peter Dreier, From
"Projects" to Communities: Redeeming Public
Housing 21, 26 (1993).
n61. HUD Baseline Assessment of Hope VI, at 1-20 (1996) [hereafter HUD Hope VI
"Nexis" search for January 1999 through June 2000, using
housing residents" as the search term, yielded out of the forty-nine entries (including newswire
"hero" stories; two stories about programs to equip residents with marketable job
skills; one story about a college scholarship fund for residents and raised by
residents; one article about a college and career fair for public
housing residents; and one article about home buying by public
housing residents. Most of the rest announced awards under the 1998 HOPE VI funding
cycle. See PHA Hires Resident Leader Jackie McDowell for Key Executive Post, PR
Newswire, Aug. 16, 1999; Chris Grier, Shuttle Service Putting Woman on Fast
Track Toward Success, The Virginian-Pilot, Aug. 25, 1999, at B9 (subsidized
housing residents builds business to shuttle residents from homes to work); Public
Housing Residents Get a New Change to Break Cycle of Poverty with Jobs in the
Healthcare Industry, PR Newswire, Mar. 5, 1999 (about graduation ceremony for
nurse's aides); Glenn E. Rice, Unemployed find work in community; Public
Housing Residents Help Build Neighborhood, The Kansas City Star, June 18, 1999, at C4
(OJT for residents in construction trades); Knight Stivender, Public
Housing Residents Aid Students, $ 1,000 Scholarships Awarded to Four, The Tennessean,
Aug. 20, 1999, at 6B; Public
Housing Residents Invited to Attend College and Career Day, PR Newswire, Feb. 23, 2000
(college fair for residents in Richmond, Va.); Michael Lollar, Lewis Shares
Knowledge of Route Out of Poverty, The Commercial Appeal, Mar. 28, 1999, at F7
(residents recount experiences in buying their own homes).
n63. See generally Susan R. Fries
& G. Thomas Kingsley, Hope VI: Community Building Makes a Difference (2000)
(prepared for HUD); Arthur J. Naparstek, Dennis Dooley
& Robin Smith, Community Building in Public
Housing: Ties That Bind People and Their Communities (1997) (prepared for HUD).
n64. The engagement of public
housing residents in managing or buying their rental properties has been the subject
of several graduate dissertations. See, e.g., Monica E.S. Clarke, Is There a
Way Out for Public
Housing Residents? A descriptive Study of Public
Housing Residents and Efforts to Become Homeowners (1998) (Master's Thesis in Urban
Studies, University of New Orleans).
n65. See Alma H. Young
& Jyaphia Christos Rodgers, Resisting Racially Gendered Space: The Women of the
St. Thomas Resident Council, New Orleans, in Marginal Spaces, Vol. 5
Comparative Urban and Community Research 95-112 (Michael Peter Smith ed.,
n66. Demolition plans under HOPE VI for the most popularized visible symbols of the
failure of public
housing, the projects in the Chicago
Housing Authority's inventory, have sparked significant litigations. See Cabrini-Green
Local Advisory Council v. Chicago
Housing Authority and Joseph Shuldiner, No. 96 C 6949,
1997 WL 31002, (N.D. Ill. Jan. 22, 1997). Memorandum Opinion and Order (denying defendants'
motions to dismiss the plaintiffs claims that CHA's plan to demolish 1324 units
and reserve only 300-325 of the replacement units for public
housing constituted discrimination under the Fair
Housing Act and Civil Rights Act of 1964 against the African American residents who
would be displaced); Henry Horner Mothers Guild v. Chicago
Housing Authority, No. 91 C 3316,
1998 WL 111582, (N.D. Ill. Mar. 6, 1998), Memorandum Opinion and Order (requiring the CHA to
replace buildings slated for demolition under the recently suspended
"one for one replacement" rule); Concerned Citizens of ABLA v. The Chicago
Housing Authority, No. 99 C 4959, Complaint at 1-3, 29-34 (N.D. Ill. File July 29,
1999) (alleging that the past and planned displacement of African American
families from the Addams, Brooks, Loomis and Abbott developments violated the
Housing Act, the Fair
Housing Act and Civil Rights Act of 1964).
n67. See also
Alexandria Resident Council v. Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority, 979 F.Supp. 409, 410 (E.D. Va. 1997) (describing competing claims of original citywide tenants' association, and
newly formed association, to represent residents of public
housing complex slated for demolition); aff'd,
Alexandria Resident Council v. Samual Madden Tenant Council and Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority, (unpub. Op.) 153 F.3d. 718, 1998 WL 415726 (4[su'th'] Cir. 1998); vacated,
218 F.3d 307 (4th Cir. 2000) Ann O'Hanlon, Alexandria Officials Given Ultimatums (sic); Judge, HUD Threaten
Sanctions if Tenants Not Allowed to Redevelop the Berg, Wash. Post, Nov. 13,
1999, at Metro B2 (judge in the above-captioned case orders
housing authority for the second time to accept a redevelopment bid from the
Alexandria Resident Council).
n68. See generally
Housing Research Foundation, at http://www.housingresearch.org.
n69. See Paul Burke, U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development, A Picture of Subsidized Households in 1998: United
States Summaries 40 (1998) (noting average income for a household to be $ 9100,
or 25% of the national median).
n70. Id. at 41 (noting 69% of residents of public
housing nationally are members of minority groups, with 47% of them African American,
19% Hispanic, and 2% Asian or Pacific Islander). On concentration of poor and
minority residents in public
housing, see Douglas S. Massey
& Shawn M. Kanaiaupuni, Public
Housing and the Concentration of Poverty, 74 Soc. Sci. Qtrly 108, 119 (1993) (finding
that, for the Chicago study area, poor African Americans were far more likely
to live in areas of concentrated poverty, in public
housing complexes and in proximity to then, than were poor whites).
n71. See Burke, supra note 69, at 40 (noting that 18% of public
housing residents nationally received a majority of their income from welfare,
including federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) or
state-sponsored General Assistance; and that 24% of all public
housing residents receive majority of their income from employment).
n72. While 39% of households in public
housing residents - not a small number - consist of single women with children, id. at
41, 32% of the residents are seniors, 24% are seniors with disabilities, and
30% are younger disabled persons (obviously there is overlap among these
figures), id. at 40. Although A Picture of Subsidized Households does not
tabulate sized of families, it does indicate that 50% of the public
housing inventory consists of one bedroom apartments. Id. at 41.
Housing Act of 1949, Pub. L. No. 81-71, 302(a), 63 Stat. 413, 423 (1949) (requiring
housing agencies to give first preference for placement to families displace by
"any public slum-clearance or redevelopment project initiated after January 1,
1947," with preference within this group to families of service-connected disabled
n74. National Commission on Urban Problems, 91st Cong., Building the American City
111 (Comm. Print 1968).
Housing and Community Development Amendments of 1979, Pub. L. No. 96-153, 206(a),
(b)(1-2), 93 Stat. 1101, 1108 (1979).
42 U.S.C. 1437d(c)(4)(A) (1990); for a summary of the legislative history of the federal
preference system, see Stanley S. Herr
& Stephen M.B. Pincus, A Way to Go Home: Supportive
Housing and Housing Assistance Preferences for the Homeless,
23 Stetson L. Rev. 345, 353-87 n. 38-69 (1994).
n77. Balanced Budget Downpayment Act I, Pub. L. No. 104-99, 402(d)(1)(A), 110 Stat.
26, 41 (1996).
n78. Veterans Affairs and HUD Appropriations Act, 514(a), 112 Stat. at 2547.
n79. Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research, The Uses of
Discretionary Authority in the Public
Housing Program, 6-7 (July 1999).
n80. Lawrence J. Vale, Destigmatizing Public
Housing, in Geography and Identity: Living and Exploring Geopolitics of Identity 226,
229 (Dennis Crow ed., 1996). For an emphatic view that the federal preference
and other tenant selection policies resulted in public
housing that is
"utterly devoid of social capital," see Lewis H. Spence, Rethinking the Social Role of Public
Housing Pol'y Debate 355, 367 (1993).
n81. One resident leader included the move-in of undesirable tenants as one element
in the decline of her apartment complex:
"We saw people moving into our community that was not screened. We had no say-so
as to who would come and be our next door neighbor." Tenant Management of Public
Housing: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Hearing and Community Development of the House
Comm. On Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs, 99[su'th'] Cong. 22 (1986)
"1986 Hearing") (statement of Lena Jackson, President, Lakeview Terrace Management Corp.,
n82. For overviews of the federal role in increasing the isolation of minorities in
inner cities and the racial segregation of the suburbs, see Kenneth T. Jackson,
Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States 195-203 (1985)
(describing the influence of the federal Home Owners' Loan Corp. in encouraging
the use of race and class-based criteria for lending). For critiques of the
federal role in racial steering in public
housing, see Arnold R. Hirsch, Making the Second Ghetto: Race and
Housing in Chicago, 1940-1960, at 10 (1983); Arnold R. Hirsch,
"Containment" on the Home Front: Race and Federal
Housing Policy from the New Deal to the Cold War, 26 J. Urb. Hist. 158 (2000).
n83. Hirsch, Making the Second Ghetto, supra note 82, at 14.
n84. For a comprehensive review of the history of federal public
housing construction, site selection, and racial discrimination, see Jon C. Dubin,
From Junkyards to
Gentrification: Explicating a Right to Protective Zoning in Low-Income Communities of Color,
77 Minn. L. Rev. 739, 753 n.66, 754 n.67 (1993).
n85. See Jackson, supra note 82, at 222-27; Building the American City, supra note
74, at 110.
n86. For the consent decree that set the parameters of the Gautreaux demonstration,
Gautreaux v. Landrieu, 523 F. Supp. 665, 672-82 (N.D. Ill. 1981).
n87. For summaries of the import of Gautreaux and of the implementation of its
consent decree, see Florence Wagman Roisman
& Hilary Botein,
Housing Mobility and Life Opportunities,
27 Clearinghouse Rev. 335 (1993); Leonard S. Rubinowitz, Metropolitan Public
Housing Desegregation Remedies: Chicago's Privatization Program,
12 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 589, 619-24 (1992) (describing the implementation of the Gautreaux demonstration).
n88. See John Goering, The Moving to Opportunity Social
"Experiment': Early Stages of Implementation and Research Plans, 1 Poverty Res.
News 2 (1997), available at http://www.jcpr.org/spring97/article2.html
(describing the five city Moving to Opportunity ("MTO") Demonstration, which monitors the effect of intense re-location support for
housing residents moving to integrated neighborhoods on their success in employment
and new schools).
n89. Department of
Housing and Urban Development Reform Act of 1989, Pub. L. No. 101-235, 501(3), 103
Stat. 1987, 2049 (1989).
n90. The Final Report, supra note 46, at 18.
n91. Id. at B-2, app. B.
n92. Id. at 25, 69-70.
n93. Department of
Housing and Urban Development, HOPE VI Program Authority and Funding History, in HOPE
VI Guidance 1 (Aug. 2000), available at http://www.hud.gov/pih/
n94. The Final Report, supra note 46, Transmittal Letter (Aug. 10, 1992)
(summarizing (erroneously) the message of the Report:
"to eradicate severely distressed public
housing by the year 2000").
n95. QHWRA 535(a), 112 Stat. at 2518, 2584 (to be codified at
42 U.S.C. 1437v(j)(2)(A)(i)).
n96. Id. at 535(a), 112 Stat. at 2585 (to be codified at
42 U.S.C. 1437v(j)(2)(A)(iii)(I), 1437v(j)(2)(A)(ii)).
n97. See, e.g., Notice of Funding Availability for the HOPE VI Program,
65 Fed. Reg. 9599, 9603 (2000) (including among indicators of
"severe distress" necessary to qualify for HOPE VI the elements catalogued in 535(a) of the
QHWRA, supra notes 95-96).
n98. QHWRA 502(a)(3), 112 Stat. at 2520.
n99. Id. at 502(b)(3), 112 Stat. at 2521.
n100. Id. at 513(a), 112 Stat. at 2544 (to be codified at
42 U.S.C. 1437n(a)(3)(A)).
n101. Id. at 513(a), 112 Stat. at 2544 (to be codified at
42 U.S.C. 1437n(a)(2)(A)). See also Changes to Admission and Occupancy Requirements in the
Housing and Section 8
Housing Assistance Programs,
65 Fed. Reg. 16,692, 16,695 (2000) (to be codified at 24 C.F.R. 960.202(b)) (explaining HUD's Final Rule on
n102. QHWRA 514(a)(1), 112 Stat. at 2547 (to be codified at
42 U.S.C. 1437d(c)(4)(A)]. See also 519(a), 112 Stat. at 2555 (to be codified at
42 U.S.C. 1437g(e)(2)(B)) (requiring HUD to calculate into its formula for distributing
operating funds to
housing authorities an incentive to increase rental income from working tenants);
Changes to Admission and Occupancy Requirements in the Public
Housing and Section 8
Housing Assistance Programs,
65 Fed. Reg. at 16,726 (to be codified at 24 C.F.R. 960.206).
n103. QHWRA at 511(a), 112 Stat. at 2532-33. See also Public
Housing Agency Plans,
64 Fed. Reg. 56,844, 56,863 (1999) (to be codified at
24 C.F.R. 903.7(c)(2)) (requiring public
housing authorities to include in their public
housing agency plans an admissions plan incorporating deconcentration as an
objective); Rule to Deconcentrate Poverty and Promote Integration in Public
Housing, Final Rule,
65 Fed. Reg. 81,213, 81,215 (Dec. 22, 2000).
n104. See QHWRA 531(a), 112 Stat. at 2573 (to be codified at
42 U.S.C. 1437p(d)) (allowing construction of new public
housing units on the same site or in the same neighborhood after demolition only if
the number of replacement units is
"significantly fewer than the number of units demolished"); 519, 112 Stat. at 2556 (forbidding use of capital or operating funds for
construction that would increase the net number of public
housing units, except when the construction is part of a
"mixed-finance" project and would cost less than providing assistance through tenant-based
subsidy); Rule to Deconcentrate Poverty and Promote Integration in Public
Housing, Final Rule,
65 Fed. Reg. 81,213, 81,215 (Dec. 22, 2000).
n105. John M. Hartung
& Jeffrey R. Henig,
Housing Vouchers and Certificates as a Vehicle for Deconcentrating the Poor: Evidence
from the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area, 32 Urb. Aff. Rev. 403, 405
n106. See Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996,
Pub. L. No. 104-193, 110 Stat. 2105 (1996).
n107. Burke, supra note 69, at 40 (noting that 18% of public
housing residents nationally receive a majority of their income from welfare,
including federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families ("TANF") or state-sponsored General Assistance; and that 24% of all public
housing residents receive a majority of their income from employment).
n108. See Chang-Moo Lee, Dennis P. Culhane
& Susan M. Wachter, The Differential Impacts of Federally Assisted
Housing Programs on Nearby Property Values: A Philadelphia Case Study, 10
Housing Pol'y Debate 75, 89 (1999) (finding that both public
housing complexes and private complexes that rent to Section 8 certificate holders
"modest to slight negative impacts on property values"); Sandra J. Newman
& Ann B. Schnare,
"... And a Suitable Living Environment": The Failure of
Housing Programs to Deliver on Neighborhood Quality, 8
Housing Pol'y Debate 703, 726-27 (1997) (finding that, since public
housing is located
"disproportionately" in neighborhoods of low employment and deteriorating
housing stock, it hurts the life chances of those who live there - but is not
responsible for processes of neighborhood decline that in most cases had begun
housing was built and constituted a reason for the choice of site in the first place).
n109. See William J. Wilson, When Work Disappears 51-52 (1996) (explaining how loss
in the inner cities of connection to the world of conventional paid work
promotes adoption of behaviors maladaptive to functioning anywhere else);
William J. Wilson, The Truly Disadvantaged 57-60 (1987).
n110. See Douglas S. Massey, Andrew B. Gross
& Kumiko Shibuya, Migration, Segregation, and the Geographic Concentration of
Poverty, 59 Am. Soc. Rev. 425, 442-43 (1994) (finding that concentrated poverty
results from segregated
housing markets, with
"nonpoor" African Americans facing restricted
housing choices that make them more likely to migrate to poor neighborhoods than to
"nonpoor" ones); Scott J. South
& Kyle D. Crowder, Leaving the
"Hood: Residential Mobility Between Black, White and Integrated Neighborhoods,
63 Am. Soc. Rev. 17, 25 (1998) (finding that African Americans are
"substantially" more likely than whites to leave racially mixed tracts for racially segregated
ones, thus maintaining high levels of residential segregation by race).
n111. Arthur J. Naparstek et al., Community Building in Public
Housing: Ties that Bind People and Their Communities 23 (United States Department of
Housing and Urban Development 1997).
n112. Peter Dreier
& David Moberg, Moving from the
"Hood: The Mixed Success of Integrating Suburbia, Vol. 7 No. 24 The Amer.
Prospect (1996), at http://www.prospect.org/ archives/ 24/24drei.html.
n113. Michael H. Schill, Chicago's Mixed-Income New Communities Strategy: The Future
Face of Public
Housing?, in Affordable
Housing and Urban Redevelopment in the United States 135, 142-45 (Willem van Vliet
n114. See Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable
Housing Act, Pub. L. No. 101-625, 522, 104 Stat. 4079, 4207 (1990), repealed by at
QHWRA 582(a)(10), 112 Stat. at 2518, 2644.
n115. For the opinion that the MINCS project, as implemented through Lake Parc
Place, represented a direct importation of Wilson's The Truly Disadvantaged
housing policy, see Schill, supra note 113, at 148-49; James E. Rosenbaum, Linda K.
& Cathy A. Flynn, Lake Parc Place: A Study of Mixed-Income
Housing Pol'y Debate 703, 714 (1998).
n116. See Rosenbaum, Stroh
& Flynn, supra note 115, at 705-06; Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable
Housing Act 522(f)(2), repealed by QHWRA 582(a)(10) (allowed public
housing agencies in the MINCS demonstration to fill up to half of their units with low
n117. Rosenbaum, Stroh
& Flynn, supra note 115, at 714-15.
n118. Id. at 715-16.
n119. Id. at 705.
n120. Id. at 720; Schill, supra note 113, at 151.
n121. Rosenbaum, Stroh
& Flynn, supra note 115, at 719.
n122. Id. at 732-33 n.3.
n123. Schill, supra note 113, at 151.
n124. Lawrence J. Vale, Comment on James E. Rosenbaum, Linda K. Stroh, and Cathy A.
"Lake Parc Place: A Study of Mixed-Income
Housing Pol'y Debate 749, 749-52 (1998).
Housing and Community Development Act of 1987, Pub. L. No. 100-242, 122, 101 Stat.
n126. William Peterman, The Meanings of Resident Empowerment: Why Just About
Everybody Thinks It's a Good Idea and What It Has to Do with Resident
Housing Pol'y Debate 473, 478-80 (1996).
n127. Id. at 474; Arthur J. Naparstek et al., U.S. Dep't of
Housing and Urb. Dev., Community Building in Public
Housing: Ties That Bind People and Their Communities 45-46 (1997).
n128. Mary A. Queeley et al., National Tenant Management Demonstration: The First
Three Years 11-12 (1981) [hereinafter NTMD 1981]; Tenant Management of Public
Housing: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on
Housing and Community Development of the House Comm. on Banking, Finance and Urban
Affairs, 99th Cong. 12 (1986) [hereinafter 1986 Hearing] (statement of Bertha
Gilkey, President, Cochran Tenant Management Corp., St. Louis, Missouri).
n129. Peterman, supra note 126, at 475; Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation
(MDRC), The First Annual Report on the National Tenant Management Demonstration
13-14 (1977) [hereinafter First Annual Report 1977].
n130. NTMD 1981, supra note 128, at 67.
n131. First Annual Report 1977, supra note 129, at 30.
n132. NTMD 1981, supra note 128, at 183-85.
n133. Peterman, supra note 126, at 475.
n134. Daniel J. Monti, The Organizational Strengths and Weaknesses of
Housing Sites in the United States, 11 J. Urb. Aff. 39, 40 (1989).
n135. NTMD 1981, supra note 128, at 97-8.
n136. Peterman, supra note 126, at 475.
n137. Final Report of the Task Force on Tenant Participation in the Management of
Housing (Nov. 1978), in Tenant Management of Public
Housing: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on
Housing and Community Development of the House Comm. on Banking, Finance and Urban
Affairs, 99th Cong. 123, 133 (1986).
n138. Id. at 134.
n139. Id. at 135-36.
n140. Monti, supra note 134, at 50.
n141. See W. Dennis Keating
& Janet Smith, Past Federal Policy for Urban Neighborhoods, in Revitalizing
Urban Neighborhoods 50, 54-55 (W. Dennis Keating et al. eds., 1996).
n142. David Caprara
& Bill Alexander, Empowering Residents of Public
Housing: A Resource Guide for Resident Management 14 (National Center for Neighborhood
Enterprise ed., 1989); ICF Inc., U.S. Dep't of
Housing and Urb. Dev., Evaluation of Resident Management in Public
Housing 1-3 (1992) [hereinafter ICF 1992].
n143. 1986 Hearing, supra note 128, at 28-29 (statement of Robert L. Woodson,
President, National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, Washington, D.C.).
n144. Robert L. Woodson, Race and Economic Opportunity,
42 Vand. L. Rev. 1017, 1019, 1025-26 (1989).
Id. at 1037.
n146. 1986 Hearing, supra note 128, at 39 (statement of Kimi Gray, Chairperson,
Kenilworth-Parkside Resident Management Corp., Washington, D.C.).
n147. ICF 1992, supra note 142, at 9-8.
n148. Id. at 9-7.
n149. Id. at 9-2.
n150. See Mary Wachter, Kimi Gray, the Miracle Worker, and Christmas in April, in
Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Building Communities That Work 51, 52-53 (1996)
(describing Kimi Gray as
"an authentic miracle worker" who organized her tenants to register to vote, petition the mayor to turn over
management of the complex, and take classes in home repair and household
budgeting; and who fined and evicted them for infractions of house rules); See
also Louie Estrada, Public
Housing Advocate Kimi Gray Dies: Northeast Woman a Leader in Converting Projects to
Resident Ownership, Wash. Post, Mar. 4, 2000, at B7.
n151. Monti, supra note 134, at 45.
n153. ICF 1992, supra note 142, at 9-3, 9-4.
n154. Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Office of Public and Assisted
Housing Properties Under Management by Resident Management Corporations (n.d.) (Apr.
26, 2000) (received by author). The list does not cover
"dually managed" public
housing projects, in which public
housing authorities and residents split responsibilities, and erroneously excludes the
venerable Bromley-Heath Tenant Management Corporation, which the Boston
Housing Authority removed from and restored to full management responsibilities. See
e-mail from Mary Lou Crane, Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Secretary's Representative for New England (May 3,
2000) (on file with author).
n155. See 1986 Hearing, supra note 128, at 6 (H.R. 4026); and statements of officers
of resident management corporations and Robert Woodson in support of H.R. 4026,
Housing and Community Development Act of 1987, Pub. L. No. 100-242, 122, 101 Stat.
1839 (1987) (codified as amended at
42 U.S.C. 1437r(a)).
n157. Id. at 122, 101 Stat. at 1842 (codified as amended at
42 U.S.C. 1437r(f)).
n158. Gregg G. Van Ryzin, The Impact of Resident Management on Residents'
Satisfaction with Public
Housing, 20 Eval. Rev. 485, 486 (1996).
Housing and Community Development Act 122, 101 Stat. at 1842.
N160. ICF Inc., Report on Emerging Resident Management Corporations in Public
Housing 3-11, 3-12 (1993) [hereinafter ICF 1993].
n161. Id. at 4-4.
n162. For the 1988-1998 figures on the
"TOP" program, see U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Office of Public and Indian
Housing, Fact Sheet: Tenant Opportunities Program (TOP) (July 1998). HUD changed the
name of the technical assistance program it administered under the
Housing and Community Development Act of 1987, codified at
42 U.S.C. 1437f(r),
"Resident Management Technical Assistance and Training," from the
"Resident Management Program," to the
"Tenant Opportunities Program" in 1994, as part of a major re-drafting of the program's regulations.
59 Fed. Reg. 43,622, 43,628 (Aug. 24, 1994). Section 34 of the QHWRA, which replaces
42 U.S.C. 1437r(f), does require HUD to report by 2001 on the performance of tenant
organizations under the grant program. QHWRA 538(b), 112 Stat. 2461, 2594
n163. Department of
Housing and Urban Development,
59 Fed. Reg. 43,622, 43,636 (1994) (to be codified at 24 C.F.R. pt. 964).
n164. Department of
Housing and Urban Development,
59 Fed. Reg. at 43,622.
n165. .See, e.g., Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Public and Indian
Housing, Notice, PIH 96-5 (Feb. 13, 1996) [hereinafter PIH Notice] (clarifying
procedures set forth for elections to residents' councils in 24 C.F.R. pt.
964); PIH Notice 96-29 (May 16, 1996) (citing organizational development as an
example of allowable subjects for training to be completed within the first
three to six months of award of the technical assistance grant); Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Public and Indian
Housing, Tenant Opportunities: Semi-Annual Report, Form HUD-52370, at 2 (May 1996)
(noting adoption of bylaws, incorporation, and training in
"leadership and organization capacity" as elements of
n166. PIH Notice, 96-29, 2 (1996).
n167. Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Final Rule,
59 Fed. Reg. 43,622 (1994).
& Henig, supra note 105 and accompanying text. Jennifer J. Curhan, The HUD
Reinvention: A Critical Analysis,
5 B.U. Pub. Int. L.J. 239 (1996).
n170. Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Notice of Funding Availability for FY 1996 for the
Public and Indian
Housing Tenant Opportunities Program Technical Assistance,
61 Fed. Reg. 35,021, 35,022 (1996).
n171. H.R. Rep. No. 104-812 (1996) (stating that
"The Conferees are concerned about reports of wasteful spending practices and
allegedly fraudulent activities within the program, practices which put the
program at risk of elimination altogether").
n172. PIH Notice, 95-20 (1995) (advising resident's groups and public
housing authorities on proper competitive bidding procedures to select consultants for
"full service approach," in which applicants chosen to assist in writing proposals for TOP grants would
remain to assist in implementation); PIH Notice, 96-67 (1996) (requiring
establishment of written procurement procedures for materials and services).
n173. PIH Notice, 96-18 (1996) (restricting residents' organizations' use of grant
funds for travel, to insure that travel funds are used for relevant training);
PIH Notice, 96-48 (1996) (requiring grantees to submit semi-annual performance
reports, on new form).
n174. Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Combined Notices of Funding Availability for FY 1997
for the Public and Indian
Housing Economic Development and Supportive Services Program and the Tenant
62 Fed. Reg. 31,272, 31,273 (1997) [hereinafter NOFA FY 1997].
Id. at 31272.
42 U.S.C. 608 (a) (7) (A) (1998) (prohibiting states from using funds under the Temporary
Assistance to Needy Families program to assist any family with an adult who has
received assistance for sixty months, starting with the commencement of the
state program funded under the statute). Congressional Research Service,
Welfare Reform: State Programs Under The Block Grants For Temporary Assistance
For Needy Families, at 5, Table 2 (1997) (listing major elements of the welfare
plans that forty states, Guam and the District of Columbia had submitted to the
Department of Health and Human Services as of Jan. 31, 1997. Of the plans,
fourteen either limited assistance to a number of months within a sixty month
period, or imposed a lifetime restriction of fewer than sixty months).
n176. NOFA FY 1997, supra note 174, at 31,286.
n177. Id. at 31283.
n178. Id. at 31284-85.
n179. Id. at 31283.
n180. Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Consolidated Economic Development and Supportive
Services and Tenant Opportunities Programs, Notice of Funding Availability,
63 Fed. Reg. 23907, 23908 (1998).
Id. at 23910.
n182. QHWRA 532, 112 Stat. at 2575. Id. at 538, 112 Stat. at 2592.
n183. Id. at 538(a), 112 Stat. at 2592-93.
n184. Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Notice of Funding Availability: Resident Opportunities
and Self Sufficiency (ROSS) Program,
64 Fed. Reg. 43,530, 43,531 (1999) [hereinafter FY 1999 ROSS NOFA].
Id. at 43,532.
Id. at 43,535.
n187. Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Funding Availability for Public
Housing Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency (ROSS) Program,
65 Fed. Reg. 9697, 9701 (2000) [hereinafter FY 2000 ROSS NOFA].
n188. Department Of
Housing And Urban Development, Office Of Inspector, Audit Report: Tenant Opportunity
Program Grantees, District Of Columbia
Housing Authority 2-4 (2000) (concluding that, as a result of inadequate oversight and
training by HUD and the D.C.
Housing Authority, seven District of Columbia recipients of TOP grants spent about
half of their funds on ineligible expenses, during the evaluation period of
1/1/98 through 9/30/99. These expenses included a cruise and a training trip to
Las Vegas, and some large screen TVs. Recipients failed to reconcile their bank
accounts or keep their checkbooks secure, and they let their consultants write
n189. Herbert J. Rubin, There Ain't Going to be Any Bakeries if There is No Money to
Afford Jellyrolls: The Organic Theory of Community Based Development, 41 Soc.
Probs. 401, 405 (1994) (noting a history of conflict between community based
organizations and their funders, whether from government or the private sector,
over whether to place priority on measurable products such as
housing, or on less tangible projects such as community empowerment).
n190. Allan D. Wallis, Toward a Paradigm of Community-Making, 85 Nat'l Civic Rev.
34, 35 (1996); Norman J. Glickman
& Lisa J. Servon, More Than Bricks and Sticks: Five Components of Community
Development Corporation Capacity, 9 Hous. Pol'y Debate 497, 499-502 (1998)
(summarizing recent developments in funding for
"comprehensive community initiatives" and other community building projects that focus on developing the leadership
capacity or community-based organizations).
& Servon, supra note 190, at 501-506.
n192. Gregg. G. Van Ryzin, The Impact of Resident Management on Residents'
Satisfaction with Public
Housing, 20 Eval. Rev. 485, 499 (1996) (in a study of resident satisfaction with
resident management in public
housing complexes, finding that residents placed little value on opportunities to be
involved in decisions about the property); Rubin, supra note 189, at 403
(questioning whether development activities draw the administrators of
community based organizations away from advocacy).
n193. QHWRA 535, 112 Stat. at 2581 (incorporating the pragmatic standards of HOPE VI
into law). Jerry J. Salama, The Redevelopment of Distressed Public
Housing: Early Results from HOPE VI Projects in Atlanta, Chicago, and San Antonio, 10
Hous. Pol'y Debate 95, 97 (1999) (describing the goals of the QHWRA as
"distilled" from HUD's Notices of Funding Availability for the HOPE VI program in
1996-98). Eileen M. Greenbaum, Quality
Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998: Its Major Impact on the Development of
Housing, 8 J. Affordable Hous.
& Comm. Dev. L. 310, 310 (1999) (tracing line of descent from the National
Commission's Report through Pub. L. 102-389, the Urban Revitalization
Demonstration, Department of Veterans Affairs and HUD and Independent Agencies
Appropriations Act of 1993, and continued through successive HUD appropriations
bills as HOPE VI). Peter W. Salsich, Jr., Thinking Regionally About Affordable
Housing and Neighborhood Development,
28 Stetson L. Rev. 577, 588-89 n.75, n.79 (1999).
n194. Salama, supra note 193, at 131.
n195. Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Funding Availability for the HOPE VI Program,
65 Fed. Reg. 9599, 9613 (Feb. 24, 2000) [hereinafter HOPE VI, FY 2000 NOFA].
n196. Salama, supra note 193, at 106.
n197. Id. at 108.
n198. It is almost impossible to retrieve a representative sample from the 247 HOPE
VI projects funded through 1999. See supra note 47. Wide variations are
possible within the same region depending on local law, the particular local
housing authorities' ability to garner high levels of public subsidy to bring down the
costs of renovation or construction, or make development sufficiently
attractive to the private sector so that market rate or
housing at the high end will subsidize the very low rent units. For example, a local
one for one replacement rule will mandate the complete replacement of
housing units in the Samuel Madden site in Alexandria, Virginia. Telephone
conversation with Paul Fiscella, attorney for the Alexandria Residents' Council
(Dec. 17, 1999). See also
Housing Research Foundation, Samuel Madden Homes: HOPE VI Site Profile, available at
www.housingresearch. org/hrf/hrf, visited June 30, 2000) (that the Alexandria,
Virginia Redevelopment and
Housing Authority will demolish and fully replace 100 public
housing units, with an additional 14 units to be built for
"affordable homeownership" and 152 unsubsidized homeownership units;) id, George B. Murphy Homes, Emerson
Julian Gardens: HOPE VI Site Profile (demolition by Baltimore City
Housing Authority of 793 units and replacement with 260, with
"over half" providing affordable homeownership, and no detail on disposition of the other
n199. See, e.g.,
Housing Research Foundation, St. Thomas HOPE VI Site Profile, Update Jan. 4, 2000,
available at www.housingresearch.org/hrf/hrf (stating that the
Housing Authority of New Orleans planned with its 1996 HOPE VI grant to demolish 1310
of 1510 units of the St. Thomas development, and reserve 30% of the remaining
two hundred units after their rehabilitation for families earning under 30% of
median income; 51% of the complex was vacant).
n200. See HOPE VI, FY 2000 NOFA, supra note 195, at 9600 (allowing up to 15% of
grant money to pay for community and supportive services); id. at 9604-5
housing authority to include information in its VI proposal about how it will track
relocated residents in order to provide social services to them; listing
eligible activities for Community and Supportive Services funds).
n201. Arthur J. Naparstek, Susan R. Freis
& G.Thomas Kingsley, prepared for the Department of
Housing and Urban Development, HOPE VI: Community Building Makes A Difference at 17-20
(Feb. 2000) (describing the HOPE VI revitalization of the Windsor Terrace
housing complex in Columbus, Ohio). The Windsor Terrace HOPE VI project replaced 442
housing units with 230. Id. at 19. While 6% of the former residents were
"gainfully employed," id. at 17, 160 of the household heads of families moving into the new 230
units had jobs, id. at 18. Of the new occupants, only 89 out of the original
359 residents occupying the complex before demolition had returned. The authors
of this study commented that this return rate of under 25% repeats in other
HOPE VI sites. Id. at 20.
n202. HUD HOPE VI Baseline, supra note 61, at 1-1 (1996) (introduction to the
Baseline Assessment Study); id. at Exhibit 6-3,
"Impacts on Original Residents" at 6-6 (table indicating questions about participation in HOPE VI process,
relocation, and return, to be researched as part of the five and ten year
n203. See 24 C.F.R. 941.600 (2000) (authorizing public
"...to use a combination of private financing and public
housing development funds to develop public
housing units,..." and along with development partners
"...to structure transactions that make use of private and/or public sources of
n204. Salama, supra note 193 at 119. It was possible, but not yet assured, at the
time of writing that the strong
housing market in Chicago might allow the Chicago
Housing Authority to garner sufficient rents from the market rate units in its HOPE VI
partnerships to subsidize the rents for public
housing units. Id.
n205. Salama, supra note 193 at 110-11(of the 421 units in this complex, all to be
demolished, 208 would be replaced as public
housing units, and 105 as single family homes, with the
housing authority developing 203 replacement public
housing units off site.)
n206. Paul K. Casey, Jane E. Sheehan
& Jon M. Laria, Public
Housing, Private Development: The Lawyer's Role,
11 Probate & Property 56,60 (Sept./Oct.1997)
n207. See Salama, supra note 193, at 97, 98 n.3 (citing
"legitimate resident concerns about landgrabs" and quoting attorneys for residents of public
housing complexes in Chicago); U.S. General Accounting Office, HOPE VI: Progress and
Problems in Revitalizing Distressed Public
Housing 16 (July 1998) (describing residents' fears of displacement in favor of
development interests in Atlanta, Chicago, and Boston).
n208. Elvin K. Wyly
& Daniel J. Hammell, Islands of Decay in Seas of Renewal:
Housing Policy and the Resurgence of
Housing Pol'y Debate 711, 745 (1999)
n209. HUD HOPE VI Baseline, supra note 61, at 7-1 (1996) (that
housing authorities in San Francisco and Atlanta
"have a history of not delivering on promises to public
housing tenants" with resultant suspicion on the tenants' part).
n210. See Judy Rakowsky, Cathedral Complex Tenants Seek Cutoff of Federal Funds,
Boston Globe, Aug. 7, 1999, at B4, col. 5 (residents of the Cathedral public
housing complex in Boston's South End oppose city's HOPE VI application, due to plans
to reserve only a third of the new development's units for poor tenants);
Telephone conversation with Jay Rose, attorney for Cathedral complex tenants,
Greater Boston Legal Services, July 6, 2000 (once the Boston
Housing Authority (BHA) rejected the Cathedral residents' suggestion to diversify
neighborhood incomes by converting some units of the complex to units
affordable for residents at 40-80% of median income rather than to straight
market rate units, since the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood already was
experiencing an infusion of high-income renters, the residents filed written
protests with HUD, which denied the BHA's HOPE VI application).
n211. See cases cited at note 66 for litigation by residents against the Chicago
Housing Authority and HUD; and at note 67 for litigation by the established resident
council of the Alexandria, Virginia public
housing community to force the
housing authority to recognize its bid to develop the property. Residents of the
Mission Main complex in Boston negotiated the right to return of all five
hundred households in occupancy before the beginning of demolition, with a
rental mix of 300 of the 535 projected units to be affordable to residents
below 30% of median income, 145 for residents at 35-65% of median, and 90 to be
market rate. Telephone conversation with Jay Rose, attorney for Mission Main
tenants, supra note 210.
n212. See Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Rule to Deconcentrate Poverty and Promote Integration
65 Fed. Reg. 81,213, 81,215 (Dec. 22, 2000) (explaining how
Housing Authorities may skip over applicants on waiting lists to further a
n213. HOPE VI, FY 2000 NOFA, supra note 195, at 9604 (requirements for public
meetings for HOPE VI Revitalization applications); id. at 9608 (documentation
required to show compliance with requirement of public meetings).
n214. Id. at 9614 (awarding one point for communicating
"regularly and significantly with affected residents and members of the
surrounding community about your application..." and demonstrating that
"affected residents" received
"substantive opportunities to participate in the development of your HOPE VI plan").
n215. QHWRA 505, 112 Stat. at 2523. Exceptions include public
housing authorities in states which require members of governing bodies to be salaried
and to serve full time; and authorities with fewer than three hundred units, if
the resident advisory board receives and fails to respond to notice that
residents may serve. Id. See also Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Proposed Rule,
64 Fed. Reg. 33,644, 33,645 (June 23, 1999) (implementing Pub.L. 105-276, 505).
n216. QHWRA 511, 112 Stat. at 2534.
n217. Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Public
Housing Agency Plans, Final Rule,
64 Fed. Reg. 56,844, 56,862 (to be codified at
24 C.F.R. 903.5) (describing the information that a
housing authority must include in its five year plan);
id. at 56,863 (to be codified at
24 C.F.R. 903.7) (describing the information that must be included in an annual plan);
id. at 56,866 (to be codified at
24 C.F.R. 903.13) (describing the role and composition of the Resident Advisory Board).
Id. at 56,866 (describing process of consultation with resident advisory board before
submission of the annual plan);
id. at 56,867 (to be codified at
24 C.F.R. 905.21) (describing process of consultation with resident advisory board
"or other resident organization" before submission of the five year plan).
n219. See David B. Bryson
& Daniel P. Lindsey, The Annual Public
Housing Authority Plan: A New Opportunity to Influence Local Public
Housing and Section 8 Policy, 33 Clearinghouse Rev. 87, 103 (May-June 1999).
n220. HUD's final rule requires the public
housing authority only to provide a copy of the plan at its central office during
business hours; to publish one 45 day notice of a public hearing, to be held at
"convenient to the tenants;" and to conduct
"generally reasonable outreach activities." Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Public
Housing Agency Plans, Final Rule,
64 Fed. Reg. 56,844, 56,866 (to be codified at
24 C.F.R. 903.17).
n221. HUD HOPE VI Baseline, supra note 61, at 5-12 (1996)
n222. Department of
Housing and Urban Development, General Guidance on Resident and Community Involvement
1 (Oct. 1999), available at www.hud.gov/pih/programs/ph/hope6/
n223. Id. at 2.
n224. Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Public
Housing Agency Plans, Final Rule,
64 Fed. Reg. 56,844, 56,862 (to be codified at
24 C.F.R. 903.13(b)).
n225. Rebekah Levine Coley, Frances E. Kuo
& William L. Sullivan, Where Does Community Grow? The Social Context Created by
Nature in Urban Public
Housing, 29 Env.
& Behavior 468, 473-4 (1997).
n226. Id. at 477-8.
n227. Id. at 481.
n228. Id. at 486.
n229. Id. at 488-490.
n230. Coley, Kuo
& Sullivan, supra note 225, at 488-9 (citing F.E. Kuo, W.C. Sullivan, R.L. Coley
& L. Brunson, Fertile Ground For Community: Innercity Neighborhood Common Space
n231. Id. at 490.
n232. Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, An Invisible Community: Inside Chicago's Public
Housing, 8 Am. Prospect, (Sept.-Oct.1997), available at
www.prospect.org/archives/34/34venkfs.html. Over twenty-five years ago Carol
Stack documented how two poor African American families living in privately
housing developed patterns of mutual reliance different from those expected from a
stereotypical middle class life style. Carol Stack, All Our Kin: Strategies for
Survival in a Black Community 1-10 (1974).
n233. Phone conversation with Jay Rose, supra note 210; HUD HOPE VI Baseline, supra
note 61, at 3-27.
n234. See Young
& Christos-Rodgers, supra note 65, at 104-110.
Housing Research Foundation, St. Thomas HOPE VI Site Profile, supra note 199; E-mail correspondence from Prof. William Quigley, Loyola University
Law School at New Orleans, July 7, 2000.
n236. Public Broadcasting Service,
"Great Streets - Fifth Avenue with Brian Stokes Mitchell," shown July 5, 2000; available at
Prepared: January 24, 2003 - 5:02:29 PM
Edited and Updated, January 25, 2003
Kristen A. Stelljes