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Federal Subsidized Housing - Essay Example

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The initial goal of public housing was to provide decent housing for poor and low- income households. Historically, there have been two types of public housing in Chicago: for families and for the elderly…
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Federal Subsidized Housing
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Download file to see previous pages The CHA is governed by commissioners who are appointed by the mayor. The first Executive Director of the CHA was Elizabeth Wood. Who served for 17 years. During the Wood years the CHA became immersed in perpetuating an obvious pattern of institutional racism: The federal Housing Act of 1937 in conjunction with the Chicago Public Works Administration were successful in completing four low-rise (two to four story building prior to World War II. Three of these projects were opened in 1938: Jane Adams House, on the near west side, comprising of 32 buildings which housed 1,027 families; Julia C, Lanthrop Homes on the north side housed 925 families and Trumbull Park Homes on the far south side for 426 families. These three complexes were built primarily for whites (although 2.5 per cent or 60 units were set aside for African Americans). In 1940 The CHA embarked on a pattern which would later be challenged as a social, moral and legal travesty. In 1941 the CHA completed construction of its first public housing project exclusive for African Americans and situated it in the heart of an African American (Ghetto) neighborhood. The Ida B. Wells House was considerably larger than the CHA’s previous projects, and it accommodated 1,662 families....
a myth which permeated every (white) neighborhood in Chicago. Not only did the CHA

promote its promulgation on the local level, the federal government under the
"Neighborhood Composition Rule", gave tacit approval for the furtherance of

institutional racism, when it stipulated: that the tenants of a housing development be of

the same race as the people in the area in which it was situated. (Hilliard1966)

Many northerners took a special type of "white" pride in decrying the antics and

overt racism of their southern brothers, while declaring that they (northern whites) were

all liberals, who believed in the absolute provisions of the Declaration of Independence,

The Bill of Rights and the Constitution, which provides human and civil rights for all

men, regardless of their race or skin color. In his pre World War II study of the race

situation in America, Gunnar Myrdal presented his findings on the heightened hypocrisy

which existed in the souls and minds of most white Americans in general and in this

instance of Chicagoans in particular;

Another form of discrimination in the North against Negroes is in the market for

Houses and apartments; whites try to keep Negroes out of white neighborhoods by

Restrictive covenants. The legality of these covenants is open to dispute, but in so

Far as the local courts uphold them, the discrimination is in the legal principle, not

In the individual cases brought to court. (Myrdal 527)

This study by Myrdal is required reading (at least passages and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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