Atlanta was the first city in the country to build a public housing project. By 2010, it will likely be the first to eradicate every last one of them.
At a high point (literally, though not figuratively), the number of public housing units in Atlanta numbered more than 14,000. If all goes according to plan, there soon will be none aside from a handful of apartments for the elderly and infirm. Most of the Atlanta Housing Authority's projects already have been replaced by mixed-income communities, which do wonders for reducing crime and improving neighborhoods. But they don't offer the same assistance to the down-and-out that the AHA projects did.
The big question about this massive urban renewal initiative has been: What happened to all the low-income families who lived in public housing? Did the vouchers they received, for reduced rent, help better their lives? There is some evidence that suggests that many former resident's lives were, in fact, improved.
Researchers at Georgia State University are trying to find out if that's true.
A team from GSU's Sociology Department recently launched an ambitious study that will follow nearly 400 public housing residents who are about to be displaced in the latest and, likely, final round of public housing demolition.
According to a preliminary report, released yesterday:
We plan to follow these residents after they are relocated for a minimum of two years to examine how relocation impacts their lives: Do they end up in better neighborhoods and have improved living conditions?
The families currently live in Bankhead Courts, Bowen Homes, Herndon Homes, Hollywood Courts, Palmer House and Roosevelt House.
The report also contains some interesting stats. For instance, 10 percent of public housing residents say they ended up in public housing because they lost their home or job. Obviously, the number of Atlanta's jobless and homeless is all but certain to rise in the midst of this full-blown recession.
Because the economy is currently imploding, one of the conclusions in the report is that "eliminating [public housing units] altogether could inadvertently lead to an increase in homelessness."
One of its recommendations states:
Do not demolish all the remaining family public housing. Keep some units available for low-income residents who have no other options. Another option would be to develop some form of transitional public housing for those who lose their homes or jobs due to economic downturns, who need a short-term helping hand.
Casinos in Underground Atlanta would bring in revenue, people and tax income for the city.
"Downtown doesn't feel dangerous so much as lonely." Bingo. It's perfectly safe, even at night,…
Yes to this: Downtown needs more people! But I suspect that it needs more residents…
"Sorry but NOAA and NASA both have been shown to provide info based on false…
Sorry but NOAA and NASA both have been shown to provide info based on false…
Ykcir - the site you linked is run by a former TV weatherman. While the…