The Future of Public Housing

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

In 1936, Atlanta, Georgia, built the nation's first housing project. Soon, more of the city's population lived in the projects than in any other city in the nation. Now, Atlanta is set to knock all the big projects down and become the first big city without projects. The U.S. House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity is holding hearings today on the future of housing. In light of Atlanta's move (and the plans of other big cities like Chicago, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles), we are looking at whether public housing projects have a future. To discuss this issue is Renee L. Glover, the president and CEO of Atlanta's Housing Authority, and Representative Maxine Waters, the Democrat from California, who is the Chairwoman of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity.

For more, the AP has put together a video essay on Atlanta's move away from public housing:


Renee L. Glover and Rep. Maxine Waters

Hosted by:

Amy Holmes

Produced by:

Abbie Fentress Swanson


Melissa Locker

Comments [3]

Deirdre Oakley

The Georgia State University Urban Health Initiative is conducting a study focused on answering Congresswoman Water's policy concerns. We interviewed 387 residents before relocation and are now interviewing these residents again as they relocate. Here are some of our findings:

1. Ms Glover is correct about the crime issue: crime does not follow the public housing residents has they are relocated. That assumption is based on anecdotol accounts, not methodological sound research.

2. We found that while 60 percent of the residents in the family communities wanted to relocate, only 29 percent in Senior communities did.

3. We found many entered public housing because they fell on hard times. Without the opportunity to enter public housing they may have become homeless.

4. The majority of the residents we've interviewed this summer are moving to other poor neighborhoods -- in many cases not far from the public housing communities being raised.

Jul. 29 2009 12:14 PM
Rick White (spokesman for AHA)

After fifteen years some remain unaware of the so-called "Atlanta Model" of housing and urban policy. Here is a three-part summary:

1.90+ percent of the families living the Atlanta's projects voiced their support of Atlanta's strategy.
2.HUD last year approved razing the remaining large family housing projects owned by AHA. Families have found new places to live and have relocated to private single-family homes or apartments homes of their choice.
3. Eligible families pay the same amount of rent in their new homes as they paid to live in the public housing projects. (

Even though all of the AHA large housing projects will be demolished, the agency today provides housing rental assistance to about 6,000 more residents than it did in 1995. (

Jul. 29 2009 09:09 AM
Dave Brubeck

I certainly hope we see the end of this type of destructive welfare programs. It strips people of all desire to be productive members of society and has been proven to be a complete failure.

Jul. 29 2009 08:16 AM

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