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Blueprint for Disaster: The Unraveling of Chicago Public Housing (Historical Studies of Urban America)

Blueprint for Disaster: The Unraveling of Chicago Public Housing (Historical Studies of Urban America) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Now considered a dysfunctional mess, Chicagoand#8217;s public housing projects once had long waiting lists of would-be residents hoping to leave the slums behind. So what went wrong? To answer this complicated question, D. Bradford Hunt traces public housingand#8217;s history in Chicago from its New Deal roots through current mayor Richard M. Daleyand#8217;s Plan for Transformation. In the process, he chronicles the Chicago Housing Authorityand#8217;s own transformation from the cityand#8217;s most progressive government agency to its largest slumlord.

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Challenging explanations that attribute the projectsand#8217; decline primarilyand#160;to racial discrimination and real estate interests, Hunt argues that well-intentioned but misguided policy decisionsand#8212;ranging from design choices to maintenance contractsand#8212;also paved the road to failure. Moreover, administrators who fully understood the potential drawbacks did not try to halt such deeply flawed projects as Cabrini-Green and the Robert Taylor Homes. These massive high-rise complexes housed unprecedented numbers of children but relatively few adults, engendering disorder that pushed out the working class and, consequently, the rents needed to maintain the buildings. The resulting combination of fiscal crisis, managerial incompetence, and social unrest plunged the CHA into a quagmire from which it is still struggling to emerge.

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;Blueprint for Disaster, then,is an urgent reminder of the havoc poorly conceived policy can wreak on our most vulnerable citizens.

Synopsis:

For many years Chicagoandrsquo;s looming large-scale housing projects defined the city, and their demolition and redevelopmentandmdash;via the Chicago Housing Authorityandrsquo;s Plan for Transformationandmdash;has been perhaps the most startling change in the cityandrsquo;s urban landscape in the last twenty years. The Plan, which reflects a broader policy effort to remake public housing in cities across the country, seeks to deconcentrate poverty by transforming high-poverty public housing complexes into mixed-income developments and thereby integrating once-isolated public housing residents into the social and economic fabric of the city. But is the Plan an ambitious example of urban regeneration or a not-so-veiled effort at gentrification?

In the most thorough examination of mixed-income public housing redevelopment to date, Robert J. Chaskin and Mark L. Joseph draw on five years of field research, in-depth interviews, and volumes of data to demonstrate that while considerable progress has been made in transforming the complexes physically, the integrationist goals of the policy have not been met. They provide a highly textured investigation into what it takes to design, finance, build, and populate a mixed-income development, and they illuminate the many challenges and limitations of the policy as a solution to urban poverty. Timely and relevant, Chaskin and Josephandrsquo;s findings raise concerns about the increased privatization of housing for the poor while providing a wide range of recommendations for a better way forward.

About the Author

D. Bradford Hunt is associate dean and associate professor of social science at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Introductionand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; What Went Wrong with Public Housing in Chicago?

Chapter 1and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; The 1937 Housing Act Revisited

Chapter 2and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Building the Chicago Housing Authority

Chapter 3and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Clearing Chicagoand#8217;s Slums

Chapter 4and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; The End of Integration and the Taming of the CHA

Chapter 5and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Designing High-Rise Disasters

Chapter 6and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Planning a Social Disaster

Chapter 7and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; The Loss of the Working Class

Chapter 8and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; The Tenants Revolt

Chapter 9and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; The Gautreaux Case and the Limits of Judicial Activism

Chapter 10and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; The Long Road to Rebirth

Conclusionand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; The Unraveling of Public Housing in Chicago

Acknowledgments

A Note on Sources

NotesIndex

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226360850
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Subject:
Sociology - Urban
Author:
Joseph, Mark L.
Author:
Hunt, D. Bradford
Author:
Chaskin, Robert J.
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Planning
Subject:
History
Subject:
Public housing -- Illinois -- Chicago.
Subject:
United States - State & Local - Midwest
Subject:
Public Policy - Social Policy
Subject:
World History-General
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Historical Studies of Urban America
Publication Date:
20090731
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
28 halftones, 4 line drawings, 1 table
Pages:
392
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Urban Planning
Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » City Specific
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » General
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Blueprint for Disaster: The Unraveling of Chicago Public Housing (Historical Studies of Urban America)
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Product details 392 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226360850 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
For many years Chicagoandrsquo;s looming large-scale housing projects defined the city, and their demolition and redevelopmentandmdash;via the Chicago Housing Authorityandrsquo;s Plan for Transformationandmdash;has been perhaps the most startling change in the cityandrsquo;s urban landscape in the last twenty years. The Plan, which reflects a broader policy effort to remake public housing in cities across the country, seeks to deconcentrate poverty by transforming high-poverty public housing complexes into mixed-income developments and thereby integrating once-isolated public housing residents into the social and economic fabric of the city. But is the Plan an ambitious example of urban regeneration or a not-so-veiled effort at gentrification?

In the most thorough examination of mixed-income public housing redevelopment to date, Robert J. Chaskin and Mark L. Joseph draw on five years of field research, in-depth interviews, and volumes of data to demonstrate that while considerable progress has been made in transforming the complexes physically, the integrationist goals of the policy have not been met. They provide a highly textured investigation into what it takes to design, finance, build, and populate a mixed-income development, and they illuminate the many challenges and limitations of the policy as a solution to urban poverty. Timely and relevant, Chaskin and Josephandrsquo;s findings raise concerns about the increased privatization of housing for the poor while providing a wide range of recommendations for a better way forward.

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