Looking Back to Move Forward: A Case Study Analysis of Neighborhood Programming in Atlanta, GA
Date of Award
Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP)
Planning, Development and Preservation
Dr. Mickey Lauria (Committee Chair)
Dr. Clifford Ellis
Neighborhood revitalization and housing policy has constantly shifted over the past several decades in the United States. As Schwartz (2015) explains, “The primary goal of housing policy has traditionally been to improve the quality of the housing stock and eliminate substandard housing” (p.28). While the beginning of the 1900s issued in an era of slum-clearance within some of the most distressed neighborhoods in the country, the subsidization and construction of public housing was initiated during the post-Depression era to support working families trying to transition into home-owners. While this program supported America’s low-income and predominantly minority occupied-housing residents, the lack of maintenance and support as well as the concentration of poverty led to higher crime rates and deterioration of America’s struggling public housing units. When the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) began the HOPE VI Program (Housing Opportunity for People Everywhere) in the early 1990s, its main goal was to demolish America’s most distressed public housing developments, leverage public-private support, and redevelop them into mixed-income communities. Since then, HUD has successfully provided over $4B to select Public Housing Authorities to redevelop some of America’s most distressed public housing sites into mixed-income communities. Overall, the HOPE VI Program has been successful at leveraging public-private financing to redevelop public housing developments, and the improvements have truly promoted a higher quality of living for residents. With this, one particular criticism for the program is addressed by Schwartz (2015) who explains, “Many of these projects have been replaced with much nicer, often mixed-income developments, but the result is a net loss of subsidized units” (p.48). With this, HOPE VI has also been criticized for displacing more low-income people than retaining in these developments. While it is argued that many successes and issues came from the implementation of the HOPE VI program, an new idea for promoting place-based programming, and linking physical development to social implications have prompted cities to rethink neighborhood redevelopment.
Trawick, Thomas E., "Looking Back to Move Forward: A Case Study Analysis of Neighborhood Programming in Atlanta, GA" (2016). Master of City and Regional Planning Terminal Projects. 67.