A Public Housing Experiment Faces Problems

The Chicago Tribune examines what became of an ambitious city project, led by Mayor Daley, to revolutionize public housing. Private developers received public funding to tear down old projects and replace them with mixed-use neighborhoods.

"Conceived amid a rising housing market, the city's Plan for Transformation used hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars and virtual giveaways of public land to reverse decades of neglect that confined the city's poorest residents to racially segregated ghettos.

Demolition of Chicago's reviled high-rises became a national symbol of change and hope, but little attention has been focused on what happened next as rhetoric collided with realities.

A Tribune investigation found that almost nine years into what was billed as a 10-year program, the city has completed only 30 percent of the plan's most ambitious element-tearing down entire housing projects and replacing them with new neighborhoods where poor, working-class and wealthier families would live side by side.

In fact, of those public housing units that have been built, nearly half went up before the plan officially started in 2000.

The consequences of these failures go far beyond Chicago. The federal government also prodded dozens of cities across the country to adopt similar blueprints for fixing their public housing sites. Since then, many of those projects have stalled as well."

Full Story: Public housing limbo

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95
City Plate table setting

New Arrival! City Plates

City downtown cores printed on gorgeous decorative collectible porcelain plates.
$50.00