Built Environments #7: A Presentation on Former Atlanta Public Housing Residents

1: Vulnerable Populations: A Spotlight on Atlanta’s Public Housing Developments
– this is a presentation that I gave in March on a report:
Moved Out to Where?
Initial Relocation Destinations of Former Public Housing Residents in Atlanta
A Preliminary Brief
Georgia State University
Urban Health Initiative
– it’s about former public housing residents in Atlanta and where they relocated when there complexes were demolished
– the background info comes from that report and some other places, all of the charts and graphs come from that same GSU report

2.“Public health should advocate and work for the empowerment of disenfranchised community members, aiming to ensure that the basic resources and conditions necessary for health are accessible to all” – American Public Health Association, Public Health Leadership Society 2002

3. Learning Objectives

  • -identify what risk factors contribute to vulnerability in urban settings
  • identify vulnerable populations in metro-Atlanta
  • identify environmental features (including those of the built environment) that may increase the harm of other risk factors 
  • create a Built Environment that addresses the risk factors of low-income vulnerable populations in Atlanta

4. Old school housing projects

5. Former Housing Projects in Atlanta

  • Replaced by mixed-income communities: Capitol Homes, Carver Homes, Eagan Homes, East Lake Meadows, Grady Homes, Harris Homes, Harris Chiles, John Hope Homes, McDaniel-Glenn Homes, Perry Homes, Techwood/Clark Howell
  • Not re-built: Antoine Graves, Bankhead Courts, Bowen Homes, Englewood Manor, Herndon Homes, Hollywood Courts. Jonesboro North, Jonesboro South, Leila Valley, Palmer House, Roosevelt House, Thomasville Heights, University Homes, U-Rescue Villa

6.) Bowen Homes Photo : A former public housing complex and a young man who lost a friend as a result of violence within the community

Risk factors of public housing: People in public housing are disproportionately exposed to conditions that can contribute to disease or effect quality of life.

  • poverty
  • underlying disease
  • children’s inexperience
  • financial circumstances
  • built environments
  • functional/developmental status
  • ability to communicate effectively
  • presence of chronic or terminal illness of disability
  • isolation
  • advanced age
  • lack of social capital

7. HOPE VI: Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere

  • 1992 the HOPE VI Program was created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a result of recommendations by National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing
  • The Commission recommended revitalization in three general areas: physical improvements, management improvements, and social and community services to address resident needs.
  • The goal was to replace public housing with mixed-income housing
  • one-third of the new units were set aside at the income levels of former public housing residents

8. The Rise of the Mixed-Income Model

“The current AHA initiative is not another HOPE VI program. The loosening of regulations in the mid-2000s governing the demolition and disposition of public housing authorized under Section 18 of the 1937 Housing Act has enabled housing authorities to carry out demolitions without the obligation to replace even a portion of the eliminated housing units. Because relocation relies solely on voucher (formerly Section 8) subsidies to private market rental housing for those who qualify, measuring the effectiveness of this initiative hinges upon what types of neighborhoods residents end up in and how their lives are impacted over time.” – “Moved Out to Where?”

  • Between 1994 and 2004 the Atlanta Housing Authority(AHA) built 10 mixed-income communities 
  • 2007 the AHA announced its plans to demolish the last 10 public housing units (also known as projects) and two senior high rises 
  • At the time those communities housed around 10,000 residents and the AHA had no plans to build additional mixed-income communities in their places amid the loosening of housing regulations
  • In 2010 Atlanta became the first city in the country to eliminate high-rise public housing

9. GSU Urban Health Intiative

  • Follows 300 residents from 6/10 public housing communities designated for demolition in 2008 including four family communities (Bankhead, Bowen, Herndon and Hollywood) and two senior high rises (Palmer and Roosevelt Houses)
  • Uses 70 residents from Cosby Spear, a senior high rise currently not slated for demolition, as a comparison site
  • Purpose: to examine how relocation impacts their lives, the condition of their new neighborhoods, and the affects of relocation on their health and wellness

10. Relocated Public Housing Families By Census Tract: map

  • shows the distance families moved from their original place of residence

11. Relocated Public Housing Families By Census Tract: corresponding chart

  • shows the economic, racial, and employment similarities or differences between the neighborhood of origin and the destination neighborhood
  • the neighborhoods are very similar to the demographics of the housing projects that the families originally lived in, therefore they are exposed to very similar risks

12. Relocated Seniors from the Public Housing High Rises By Census Tract: map

  • shows the distance families moved from their original place of residence

13. Relocated Public Housing Seniors By Census Tract: corresponding chart

  • shows the economic, racial, and employment similarities or differences between the neighborhood of origin and the destination neighborhood
  • the neighborhoods that the seniors live in are actually dissimilar in many ways, especially in terms of economic stability, therefore seniors may be exposed to greater risks than they were in the senior high rises

14.“Public health should advocate and work for the empowerment of disenfranchised community members, aiming to ensure that the basic resources and conditions necessary for health are accessible to all” – American Public Health Association, Public Health Leadership Society 2002

15. Englewood Manor public housing project

What does revitalization mean? Who is included when a neighborhood is revitalized?

16. References

Georgia State University Urban Health Initiative, “Moved Out to Where?: Initial Relocation Destinations of Former Public Housing Residents in Atlanta A Preliminary Brief“
http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwsoc/Files/SOC/RESEARCH_public_housing_initial_report.pdf

Atlanta Housing Authority, “MTW Annual Report, 2011”
http://www.atlantahousing.org/pdfs/FY%202011%20Annual%20Report.pdfhttp://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/public_indian_housing/programs/ph/hope6

HUD.gov, “Mixed-Finance Public Housing”
http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/public_indian_housing/programs/ph/hope6/mfph

Creative Loafing, “Life After the Projects”
http://clatl.com/atlanta/atlanta-housing-authority-demolition-only-shifted-pockets-of-poverty/Content?oid=3896763

Wikipedia.org, “Demolished public housing projects in Atlanta”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demolished_public_housing_projects_in_Atlanta

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