Housing projects should be abolished; they lower the value of the communities that they are in, are magnets for crime, are untaken care of and in hazardous conditions, and are costly for the government to build. Housing projects were developed in the 1930s for housing for the working poor. They were often built in the unfavorable places of towns and they were large towering apartments as you can see in New York and Chicago. This concentrated the poor into an already poor part of town. The lowest unemployment rates and highest crime rates can be found in the projects.
The poor were concentratrated into one area because of discrimination, most housing applicants were African- American, many white middle class feared if poor blacks were to move in it reduce the value of their property. Thus the poor were grouped together where no one wanted to live anyway. This gave no hope for the poor of some how making it back into society. Nothing but poverty surrounded these people. This made way for the crime, violence, and easy money that is associated today with American subsidized housing.
In Chicago the postal service would not deliver to some housing segments for fear of their lives. In Pittsburgh PAT bus drivers will tell you that there are some stops they will just not stop at and most are found in or around the projects. Projects are notorious for their violence and drug trafficking. This is not a good environment for a child to grow up in. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children who are witness to violence are more prone to depression, lower grades in school, and to violence themselves.
Projects ruin are youth, so we are ruining the future. We must get rid of these poor concentrations found all over the country. Studies show that dispersing the poor throughout the classes, instead a single poor area of town shows that poor families have a better opportunity to better their lives. Many cities are bulldozing their skyline projects and creating programs to integrate their poor into society. One such program is housing vouchers, where low-income families are given money for private property.
A social experiment conducted by Harvard and Princeton Universities tested the validity of housing vouchers, and saw housing vouchers as a great success. The program was called Moving to Opportunity, and was conducted in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Baltimore, and Chicago beginning in 1995. They wanted to see how families would fare when taken out of poverty stricken communities and put in middle-class neighborhoods. 4,500 families were used in the experiment, after three years the majority of the families found that their lives had improved greatly.
Families were found less likely to be victims of property and personal crimes. Children were less likely to be cruel to others or be depressed, behavior problems were less, and finally the general health of the whole family was found to be better. In Pittsburgh, the affects of transforming the projects can be seen today. In 1990, Pittsburgh had the 6th most public housing out of all cities in America. Six out of the eight poorest housing communities in Pennsylvania were found in Pittsburgh according to the Department of Housing and Development (HUD).
Pittsburgh had the highest poverty rate for blacks between ages 18-64, lowest labor force participation, and lowest black teenage employment found by the Pittsburgh Center for Social and Urban Research. This all began to change when President Clinton was elected and campaigned to “end public housing as we know it. ” Under the leadership of newly elected Tom Murphy, Pittsburgh began to transform under such projects as the Allequippa Terrace and North side renovations, where projects were tore down and poor were moved to low-income private housing.
Housing projects need tore down as fast as possible. We can no longer ignore the millions of poor who are neglected in areas of town that even some police officers will not go into. The poor need to be evenly dispersed into communities that can help these people without having to carry the burden of taking care a large concentration of poor. Studies show that poor evenly dispersed does not hurt communities and greatly improves the lives of the poor families. Lets help the poor and improve the lives of everybody abolishing projects and replacing them with government vouchers for private housing.