1937 Housing Act Essay

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Public housing has affected Cleveland since the 1930s beginning with the 1937 Housing Act. This act stated that “for each new public housing unit created, a unit of substandard quality must be removed.” The quality of housing would be increased, but not the quantity (1937: Housing Act (Wagner-Steagall Act), n.d.). The establishment of public housing, made specifically for those with low income, has been involved in political issues ranging from the national level to the local level. Cleveland, the city in Ohio in which public housing legislation began, has faced a number of challenges from the beginning in financial, social, and home design aspects. The changing environment where the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) has existed has been the cause of Cleveland’s public housing challenges. Ernest Bohn, also known as the father of public housing, got Cleveland an early start in the issue. He was the first and longest-serving executive director of the Cleveland-based public housing authority, holding the position for thirty-five years. He was had the power to take advantage of early programs that were foundations of the 1937 Housing Act to create some of the nation’s first public housing (Chandler, p. 228). There were a variety of national issues that occurred due to the development of public housing.…show more content…
Now, however, it is known as “the housing of last resort” by its critics. This outlook by many degrades the program, as well as its residents, to a secondary status in the eyes of policy makers, government officials, and public as a whole. Public housing developments look isolated from the rest of the city due to signs of deterioration like deserted properties, empty lots, abandoned commercial strips, and vacant factories. This unfortunate condition goes against the drive for self-sufficiency and empowerment among the poor, mainly in developments of public housing (Chandler,
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