Blueprint for Disaster: The Unraveling of Chicago Public Housing

Paperback | October 1, 2010

byD. Bradford Hunt

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Blueprint for Disaster traces public housing’s history in Chicago from its New Deal roots through current mayor Richard M. Daley’s Plan for Transformation. In the process, D. Bradford Hunt chronicles the Chicago Housing Authority’s own transformation from the city’s most progressive government agency to its largest slumlord.

            Challenging explanations that attribute the projects’ decline primarily to racial discrimination and real estate interests, Hunt argues that well-intentioned but misguided policy decisions—ranging from design choices to maintenance contracts—also paved the road to failure. Moreover, administrators who fully understood the potential drawbacks did not try to halt such deeply flawed projects as Cabrini-Green and the Robert Taylor Homes. The resulting combination of fiscal crisis, managerial incompetence, and social unrest plunged the CHA into a quagmire from which it is still struggling to emerge. Blueprint for Disaster, then,is an urgent reminder of the havoc poorly conceived policy can wreak on our most vulnerable citizens.

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Blueprint for Disaster traces public housing’s history in Chicago from its New Deal roots through current mayor Richard M. Daley’s Plan for Transformation. In the process, D. Bradford Hunt chronicles the Chicago Housing Authority’s own transformation from the city’s most progressive government agency to its largest slumlord.           ...

D. Bradford Hunt is associate dean and associate professor of social science at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:392 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:October 1, 2010Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226360865

ISBN - 13:9780226360867

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction       What Went Wrong with Public Housing in Chicago?

Chapter 1          The 1937 Housing Act Revisited

Chapter 2          Building the Chicago Housing Authority

Chapter 3          Clearing Chicago’s Slums

Chapter 4          The End of Integration and the Taming of the CHA

Chapter 5          Designing High-Rise Disasters

Chapter 6          Planning a Social Disaster

Chapter 7          The Loss of the Working Class

Chapter 8          The Tenants Revolt

Chapter 9          The Gautreaux Case and the Limits of Judicial Activism

Chapter 10        The Long Road to Rebirth

Conclusion        The Unraveling of Public Housing in Chicago

Acknowledgments

A Note on Sources

Notes

Index