Saturday, April 26, 2003

Here is my abstract for my paper, see you all next weekend--Maureen
Current Public Housing Policy in Chicago:
Twentieth Century Urban Renewal Revisited or Neoliberalism Embodied?

There has been much debate about the existence of neoliberalism, or the “rolling back” (Peck & Tickell) of government and welfare services. To clearly understand the “neo” in this line of thinking, this paper looks to history to examine the actual changes that have occurred in state housing policy over the decades. In the mid-twentieth century, political and activist forces in Chicago were determined to tear down slum dwellings to provide homes for the poorer working classes in the inner city and demanded federal subsidies to do so citing that private run housing for the poor was unsuccessful. Currently, the Chicago Housing Authority is using federal subsidies to initiate its Plan for Transformation, the local manifestation of HUD’s HOPE VI program. HOPE VI is a federally mandated housing program that seeks to demolish and rehabilitate public housing into mixed income neighborhoods at the possible cost of displacing thousands of very low-income residents. Like the urban renewal projects and slum clearance of the past, replacement housing was and is to be for the working class, not the poorest of the poor. In both cases, the federal government appears to be involved in housing provision and similarities in discourse surrounding attitudes about the poor, and . However, the liberal policies of post New Deal housing required the government to play a crucial role, whereas current policies encourage private developers to eventually take over the role of government, a true embodiment of the privatization of welfare services in a neoliberal era.