March 1, 2010
W10-5: During the 1950s, the political dynamics of American low-income housing policy began to change. After they won the long struggle to pass the United States Housing Act of 1949, the supporters of public housing—known as public housers—felt a sense of relief. The 1949 act began federal funding of slum clearance and rebuilding projects and at long last resumed appropriations for new public housing. Now officials in the nation’s big cities were finally able to build the projects that they had been planning for years. Although the national industry trade associations launched a campaign against local public housing projects, it appeared that public housing, which liberals considered an important part of the social safety net, was well established. In the following years, however, leaders of the public housing movement realized that the program they had helped enact during the Depression and revive after the war was not working as desired. They sought ways not only to revive the public housing program but also to find new ways to provide housing for low- and moderate-income families...
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