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November 22, 1985 - Image 83

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-11-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEW

Friday, November 22, 1985

AT FANTASTIC SAM'S®

ward image, improvement in
education, and delegation of in-
creased decision-making power
to the residents. The local
people ranked these last. In first
place they put the physical as-
pects: renovation of apartments
and improvement of the appear-
ance of the neighborhoods. The

There were some
places where, by
"coincidence," all
the improvements
were concentrated in
that part of town
where the local
chairman and his
committee lived.

residents had their way to a
large extent.
Among the major successes
were a 20 percent increase in
private home ownership and a
drastic reduction in density,
that is, in overcrowded housing.
On the other hand, the at-
tempt to develop local leader-
ship and initiative met with
mixed response. In some cases a

local strong man emerged, who
was able to bulldoze his own
program through to implemen-
tation, but without full demo-
cratic participation of his
neighbors. In oth'er cases there
was local apathy, and not even
one take-charge person. The in-
itiative always had to come from
the officials. There were some
places where, by "coincidence,"
all the improvements were con-
centrated in that part of town
where the local chairman and
his committee lived.
When the rehabilitation proj-
ects were completed, what was
there to show? Some areas
underwent a complete face-
lifting, with a commensurate
rise in local pride2In nine of the
ten neighborhoods there was a
marked reduction in vandalism
and abuse of public property.
Yet contributions to welfare and
health services were in many
cases minimal.
An overall finding: In most of
its neighborhoods Project Re-
newal did succeed in raising the
level and the quality of life
closer to that which exists in
areas of relatively higher
socioeconomic status.
There were many visible, tan-
gible successes. Will they sun:
vive the period when outside
support is withdrawn, or will
the 'neighborhoods relapse again
into neglect? Only time will tell.
Obviously, there is much more
to this detailed and objective re-
port. When it is published it
should be made required read-
ing by everyone who has been
associated in any manner with
Project Renewal.

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83

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