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Contemporary Housing Issues

Housing has been an issue throughout American history, from urbanization to overcrowding. While this article does not provide an exhaustive list or analysis of all of America’s issues related to this topic, gentrification, affordable housing, eviction, and homelessness are all issues that have risen to prominence in recent years.Continue Reading »

Tenement House Reform

Primary sources related to tenement house reforms in the State of New York and the passage of the New York State Tenement House Act of 1901.Continue Reading »


Tuberculosis has been known by many names throughout history, among them “consumption,” “the white death,” and “the great white plague.” Tuberculosis remains one of the world’s most deadly diseases.Continue Reading »

Company Towns: 1880s to 1935

In the 1890s, in remote locations such as railroad construction sites, lumber camps, turpentine camps, or coal mines, jobs often existed far from established towns. As a pragmatic solution, the employer sometimes developed a company town, where an individual company owned all the buildings and businesses.Continue Reading »

Jacobs, Jane — 1916 – 2006

Jane Jacobs: An American-Canadian journalist, author, and activist known for her influence on urban studies and cities.Continue Reading »

What Price Slum Clearance? (1953)

Background Memorandum New York State Committee On Discrimination In Housing, 1953. “The City of New York has approved plans for the displacement of at least 45,000 families within the next three years as a result of urban redevelopment, public housing projects and other public improvements such as schools, roads and port authority projects…The elimination of slums and the creation of healthy neighborhoods are necessary and worthy objectives. In the process, however, the city has certain responsibilities and obligations to the displaced families as well as the city as a whole, to see to it that social benefit for one section of the population does not result in severe hardship for others.”Continue Reading »

That “One Third of a Nation” (1940)

Article by Edith Elmer Wood, appearing in Survey Graphic, 1940. “Equal opportunity which lies at the heart of democracy implies for every man, woman and child at least a sporting chance to attain health, decency and a normal family life. It was because the cards were stacked against a third of the nation that there had to be a new deal in housing.”Continue Reading »

I Visit a Housing Project: 1940

Article written by Dorothy Canfield, appearing in Survey Graphic, 1940. “I don’t know anything about housing problems, but I know what I like. What I wanted to find out was how I’d like it if the circumstances of my life should put me into one of these brand-new, queer-shaped, rather stark-looking, low cost housing projects, about which we all read more or less in the newspapers, and at which we crane our necks as we drive by and are told: “Look, that’s one of the new federal building projects.”Continue Reading »

Housing and Politics (1940)

Article written by Charles Abrams, appearing in Survey Graphic, 1940. “Low rent housing, resettlement, rural relief, soil conservation and reclamation, all these stand at the political crossroads today. The next few months may be decisive. What chance is there that public sentiment can lift these measures from their present position as experiments and stop-gaps into a realistic and adequate long range program?”Continue Reading »

Hunter, Jane Edna

Jane Edna Hunter (1882-1971) – Social Worker, Advocate for Women and Founder of the Phillis Wheatley AssociationContinue Reading »

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