The politics of public housing: the case of Charlottesville, Virginia

Nyman, Nancy B., Woodrow Wilson Department of Government Affairs, University of Virginia
Makielski, S. J., University of Virginia
Eisenberg, Ralph, Woodrow Wilson Department of Government, University of Virginia

This is a study of the politics of a particular issue in the environment of a small city. In Charlottesville, Virginia, governmental attempts to provide low-rent public housing for people during the past 10 years have provoked intense public controversy. Charlottesville is the only city in the state, and most likely one of the few in the country, which must hold a referendum on public housing site proposals. By throwing public housing sites in to the open political arena, the referendum has shaped a unique political process. Accordingly, it is hoped that this study will contribute to the understanding of local politics and redevelopment in the smaller city.
To examine the politics of public housing in Charlottesville, this study has been divided into two parts. The first part is an account of the site selection controversy from 1958 to 1967. The second part analyzes that controversy by identifying the interests and resources of participants, and by describing the patterns and processes of political activity. In no way does this study represent a complete treatment of public housing in Charlottesville. Only the political aspects of the program have been considered, and the technical and administrative aspects have been referred to only to support findings in the political area. Focusing on the politics of public housing rather than the qualitative nature of the program permits a delineation of the political system connected with this area of public policy, although it should be noted that no attempt has been made to describe the total political system of Charlottesville.

The methodological tools used in this study reflect a researcher's needs in any case study. Newspaper accounts, public records, and personal Interviews must be the mainstay in such an approach, and they have been used in this study to reconstruct the events of the last 10 years in public housing in Charlottesville.

MA (Master of Arts)
Housing -- Virginia -- Charlottesville

Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.

Thesis originally deposited on 2016-03-17 in version 1.28 of Libra. This thesis was migrated to Libra2 on 2017-03-23 16:36:11.

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