Housing

  1. Three Areas - Three Programs
  2. Obsolete Areas
  3. Blighted Districts
  4. New Residence Areas

Three Areas - Three Programs

We cannot truthfully say that St. Louis is a good place in which to live when--

We spend $4,000,000 general tax funds annually to maintain our obsolete areas. (This sum represents the difference in cost of governmental service and tax collections annually in these areas.)

We have 33,000 dwellings still dependent on outside privy vaults. See Plate Number 11.

We have an additional 25,000 dwellings where toilets are shared by several families.

We have 82,000 dwellings in structures built before 1900.

We have obsolete and blighted districts because our interest has always been centered in the newest and latest houses and subdivisions in areas of new development. As home owners have moved to successive outlying neighborhoods the earlier homes have gradually been allowed to deteriorate. No matter how great the extent of disintegration these old homes are seldom adequately repaired and are rarely torn down. This is no way to build a sound city. See Plate Number 12.

We have had no Housing Policy and no Housing Program other than that of abandonment of old areas and of moving to new fringe areas. This is a frightfully wasteful policy of which we have not yet reckoned the full cost. It is a tragic policy because of the poor housing conditions which must be endured by those unable to move to the new outlying areas.

Our obsolete and blighted districts now embrace half the city's residential area. See Plate Number 13. They will continue to expand until the whole city is engulfed unless we remove the causes of this condition. There is no reason why the older neighborhoods cannot be kept wholesome and attractive. We can redirect our attention to creating good living conditions in older central areas with much advantage and profit. It is not difficult to visualize complete transformation of the city by a new housing policy and a bold program.

In order to study intimately the local conditions in all parts of the city, St. Louis has been divided into 82 residential neighborhoods and 17 industrial districts, 'as shown on the Comprehensive City Plan and by Plate Number 14. As a result of these studies, a definite constructive housing plan and policy is suggested herewith.

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