The Unworkable Program: Urban Renewal in Kilbourntown-3 and Midtown, Milwaukee
Honer, Matthew J.
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The 1954 revisions to the Federal Housing Act intended to address the shortcomings apparent in earlier urban renewal attempts. Under the "Workable Program," a series of provisions included in the revision, cities were required to address fundamental factors that created slums and continuously show progress towards the elimination of slums while receiving federal urban renewal funds. Requirements included addressing building codes, creating a comprehensive plan, ensuring meaningful citizen participation, and having relocation resources adequate for displaced residents. Fundamental factors contributing to the creation of slums in American cities not addressed in the Workable Program included racism, segregation, and containment policies. This paper presents evidence that the City of Milwaukee was able to effectively disregard Federal urban renewal regulations that required adequate relocation and necessary citizen participation in urban renewal planning and implementation, in order to continue racist policies of neighborhood segregation and containment. Although the Department of Housing and Urban Development had cut off urban renewal funds numerous times, the city was able to continue their policies by subverting the requirement of citizen participation and complying with HUD only as far as it opened up funding. Two neighborhoods, Midtown and K-3, highlight the efforts of city officials to continue urban renewal efforts without addressing the restricted housing and segregated neighborhoods of the city.
Urban renewal--United States