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Houston Breakthrough 1979-09
Page 16
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Houston Breakthrough 1979-09 - Page 16. September 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. August 31, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/536/show/523.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(September 1979). Houston Breakthrough 1979-09 - Page 16. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/536/show/523

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough 1979-09 - Page 16, September 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed August 31, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/536/show/523.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough 1979-09
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date September 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 28 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 16
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_553ao.jpg
Transcript THE INVISIBLE CITY James Blue: Those are video cassettes. There are almost 180 on these shelves— 75 hours of programming. On each one, someone in Houston has shown us or told us about an aspect of the city that is invisible to many of us. I thought that if we could probe through all of this material, finding the pieces and putting them together somehow, we could make the invisible city visible. Now let me show you what I mean. Here is a piece of raw material from one of the cassettes. Osci Johnson, Fifth Ward tenant: So you just can't imagine with 10 or 12 people living in one house. Adele Santos: So how many people live in this house? Johnson: Nine. Santos: Nine of you live in this house? Johnson: Mmm-hmm. Santos: Well, how big is it? Johnson: Two bedrooms. Santos: Where do you sleep? Johnson: On the floor, on couches, on chairs. Blue: Or, for instance, this one. Hispanic female: No nos han querido ren- tar una buena casa. (They've not wanted to rent us a good house.) Jesse Alaniz, A.C.O.R.N., Second Ward: This poor lady here. She don't have no bathroom. She lives in a garage and she don't have no restroorm She have no bathtub. And she's a poor lady. And she pay $17 a week. HF: $17 dollars a week. No water, no gas, no nothing. Alaniz: It's so bad that there's even people that sleep here in this car. And sometimes she has to feed some of these people. Blue: And now what you've been looking at are just documents—just the raw mater- ial-and they don't always tell the whole story. Quite often you have to look at the key issues which underlie the situation. So we asked a number of people who are skilled at looking at the problems of society to watch these tapes with us and to sort out what are the key issues. At the end of this series they will have chosen one issue of primary importance to Houston on which you, the television audience, will have a chance to vote. We're attempting an experiment. We're making a documentary about Houston's housing crisis, but we're not going to present you with a finished product. Instead, we're going to show you roughly edited sequences from the material that we have here. We're asking you to tell us what needs to be add- Architect Adele Naude Santos and filmmaker James Blue collaborated on a series of five television programs on Houston's growing housing problem. Unique was the incorporation of audience reaction to and criticism of each episode into each succeeding episode. The final program of The Invisible City, to air October 1st at 7 p.m. on KUHT, will be shown before a live audience with a dicussion on the issues raised in the films. An edited transcription from the opening episode follows. ed—what needs to be changed. And then your suggestions, as many as possible, will be incorporated in the following program. And at the end of the series, we will present a documentary we have all made together about a problem which affects all of us. (Speaking to the advisors). So this is a work session. And what you have to do during this 4-week series is process out the essential questions. What do we have to decide? And what are the consequences of those decisions? Now this all began when Adele Santos came to me and said . . . Santos: I perceive a real crisis that exists here. And a worse crisis, if that is possible, is going to occur unless something's done about it. And the affected people are the low- and moderate-income group, for whom there seems to be a no-win situation. And then I described to him what we'd been doing in my studio at Rice University, where we'd been looking at the facts and the figures. We'd been driving the neighborhoods. The first thing that I discovered was that the problem was endless . . . .which astonished me only because this is a new city. How can we have such a large inventory of substandard housing when most of the city is post- 1940? So that is where it really all began. We spent a semester looking at the housing problem. We had a lot of facts, information, etc., which we've used to back up this film. So we will be visiting many of these communities in the process of looking at this film. Approximately one half the city lives in these areas. It sounds somewhat alarming and it is. Indeed, there are people on Navigation telling us that people are living in automobiles. They're living nine or 10 to a room. People are living in attics. People are living in garages. People are living in tin sheds without any running water. Alaniz: Yes sir, there's people living in them damned little old tin sheds. The landlords, they rent 'em out and they ain't got no running water or any kind of photos by Gary Allison Morey services. Santos: The housing authority is acom- modating families. At least one family in particular, who have been living in their automobile for three weeks. Cindy Rheinhardt, Asst. Director, Houston Housing Authority (H.H.A): I had a call at my house one night about three weeks ago from a director of a community secvice agency here in town, and he said, "I'm going crazy, I just found this family and they've got 10 kids. The guy is a skilled carpenter, he can't find a job, he's got tools and everything. Can you put him up in one of the projects somewhere? They've been sleeping in their car for three weeks." Santos: From this, we then moved to a series of people in positions of authority in the city who are telling the facts and figures. Ken Austin, Mayor's Office Planning Coordinator: There are about 190,000 households needing assistance by the standards of the Housing Assistance Plan in the city of Houston. People who make less than, I guess, about +13,500-$14,000 a year for a household of 3 or 4 people or more. In Houston, that tends to be people who live in the inner city inside the loop. And they tend to be mostly minorities and the elderly. Mrs. Willie Shelton, Fidelity home-owner: I'm scared to use the air conditioner. In June my bill was $40. July $60. August it was $80. September it was $12S. For one unit! And I know I wasn't using that much electricity. Wasn't nothing I could do but pay it. Blue: You haven't got that kind of money. Shelton: No sir, I had to miss paying somebody else to pay the light bill. Austin: A great many minority households are large. And there is a great shortage of rental units, which, of course, is the need of a low-income group because they can't afford the down payments or the cost of upkeep on it. Mrs. Saldana, Denver Harbor tenant: The main problem is that we don't have no water, no connections to our bathrooms or to our faucets. We have to get the water through the window that he put in. We have just that one faucet outside. We don't have no hot water neither in the bathroom or shower. Our roof, when it rains, it leaks all the water to the floor. The floor is already falling down-the whole house, you know, is falling all to pieces. Santos: How much do you pay for this? Saldana: We pay $50 a week. Santos: How many of you are there? Saldana: We got eight kids, me and my husband. And we're expecting another, so that'd be 11. So, it's kind of hard. About four years ago, a rat bit my little girl and she was in the hospital at Memorial for about a week. We're here because we can't find housing. If we could find another place, we'd move. Joan Edwards, Fair Housing Administrator: We have a whole file of calls from blacks and Hispanics who tell us they are paying $70, sometimes $80 a week, for a unit that, in some cases, we have found later was substandard. Minnie Torres, Northside tenant: The porch broke and I fell down and I had to go to the hospital. He (the landlord) wasn't going to fix the porch. He just tore it down more and left it like that so we could move out. Santos: Why do you think he doesn't fix it up? Torres: He thinks he can get the rent anyway. People are so hard up finding houses -people from Mexico and everywhere. And they just go in like that. They can't find no place else to go, so they just move in like that. That's why they're taking advantage and they don't fix it up. They know that they rent it anyway. Maria Martinez, Magnolia resident: You can see that most of these houses have garages or utility sheds in the back. They don't have any tools or anything in the back. They have nothing but illegal people staying in the back. See it? Right there is the house. $55 a week for one bedroom. And these people are used to having illegals. They come and they live about 20 people, you know, in one room. Well, when somebody from here goes to look for a house, they expect us to take the same thing. These people have no alternative. They have to live in this HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH 16 SEPTEMBER 1979