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Houston Breakthrough 1979-09
Page 17
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Houston Breakthrough 1979-09 - Page 17. September 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. July 9, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/536/show/524.

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 17. 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/524

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 17, September 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed July 9, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/536/show/524.

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 17
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_553ap.jpg
Transcript manner. They live in terrible conditions. But I don't want to live like that. Maria-Luisa Urdaneta, advisor: I have a question. Is there housing available? Santos: Very little. Urdaneta: How much of it is racism? Douglas Uzzell, advisor: A big piece of it. Santos: I think this surprised me. I'll be quite honest. I didn't really believe prejudice was quite as heavy as it appears to be. Edwards: It's not getting any better, which makes us so pessimistic. The U of H did a study and their projections for 1990 are that Houston will still be just as segregated as it is now. That means what we're doing isn't doing a bit of good. William McClellan, Director, Housing Authority: We're still struggling to meet the need that existed in the late 50's and early 60's. You know, simply because nothing occurred here for 20 years. And we're playing catch-up, which we'll never do. We probably will build or commit to build this year some 750 new units of new housing. While that doesn't sound like a lot, for us it's a tremendous step forward. Roberta Burroughs, City Planning Dept.: We found that overcrowding in the low- and moderate-income areas is substantially higher than that in other parts of the city. So Houston has a higher overcrowding rate than, say, New York City. And then you've got even higher overcrowding in the low- and moderate-income areas. We discovered that, in those areas, six out of 10 of the housing units are experiencing structural damage. Edith Clark, Sunnyside resident: See these homes in this area, they are not even 30 years old. And they are falling apart. And they are not old enough to be falling apart. I think that when these people built these houses out here, we were ripped off. Burroughs: I'm very afraid that if there is not an accelerated effort to create new housing for low-income people, and to rehabilitate the units in which low- income people now live, I'm very afraid that we're headed for a deplorable situation. A deplorable housing situation.. Santos: You know, one of the things that struck me in your report is that a lot of the housing is relatively new. It's post- 1940 and yet it's deteriorated. Burroughs: In many instances we are talking about a unit that was built for a low income person. And it was not a unit that was intended to last for a long time. And it was not a unit into which a lot of time and solid materials were placed. Carrie Jackson, South Lawn homeowner: I moved into the house on March 28th of 1947. Blue: You bought the house new? Jackson: Right, I bought the house new. It rains in the den, bathroom, kitchen and my bedroom. In the bathroom here, it has a hole in the top. We tried to fix it, but it still won't stop raining through here. And I can sit on the stool or take a bath and I have a shower either way I go. I just really don't care. I've just really given up everything. Burroughs: We're talking about nearly half the units. Forty-six percent are experiencing major problems. We're talking about half the population of the city. (1970 census.) And talking about 27% of the land area. If this process is not reversed, I'm very afraid that people will be forced to abandon these units. And we'll have a more severe problem with overcrowding and a more severe problem with the condition of units because the more people that you pile into a unit, the more it's going to deteriorate. Santos: How many abandoned units are there in the city? Dave Johnson, Administrator, Housing Code Enforcement: Today, we have approximately 4,000 on our books. And there are some that we're not even aware that they've been abandoned. Some were abandoned last night. There were fires last night. Santos: What is the rate of abandonment? Johnson: If I were asked to give a figure, I would say an average of three to five a day in Houston. Santos: How many units have you pulled down to date? Johnson: To date? We started in '68. And buildings demolished? We've demolished a total of 6,490. Santos: and this year you intend to tear down even more? Johnson: To give you an idea of how we've increased, we've already demolished at least 278 in 1979. And this is what, the seventh month of the year? Last year we demolished 596. That's just too many. We're losing too many structures. Now we would say that of the ones we've demolished, more than 60% of those houses could be saved with an investment of anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000. Santos: That's crazy because we can't build housing for that. You know, we can barely build a unit for $40,000. Johnson: I would say that $20,000 would renovate almost any single-family dwelling that we've demolished. William Simon, advisor: Before we go on, I'd like to get this on the record. I found that the statistics are depressing, additionally depressing because the comparison is always made to other cities, usually northern cities. But we forget that most northern cities have had almost all of their new construction occurring outside of their city limits. We're talking about a city that's had all its new construction basically within the city limits. So when we talk about this proportion of this city's housing being substandard, it's really even more dramatic than the comparisons suggest. Santos: We're going to call this film "The Invisible City" because we don't believe that people know what's out there. Hazel Patten, Third Ward resident: They don't. They really don't. And that's a fact. Then you go to Third Ward, Fourth Ward, or Fifth Ward, or Acres Homes. You just don't think you're living in the same place. (Shots of Santos and Blue driving through deteriorated areas.) Santos: This was James and I driving around really for the first time. We covered several hundred square miles and we kept saying the same things—I don't believe it's ever going to end. And, oh my God, it seems to be going on forever. Blue: We kept saying, "My God, my God." (Rapid sucession of shots of deteriorated houses from all sections of the city.) Simon: These could be pictures describing poverty in rural America. Santos: Isn't it amazing? It's very rural. Alaniz: Like I say, the mayor of this city, he goes gallivanting and jetsetting all over the country, Washington, and what have you, and he's giving the image of this city as the showcase of the nation. But he never tells them what's on the other side of the fence. Mary Brown, Director, Houston Urban Bunch: What most newcomers to Houston see is what has just been developed. One Shell Plaza, the Galleria, Greenway Plaza. They don't know what's up in Fourth Ward. Shelton: They don't know what's in Fifth Ward. They don't never bring them back this way. They always carry them back over there where all the finery is. (A cut from the film: Houston by the Chamber of Commerce is shown with the fo llo wing dialog.) Announcer: Houston gives its people lots of room to move. And there's a stunning array of neighborhoods to live in. The standard of living is high in Houston, while the cost of living is low. One reason is that local government is efficient and taxes are kept low. There is no state, corporate or personal income tax. It has been said that Houston does not tick, it spins. It spins with people-1,000 new people a week. (End excerpt.) Louie Welch, President, Houston Chamber of Commerce, former mayor: We have the greatest potential for personal opportunity and personal freedom in Houston of any place in the world. Reporter: Is it the land of opportunity, say, for people like the ones who live in that slum housing in the Fourth Ward? Welch: Yes it is. And the only limitation is their ambition, their talent and their desire to get with it. It's tougher for the guy that starts on the bottom; but if he has the education, the desire, motivation and the talent, he can make it in Houston. One of the reasons given by the minority population in Houston, why Houston didn't burn when other cities were burning, why there was no long continued periods of militancy, was the attitude of the black in Houston. Now, if you can't make it in Houston, Texas, you can't make it anywhere because Houston is there. It's yours if you want to conquer it. (Cut to old car pulling camper entering Houston-it has a New York license plate.) Blue: Where you coming from? Dave Page: New York. Blue: What cha' doing down here? You visiting? Page: No, we came down looking for a job. Blue: How long you been traveling? Page: Just from San Antonio to here, this would be our third day. We came down, it took us four days from New York to San Antonio. Blue: How come you didn't stop in San Antonio? Page: Well they didn't offer us much—the money, the rent was way high. We couldn't afford it. The opportunities are great here. A friend said I could get a good job. Edira Page: I told him let's see if maybe we can get lucky and find a place to rent right now, you know. And we stopped at about six places, and the first place said that every child had to have its own room and they don't have more than three bedrooms. So like, I mean, if every child has to have its own bedroom we have to have a five bedroom place. Then the next one we went to was infested with cockroaches. And if you're downstairs every time it rained, it went right into the apartment. It just flooded you out. And then all the toilets would back up every time it rained. And, I mean, to get anything decent, you'd have to pay $350 or more a month. And when you're making $5.00 an hour, by the time what you bring home, it's gonna take almost two paychecks just to get an apartment, and that's without utilities. Blue: What, then, are you going to do HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH 17 SEPTEMBER 1979