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  • Techwood Homes

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    Techwood Homes, late 1930s Family in Techwood Homes apartment, late 1930sTechwood Homes was an early public housing project in the United States, opened just before the First Houses. Located in Atlanta, Georgia, it replaced a shantytown known as Tanyard Bottom or Tech Flats. It was completed on August 15, 1936, but was dedicated on November 29 of the previous year by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The apartments included bathtubs and electric ranges in each unit, 189 of which had garages. Central laundry facilities, a kindergarten and a library were also provided. Techwood was intended to eliminate the slums that the poor had been living in, but eventually became one itself. The complex was designed by Georgia Tech alumnus and architect Flippen David Burge (later Stevens & Wilkinson), and organized by Charles Forrest Palmer, a real estate developer who had become an expert on public housing and would later head up both the newly created Atlanta Housing Authority and the Chamber of Commerce. The landscaping was designed by Edith Henderson, who also designed the neighboring Clark Howell Homes with her partner Grace Campbell. The name came from Techwood Drive, in turn named for nearby Georgia Tech. The project included a 300-student dormitory for Georgia Tech, McDaniel Dormitory, commonly referred to as Techwood Dorm. It was run by the Atlanta Housing Authority. Throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s the area was synonymous with urban blight in Atlanta. Techwood Homes was built on land cleared by demolishing the Flats, a low-income integrated neighborhood adjacent to downtown that had included 1600 families, nearly one-third of whom were African American. The Public Works Administration remade the neighborhood with 604 units for white families only. The neighboring Clark Howell Homes was built in 1941 in a less institutional style. A. Ten Eyck Brown was the architect. Clark Howell was reserved for whites only until 1968, with an all-black counterpart at the University Homes project (built 1938) near Atlanta University Center. Except for a few historic buildings, Techwood Homes was demolished in 1996 before the 1996 Summer Olympics. It and neighboring Clark Howell Homes are now a mixed-use area called Centennial Place. The first phase opened in 1996 just before the Centennial Olympics, hence the new name. Former residents were relocated to other areas, and given Section 8 vouchers to pay part of the rent. Many moved back into Centennial Place, though it had far fewer subsidized units than Techwood Homes.

  • English Avenue and Vine City

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    English Avenue banner on street light pole Vine City sign with Georgia Dome in backgroundEnglish Avenue and Vine City are two adjacent and closely linked neighborhoods of Atlanta, Georgia. Together the neighborhoods make up neighborhood planning unit L. The two neighborhoods are frequently cited together in reference to shared problems and to shared redevelopment schemes and revitalization plans. English Avenue is bounded by the railroad line and the Marietta Street Artery neighborhood to the northeast, Northside Drive, the North Avenue railyards and downtown Atlanta to the east, Joseph E. Lowery Blvd. (formerly Ashby St.) and the Bankhead neighborhood to the west, and Joseph E. Boone Blvd. (called Simpson St. until 2008) and Vine City to the south. Its population was 3,309 in 2010. Vine City is bounded by Joseph E. Boone Blvd. (Simpson) and the English Avenue neighborhood to the north, Northside Drive and downtown Atlanta to the east, Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. (formerly Hunter St.) and the Atlanta University Center to the south, and Joseph E. Lowery Blvd. (Ashby) and the Washington Park neighborhood to the west. Its population was 2,785 in 2010. A section of the area, "The Bluff," is infamous throughout Metro Atlanta as a high crime area, but in late 2011, English Avenue and Vine City were the focus of multiple improvement plans, including a network of parks and trails, increased police presence, and "rebranding" for a more positive image. Construction is to start on the new Rodney Cook Sr. Park.

  • Atlanta mixed-income communities

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    In 1996, AHA created the financial and legal model for mixed-income communities or MICs, that is, communities with both owners and renters of differing income levels, that include public-assisted housing as a component. This model is used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's HOPE VI revitalization program. As of 2011, it has resulted in all housing projects having been demolished, with partial replacement by MICs. The first of these, Centennial Place, has been recognized by HUD and the Urban Land Institute. As of 2007, Centennial Place had a math, science and technology-focused elementary school, a YMCA, a branch bank, a child-care facility and retail shops. There were plans to include homeownership units. In 2011, the agency also tore down the Roosevelt House and Palmer House senior-citizen high-rises and relocated residents into other properties. However, the John O. Chiles and Cosby Spear senior citizen high rises remained open. AHA took advantage of relaxed federal rules in effect through 2010 to raze all remaining communities. The agency offered residents who qualified a variety of relocation options and long-term assistance that included federal rent-assistance vouchers good anywhere in the country. However, not all residents qualified for the vouchers.

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