Posted on March 11, 2010

With New Homes, Town Makes Amends for Its Bias

Susan Saulny, New York Times, March 10, 2010


{snip} In 1971, a federal judge found that this old manufacturing town [Hamtramck], five miles from downtown Detroit, had deliberately used urban renewal projects throughout the 1950s and ’60s to obliterate black areas from its two square miles, displacing hundreds of families.


Now, though, in a time of deep recession and a housing slump in one of the most economically depressed states in the country, Hamtramck (pronounced ham-TRAM-eck) is at last fulfilling its legal–and what officials now call moral–obligation to provide affordable housing to the mostly poor families who were dislodged generations ago. {snip}

About 100 houses have been completed for rent or sale, and another 100 are on the way, paid for by a mix of local and state money.

In the last five years, the town began building the new houses, but the project stalled because of the recession. {snip} The homes, mostly two- and three-bedroom models, cost $140,000 to $160,000, and subsidies can reduce the price to $100,000; most rentals are in the $400-a-month range, after government assistance.