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From the Puritans to the Projects

Public Housing and Public Neighbors
Vale, Lawrence J. (Book - 2000)
From the Puritans to the Projects
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From the almshouses of seventeenth-century Puritans to the massive housing projects of the mid-twentieth century, the struggle over housing assistance in the United States has exposed a deep-seated ambivalence about the place of the urban poor. Lawrence J. Vale's groundbreaking book is both a comprehensive institutional history of public housing in Boston and a broader examination of the nature and extent of public obligation to house socially and economically marginal Americans during the past 350 years. First, Vale highlights startling continuities both in the way housing assistance has been delivered to the American poor and in the policies used to reward the nonpoor. He traces the stormy history of the Boston Housing Authority, a saga of entrenched patronage and virulent racism tempered, and partially overcome, by the efforts of unyielding reformers. He explores the birth of public housing as a program intended to reward the upwardly mobile working poor, details its painful transformation into a system designed to cope with society's least advantaged, and questions current policy efforts aimed at returning to a system of rewards for responsible members of the working class. The troubled story of Boston public housing exposes the mixed motives and ideological complexity that have long characterized housing in America, from the Puritans to the projects.
Authors: Vale, Lawrence J., 1959-
Title: From the Puritans to the projects
public housing and public neighbors
Publisher: Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press, 2000
Characteristics: 460 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Lawrence J. Vale
ISBN: 0674002865
Branch Call Number: 363.585 V149f 2000
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. [395]-448) and index
Subject Headings: Public housing Massachusetts Boston History Housing policy Massachusetts Boston History Poor Massachusetts Boston History
Topical Term: Public housing
Housing policy
LCCN: 00035084
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A detailed history of public housing in Boston, from colonial almshouses to the present.

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