Planning Implications to High Vacancy Rates in Public Housing

Russell J. Archibald, University of Rhode Island


Today there is a great demand for low-rent public housing in Providence, Rhode Island, yet many families that can avail themselves of public housing are unwilling to do so. The causes of this situation are investigated.

A summary of the background and framework of public housing from the beginning is studied. Important features of the Wagner-Steagll Act and other legislation which followed were investigated because of the effect which they had on the character of the housing program.

Several questions were established and tested to find out the level of dissatisfaction with the social and physical aspects of life in public housing. The questions were tested by a survey of residents in several public housing projects.

In general, the results of all avenues of investigation showed a deep-rooted dysfunctional nature of several policies and programs. An overview of the aspects of life pointed to many irritating aspects which to some degree affected project living.

The study assisted in providing solutions to areas of both social and design problems. These should aid planners in their endeavors in the future.