Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Community Planning (MCP)


Community Planning and Area Development

First Advisor

Farhad Atash


The tenants of University Heights, a 350-unit mixed income, housing development in Providence, Rhode Island, organized in response to the prepayment of Section 221 (d) (3) mortgages on some 48 units, causing the displacement of 35 families. Their overwhelming success was analyzed in terms of its applicability to several frameworks provided by studies of community organization and public participation. This study has identified and explored two key elements of a successful tenant organization--leadership and cohesion.

Chapter One sets forth the goals and objectives of the study, which mainly include determining the significance of these elements as part of the organization's formula for success.

Chapters Two and Three provide the background for both University Heights and the tenant organization, while Chapters Four and Five apply the two elements two frameworks provided by Wireman's seven conditions for "good participation" and Edelstein and Wandersman's "tenant functions"--the role collectively played by tenants as an organization.

Chapter Six will summarize the applicability of these elements to the above described frameworks and draw some general conclusions, provide an overview of lessons learned from the tenants of University Heights, and identify some of the steps that tenants of threatened subsidized rental housing might find of interest.



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