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#115909 - 11/25/03 08:21 AM Re: A clarification, please
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Anna, my friend in Yorkshire explained to me that over there, council estate is pretty much what we call housing projects. Though the one I saw was a little nicer than the projects I've seen over here.

I was unable to find a picture of one, but in my search came across this--a set of instructions to tenants such as I don't think you'd ever see, here. Scroll down just a bit, to housekeeping. If you have a good deal of time, click on the link at the bottom of the page, to get to a picture of the building they're talking about.

#115910 - 11/25/03 10:02 AM Re: A clarification, please
dxb Offline

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
A council estate is a housing estate provided originally by the local authority for renting out at rents that were intended to be manageable for local authority workers, and those in the stupidly poorly paid caring professions (eg: nurses, firemen, policemen, ambulance drivers, dustmen etc.). Maybe they are like the Projects in US cities that I have read of, but thinking back to Last Exit to Brooklin (Hubert Selby Jr, not Mark Knopfler), I am not too sure. Maybe none of the Projects are as full of hopelessness as that now (hopefully), after all, Selby was writing of the 1950s.

Councils today have often made over their estates to housing associations, and there has been a ‘right to buy’ policy operating for some years. These things have resulted in improvements to many council estates.

A housing estate’s roads normally serve only the estate, they are not through routes. (Think of a simple maze with only one way in/out). These days estates are required to have a minimum acreage of green space – since so many are built on flood plains this can often be overcome by allowing space for a ‘balancing pond’ for the stream to flood into if the rain is extra heavy. These can be attractive if done well with proper planting.

Housing estates may consist of low cost housing or pretty/very expensive housing and an increasing trend is to mix the two somewhat in hope of getting a more varied and successful community.

#115911 - 11/25/03 12:53 PM Re: A clarification, please
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
Re:Maybe they are like the Projects in US cities that I have read of,

housing projects (ie, low income housing projects, build with federal money, but administered by state/local authorities)vary greatly, not only city to city, and state to state, but even with-in a city...

NYC has some very desirable projects... they are neat, well kept, the surrounding area have middle to high income values.. etc,.. and some projects that are high rise slums, rife with crime.

When they were first build (many in the 1930, the last in the 1960's) they were very desirable and most housed working poor. my ex's parents lived in one (in harlem) when he was born and till the he was age 8 or so. FIL was an engineer for Parks Dept (he worked on both worlds fairs) MIL was a Nurse (work for non-profit 'The foundling Home', later worked for NYC Dept of Health.--doing TB treatment.)

In late 1960's, a combination of things happened, rural poor from south moved north (to Chicago, Detroit, NY, Phili) and manytimes overwhelmed the cities abilities to absorb them.. welfare was easy to get, and many projects went from being a place for working poor families, to being warehouses for displaced rural single parent families on welfare. Drug use was everywhere in the late 1960's and 1970's, but in the projects, with high density populations, and poor social outlooks, it was worse.

some projects 'failed' other projects came through not only intact, but in better shape than ever.

NYC is lucky. most people live in high rise buildings..people like me, actively chose to do so... better projects, at first glance are hard to recognize.

about 5 years ago, i was driving a intern (summer technology intern) 'home' to his place in downtown brooklyn. was we approached the brooklyn bridge, we passed the 'Alfred E Smith' housing project. the intern looked at buildings, (rather plain red bricks) and the site (in the shadow of the bridge)with, several parks and play area's visible) and expressed a desire 'to be able to live there' he found them, as viewed from the car, to be as nice as other 'building complexes' ( some luxury, some middle class)we had passed along the way.

thing is, bad housing projects get a lot of bad press, good ones don't.. everyone ends up thinking all housing projects are bad.

my other obsession

#115912 - 11/26/03 08:56 AM Re: A clarification, please
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
everyone ends up thinking all housing projects are bad. Yes, it seems that the only newsworthy things are the negatives, most of the time.

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