By Amy L. Howard
In the preferred mind's eye, public housing tenants are thought of, at top, sufferers of intractable poverty and, at worst, criminals. More Than Shelter makes transparent that such constrained views don't trap the wealthy truth of tenants’ lively engagement in shaping public housing into groups. via taking a look heavily at 3 public housing initiatives in San Francisco, Amy L. Howard brings to gentle the dramatic measures tenants have taken to create—and maintain and strengthen—communities that mattered to them.
More Than Shelter opens with the tumultuous institutional historical past of the San Francisco Housing Authority, from its inception throughout the New Deal period, via its repeated management disasters, to its makes an attempt to spice up its credibility within the Nineties. Howard then turns to Valencia Gardens within the project District; inbuilt 1943, the venture grew to become a endlessly contested and embattled area. inside of that house, tenants got here jointly in what Howard calls affective activism—activism fascinated with intentional relationships and neighborhood development that served to enhance citizens within the face of shared demanding situations. Such activism additionally fueled cross-sector coalition construction at Ping Yuen in Chinatown, bringing tenants and enterprises jointly to suggest for and enhance public housing. The account in their event breaks new floor in highlighting the range of public housing in additional methods than one. The event of North seashore position in flip increases questions about the politics of improvement and redevelopment, consequently, Howard examines activism throughout generations—first by means of African american citizens trying to desegregate public housing, then through cross-racial and cross-ethnic tenant teams mobilizing to keep up public housing within the shadow of gentrification.
Taken jointly, the tales Howard tells problem assumptions approximately public housing and its tenants—and make approach for a broader, extra efficient and inclusive imaginative and prescient of the general public housing application within the United States.
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More Than Shelter: Activism and Community in San Francisco Public Housing (A Quadrant Book) by Amy L. Howard