“Wants conditions upgraded: Housing project tour appalls Brooke”
Sen. Edward W. Brooke yesterday appealed for increased cooperation from authorities in Boston—including the mayor and police commissioner—and tenants “to improve the quality of life” in housing projects.
He made the appeal after an early morning inspection of federally assisted public housing projects. He termed conditions he found “a disgrace.”
Brooke’s fact-finding tour went through five project developments and concluded with an hour-long hearing at the Paul Dever School in Dorchester. During the 60-minute session, the senator was told that because of fear for her safety, one tenant has not left her apartment in three years; another woman paces her living room, often armed with a gun, fearing her apartment may be mistaken for the one directly above where drugs are sold; elderly tenants travel in groups to shop to keep from being mugged.
The hearing was scheduled to explore faulty maintenance and security conditions and to lend documented support to legislation, introduced recently by Brooke.
His bill would lift the limit on money which could be allotted to individual housing authorities through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Boston’s limit is set at $2 million.
Brooke visited the Bromley Heath and Mission Hill housing projects.
He waded through garbage-filled doorways, cellars and alleys, viewed broken windows and smashed doors and empty playgrounds strewn with broken glass. He inspected rundown apartments with leaky ceilings and exposed pipes.
“There’s no excuse for (projects) to be kept this way,” he said.
“Wants conditions upgraded: Housing project tour appalls Brooke,” by Arthur Jones. Boston Globe, April 4, 1972.