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Old 12-31-2012, 06:02 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,020 posts, read 102,689,903 times
Reputation: 33083

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
Not universally. Check out that documentary I mentioned a few pages back (or was it a different thread?)

You're also sort of implying that the residents who lived in the buildings you visited would be living in places without plumbing. You're about 6 decades off on drawing that conclusion for probably 96% of them.
Where did I "sort of" imply anything of the kind? I said my mother-in-law thinks their house in "the city" was built w/o a bathroom in 1936. When I was researching this issue a while back, I found some references to homes in Indianapolis w/o indoor plumbing in the 1960s.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:15 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,112,325 times
Reputation: 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Where did I "sort of" imply anything of the kind? I said my mother-in-law thinks their house in "the city" was built w/o a bathroom in 1936. When I was researching this issue a while back, I found some references to homes in Indianapolis w/o indoor plumbing in the 1960s.
I see. Seems anecdotal at best. Oh well.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:16 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,020 posts, read 102,689,903 times
Reputation: 33083
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
I see. Seems anecdotal at best. Oh well.
Well, yeah, it's anecdotal, as is a lot of stuff on here. In fact, I acknowledged that in my post.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,666,018 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I do not have your architectural expertise, but surely a house with a dirt floor has other problems as well.
IMO, it doesn't matter if the house with a dirt floor had other problems or not. Having dirt floors is an inherent structural deficiency by modern standards. (not meaning that the house was structurally unsound, but that the floor is a basic part of the house's structure, and would be exceedingly difficult to bring up to modern standards)

Quote:
These homes were not built to be the exclusive homes in town, they were built to house low-income workers. Also, when one renovates, the renovated area must be brought up to present code. For example, our house was built in 1980. In 1999, just 19 years later, we did some repair work in the basement, and the basement windows had to be enlarged and stairways installed in the window wells for egress, something that was not part of our city's building code in 1980. A few years later, we remodeled the kitchen and had to have more outlets installed (not because we were acquiring any more electrical appliances, mind you, just to bring up to code), and another furnace register had to be placed in the kitchen as well. This is in a house that was considered a "semi-custom" home in an area that was considered affluent in 1980, affluent for Louisville that is.
Your house and your neighbors' houses, weren't demolished, despite being "substandard?" Wouldn't you have been happier being moved into a big concrete and brick housing project where everything was up to current code? Seriously, I'm not sure I understand your point. Are you suggesting that the older a house gets, the farther from being up to code it is? This may be true, but if an old house is not remodeled, its original equipment is still perfectly legal and safe, as long as it's maintained, and used as designed. (the biggest problem would be with electrical systems, because we have so many electrical gadgets today that weren't part of our lives even in 1980)

Quote:
Sure, neglect was part of it, but not the only issue. Paper-thin walls, lack of safety features (access/egress), unsafe electrical wiring (no ground fault interrupters), and many other issues are part of it as well.
Some of these issues could be easily fixed, (just like how you brought your kitchen up to code) and some are what I'm calling inherent structural deficiencies. The problem is that, when the governing entity wanted to remove undesirable people from an area/neighborhood, they could cite all of these things--both the easy to fix things, and the real problems--as reasons to tear it all down to build something "better." (or build a new freeway on-ramp)

Quote:
DH and I once rented a house in Champaign, IL (where I saw some of the worst housing of my career) that was originally built in 1953 without a furnace! Now Champaign isn't as cold as the upper midwest, but it sure as heck isn't Florida either.
Did the house not have indoor plumbing? I would have thought most cities would require residences have indoor plumbing by the 1950's. And, that far north, there had to be a heat source to keep the plumbing from freezing.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:13 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,020 posts, read 102,689,903 times
Reputation: 33083
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
Did the house not have indoor plumbing? I would have thought most cities would require residences have indoor plumbing by the 1950's. And, that far north, there had to be a heat source to keep the plumbing from freezing.
FYI, there is no standard definition of "substandard housing". If my 19 year old house had some deficiencies, I'd like to see a list of deficiencies in some of these grand old homes of the 1900-1930s era.

Yes, the house had indoor plumbing. It originally had a space heater in the living room. It was built on a concrete slab. One of my friends rented a house in the same subdivision, and turned her heat way down one Christmas when she was going away. The temps got very cold, and she was afraid the pipes would freeze and crack the concrete. Fortunately, that did not happen.

I just now found an article about housing since the 1940s:

http://www.eceee.org/conference_proc..._1/p1_17/paper
In 1940 nearly half of houses lacked hot piped water, a bathtub or shower, or a
flush toilet. Over a third of houses didn’t have a flush toilet. As late as 1960, over 25% of the
houses in 16 states didn’t have complete plumbing facilities.


My allowable three sentences.

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 12-31-2012 at 08:05 PM..
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:31 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,864,073 times
Reputation: 1439
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Yes, the projects of Chicago were a disaster. However, I will say that big apt. buildings is what a lot of New Urbanists are promoting for cities. We're always celebrating "density" on this forum. I've been in a lot of housing projects, too. Most of them are uninspiring, but I will say they usually have a working kitchen and bathroom, and the city/county is a better landlord than a lot of slumlords when it comes to fixing problems.
The projects in Chicago however were better than the cold water flats they replaced(thoose were more common in the 30ies and 40ies).
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,666,018 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
FYI, there is no standard definition of "substandard housing". If my 19 year old house had some deficiencies, I'd like to see a list of deficiencies in some of these grand old homes of the 1900-1930s era.

Yes, the house had indoor plumbing. It originally had a space heater in the living room. It was built on a concrete slab. One of my friends rented a house in the same subdivision, and turned her heat way down one Christmas when she was going away. The temps got very cold, and she was afraid the pipes would freeze and crack the concrete. Fortunately, that did not happen.

I just now found an article about housing since the 1940s:

http://www.eceee.org/conference_proc..._1/p1_17/paper
In 1940 nearly half of houses lacked hot piped water, a bathtub or shower, or a
flush toilet. Over a third of houses didnít have a flush toilet. As late as 1960, over 25% of the
houses in 16 states didnít have complete plumbing facilities.


My allowable three sentences.
I haven't worked very hard to make this point, but you're helping to prove it. There isn't a standard definition of substandard housing, and was left up to authorities who might have had other reasons for declaring a dwelling substandard. Also, the deficiencies that made a dwelling "substandard" weren't always that damaging. (like the number of outlets or heating registers in your kitchen) So while there certainly were examples of terrible housing that were demolished, it doesn't necessarily prove that most of the housing removed in the name of "slum clearance" was not worth saving.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:42 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,020 posts, read 102,689,903 times
Reputation: 33083
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
I haven't worked very hard to make this point, but you're helping to prove it. There isn't a standard definition of substandard housing, and was left up to authorities who might have had other reasons for declaring a dwelling substandard. Also, the deficiencies that made a dwelling "substandard" weren't always that damaging. (like the number of outlets or heating registers in your kitchen) So while there certainly were examples of terrible housing that were demolished, it doesn't necessarily prove that most of the housing removed in the name of "slum clearance" was not worth saving.
You are referencing some deficiencies with my house, which you cleverly called "substandard". I tried to find a definition for this when we discussed it some time ago, you know how I am with people actually talking about something objective. I couldn't what I found was that there are many, relating to square footage per person (remember that fight?) and other issues. Here's a good one I didn't come across during that search.

State of the Nation's Healthy Housing
An estimated 5.7 million U.S. families live in substandard housing—housing conditions that cause significant illness, injury and deaths;

Tuberculosis is very much a disease of overcrowded housing. There are others.

WHO | What are the health risks related to overcrowding?
For communities, inadequate shelter and overcrowding are major factors in the transmission of diseases with epidemic potential such as acute respiratory infections, meningitis, typhus, cholera, scabies, etc. Outbreaks of disease are more frequent and more severe when the population density is high.
(For all you "celebrate density" folks)

Housing conditions that serve as risk factors for tuberculosis infection and disease - CCDR Vol.33 ACS-9 - Public Health Agency of Canada
Housing conditions are used as socio-economic indicators of health and well-being1-4. Poor housing quality and overcrowding are associated with poverty, specific ethnic groups and increased susceptibility to disease4-6. Crowding, poor air quality within homes as a result of inadequate ventilation, and the presence of mold and smoke contribute to poor respiratory health in general and have been implicated in the spread and/or outcome of tuberculosis (TB)7-10.

Welcome
It should not be forgotten however that T.B. is a disease of overcrowding and is not that infectious. Where there are overcrowded conditions, however, it can quickly spread through a family.

That first link has a lot of good information. I would suggest reading it. Furthermore, I would suggest a "field trip" to a slum, ghetto, or whatever you want to call it. I think I am the only person currently posting who has even been inside some of these "gems in the rough" as many of you seem to think of them. Remember, some of the worst housing has likely been demolished, what's left is what you see.

ETA: Regarding my "substandard" house, you totally missed the point. The point is, when you start rehabbing these places, they have to be brought up to present day code, which can be quite expensive.

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 01-01-2013 at 09:56 AM..
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,666,018 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
You are referencing some deficiencies with my house, which you cleverly called "substandard". I tried to find a definition for this when we discussed it some time ago, you know how I am with people actually talking about something objective. I couldn't what I found was that there are many, relating to square footage per person (remember that fight?) and other issues. Here's a good one I didn't come across during that search.
That's the point. There isn't/wasn't a standard definition of "substandard." Some authority figure came along and displaced a neighborhood for what they thought was some greater good. A dwelling could have been perfectly acceptable to the people living there, but this authority figure came along and told them that their residence was substandard, (and as you point out with your own house, it's easy for a dwelling to not meet current code) and that they needed to move.

Quote:
State of the Nation's Healthy Housing
An estimated 5.7 million U.S. families live in substandard housingóhousing conditions that cause significant illness, injury and deaths;
And keep reading: "yet we can prevent many of them through housing regulation, inexpensive repairs, ongoing maintenance, and small behavior changes." This was probably largely true 50 years ago.

Quote:
Tuberculosis is very much a disease of overcrowded housing. There are others.

WHO | What are the health risks related to overcrowding?
For communities, inadequate shelter and overcrowding are major factors in the transmission of diseases with epidemic potential such as acute respiratory infections, meningitis, typhus, cholera, scabies, etc. Outbreaks of disease are more frequent and more severe when the population density is high.
(For all you "celebrate density" folks)
Who are the "celebrate density folks" that are suggesting we live in 3rd world conditions?

Quote:
Housing conditions that serve as risk factors for tuberculosis infection and disease - CCDR Vol.33 ACS-9 - Public Health Agency of Canada
Housing conditions are used as socio-economic indicators of health and well-being1-4. Poor housing quality and overcrowding are associated with poverty, specific ethnic groups and increased susceptibility to disease4-6. Crowding, poor air quality within homes as a result of inadequate ventilation, and the presence of mold and smoke contribute to poor respiratory health in general and have been implicated in the spread and/or outcome of tuberculosis (TB)7-10.

Welcome
It should not be forgotten however that T.B. is a disease of overcrowding and is not that infectious. Where there are overcrowded conditions, however, it can quickly spread through a family.
Yes, if there were 10+ people living in my 3 bedroom house, and one had an infectious illness, I imagine it would spread easily. But no one is suggesting that kind of over-crowding.

Quote:
That first link has a lot of good information. I would suggest reading it. Furthermore, I would suggest a "field trip" to a slum, ghetto, or whatever you want to call it. I think I am the only person currently posting who has even been inside some of these "gems in the rough" as many of you seem to think of them. Remember, some of the worst housing has likely been demolished, what's left is what you see.
All of the houses I looked at, while looking for my project house, were rentals (and neglected) for decades before they were eventually abandoned and finally acquired by a non-profit who put them up for sale. I do understand though, that these houses were originally built for the upper-middle class. But I also lived in a house (owned by my mom for a few years) that was built for the working class. It was well maintained, though.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:49 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,020 posts, read 102,689,903 times
Reputation: 33083
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post

Who are the "celebrate density folks" that are suggesting we live in 3rd world conditions?
I didn't say anyone was suggesting we live in third world conditions. However, we have a number of posts celebrating density, arguing for more density all the time, etc.

Here's one.
Urban Density Comparisons
Now someone will say, "oh, that's just a comparison, makes no value judgements". But if you read it, higher density is clearly the preference of most posters. And then there are those who excoriate the burbs (and by extension their residents) for being LOW density. I'm not going to quote any of those; they were contentious at the time.
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