neighborhood, urban, suburb, housing, housing deterioration, blight, preservation, Neighborhood Preservation Program, New York, renewal, housing code


The push to the suburbs, financed in large part by federal mortgage guarantees and highway construction moneys and bolstered by exclusionary zoning, has generated forces which tend to leave old urban neighborhoods in shambles. The syndrome of housing deterioration is well known. The dilemma of the deteriorating neighborhood is heightened in a city such as New York, where a large proportion of its population lives in old multiple family buildings. After almost forty years marked by a succession of programs designed to eliminate slums and blighted areas, New York City has concluded that its older neighborhoods must be protected from the devastation of the deterioration process so that they can be recycled or used by new generations of urban dwellers. On May 23, 1973 the Mayor of the City of New York created the Neighborhood Preservation Program, the first truly comprehensive effort in the nation aimed at preserving sound urban neighborhoods. The purpose of this article is to examine how the program is designed to operate, and analyze how well its objectives have been, and potentially may be, achieved.

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