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Planning the Home FrontBuilding Bombers and Communities at Willow Run$
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Sarah Jo Peterson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226025421

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226025568.001.0001

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Housing for Defense

Housing for Defense

(p.77) Chapter Three Housing for Defense
Planning the Home Front

Sarah Jo Peterson

University of Chicago Press

As the federal government began to release funds for the construction of ships, tanks, and airplanes at industrial centers, the promise of jobs not only sparked mass migrations and created boom communities but also highlighted the importance of adequate housing for the workers. On the eve of World War II, two competing plans for housing industrial workers emerged. Some favored large-scale developments that combined neighborhood planning and the mass production of apartments and row houses, but Pierre Blouke, architectual advisor to the federal government’s Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC), argued that the focus should be on improving the design of small houses and developing economical construction methods. As mobilization for national defense began to accelerate, conflicts arose. The protagonists ranged from the Federal Housing Administration to the CIO unions, particularly the United Auto Workers (UAW) which supported the “Camden Plan” proposed by union leaders but also suggested its own housing model called Defense City.

Keywords:   housing, World War II, industrial workers, Pierre Blouke, mobilization, national defense, Federal Housing Administration, CIO, United Auto Workers, Camden Plan

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