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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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The Battle for Bomber City

The Battle for Bomber City

(p.107) Chapter Four The Battle for Bomber City
Planning the Home Front

Sarah Jo Peterson

University of Chicago Press

The United Auto Workers (UAW) proposed Defense City was challenged by the Detroit area real estate industry, which insisted that there was no housing shortage and that public housing was not necessary. While the military began to assert its interests in the details of housing policy, developers turned to the Federal Housing Administration and allies in Congress. The stalemate was resolved by adopting a new type of housing construction, “temporary” housing for families. The outcome was determined by UAW’s Defense City, which came at a time when the country was in transition between defense and war, and the Willow Run Bomber Plant. The military’s opposition to permanent housing, combined with Congress’s continuing skepticism about public housing, led to the demise of permanent public war housing. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s request for an additional $600 million for the Lanham Act was refused by Congress, until after all permanent public housing was scrapped by the National Housing Agency.

Keywords:   public housing, United Auto Workers, Defense City, Detroit, housing policy, Congress, Willow Run Bomber Plant, permanent housing, war housing, National Housing Agency

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