Teaching Cleveland
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High School Edition: 9-12

Lesson 37

Where Blighted Areas Bloom into Acres of Homes


To discuss the creation of public housing in Cleveland.



Charles Salee "A New Day" war bond air raid wardens tenant council civilian defense Gordon H. Simpson supply and demand cooperative enterprise aspirations


  1. Where was Cleveland's first public housing established?
  2. Why was it necessary to construct public housing in Cleveland?


  1. Have the students read the Fact Sheet on public housing and the article from the Call and Post.Have the students answer the discussion questions below:
    a. Where was Cleveland's first public housing built?
    b. Why were units built at this location?
    c. What was the Tenant Council? What were its duties?
    d. How did the tenants use the establishment of clubs as a way to control what happened in the public housing units?
    e. What did Gordon Simpson believe were the obligations of public housing authorities toward their tenants ?
    f. What were the obligations of the residents towards the public housing in which they lived?
    g. Why was "supply and demand" an important factor in determining who would live in public housing?
    h. Why was public housing in Cleveland in the 1930s and 1940s truly a cooperative enterprise?
    i. Why do you think public housing continued to grow in Cleveland?
    j. What type of public housing do you think we will have 50 years from now?
    k. How has the view of public housing changed since the 1940s?
    l. How do you think people will view public housing 50 years from now?
  2. Have the students design public housing for the future.
  3. Have the students list social problems which contribute to the need to have public housing. Students should then brainstorm solutions to these problems, which might eliminate the need for public housing in the future.

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