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Milwaukee's community renewal program: Urban renewal techniques
(May 1964)

III. Conservation,   pp. 7-21

Page 12

Once part I of the application is submitted there may be a period of one to two years before the federal
government approves the beginning of execution activities. During this waiting period, the neighborhood may
continue to decline. In order to prevent further deterioration of the project area, and to sustain interest in the
program, the city should provide funds to supply advisory services necessary to maintain the neighborhood until
the execution phase begins.
The city should also extend conservation advisory services without federal assistance to any area threat-
ened by deterioration, but not deteriorating at a rate or to a point where federal assistance is necessary. If no
representative neighborhood organization for neighborhood betterment exists in such an area, the city should
encourage and assist the residents in its formation.
The individual residents are expected to participate in the planning and execution activities through the
neighborhood and block organizations. In meetings with city planners, the citizens help outline the neighbor-
hood goals to be achieved through the conservation program.
In the execution phase of the program, property owners are expected to improve their structures at their
own expense. Before undertaking a conservation program, it is extremely important to know whether owners are
willing to make property repairs and improvements and whether they have the financial capability to upgrade
their structures.
Property owners fall into categories based upon their willingness and financial ability to rehabilitate.
First, there are the owner-occupants who are more or less willing and more or less economically able to rehabil-
itate their houses. Then there are the owner-occupants who, for reasons of age, poverty, or mental or physical
disability, cannot rehabilitate their properties. Finally, there are absentee landlords, some of whom would like
to improve their properties but cannot and will not because of destructive tenants, and some of whom only want
to milk their properties, and some of whom maintain their properties well and will house only good tenants.
The neighborhood organizations can play an important role in motivating the owners. Motivation to
make improvements will involve (1) a recognition by the individual and the group that the neighborhood needs
to be improved, (2) a realization that making such improvements will in the long run be profitable for those who
make them, (3) an assurance that other memKrs of the neighborhood group will participate, and (4) a feeling

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