Talk:Public housing

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I heard someone on the radio talking about living in an Estate. I assumed that an Estate is a term for a public housing project in England. Any UK folks care to comment? Gbleem 05:11, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

It's called a council estate. "Estate" might be an abbrevation, but "estate" also has the same meaning as it does in the US. Moncrief 06:45, Mar 31, 2004 (UTC)
Should I add that to the article? Gbleem 17:43, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I don't think you need to. There is already a link to "council housing" in the UK section of this article ("council estate" is just a variation of this term) and there's already a redirect to this article from the term "coucil estate." Moncrief 20:06, Mar 31, 2004 (UTC)
"Estate" can mean two things predominantly in the UK. Firstly, it may mean a short-form of "council estate" = public housing for normally working classes or those on a low income (in big cities, arguably, increasingly more so-called "middle income" people are also being pushed into public housing), built on-average mainly circa the two world wars and beyond. Secondly, it can mean an "historic country estate" = a large country house and the medium-to-large grounds, outbuildings, and/or extra smaller holdings (eg. cottages) they have under their estate ownership for which they often rent-out to farmers (eg. land) or other villagers (eg. cottages) needing housing to live in, whether those worker are directly connected to the main estate house or not – though traditionally, the land was farmed by the upperclass owners' workers directly and the cottages were thus lived-in by farm workers on the country estate (a similar USA example might be called the ranch). Many cottages and/or land are being sold-off separately to pay for the increasingly very large running costs of the main country houses, which require hundreds of thousands of pounds annually to maintain. All this is the reason UK realtors are called "estate agents" (the "estate" being a grandiose [thus good marketing] term to describe the ownership of ones "things", mainly meaning bricks-and-mortor property. Jimthing (talk) 04:20, 29 January 2011 (UTC)


I changed the "US & Canada" section to reflect simply the US. The article actually didn't mention Canada at all, and while there are some US-style housing projects in Canada (in some large cities), the public housing situation here is generally very different. I hope to add a Canada-specific section soon.


you act like candian housing projects are worse than the Americna public housing situation we are lucky here in canada that the violence hasnt spred up north to us.

Violence hasn't spread up morth? You must be from Saskatchewn or something because here in Toronto I can show you some violence. I am so sure you wouldn't mind walking past the corner of jane and finch at late hours.

Interesting thing is, Saskatchewan actually has a higher per capita homicide rate than Ontario -- 4.33 to 1.74 per 100,000, respectively. ( ). And, Toronto's murder rate is only slightly higher than Ontario's a whole, at 1.8 per 100,000. ( ). 11:44, 20 November 2006 (UTC)Erin

^That wasn't his point though. Last year, Toronto had 84 homicide's with 47 of those being gun-related. If you don't consider that to be 'violent' then what is? And you forget...Toronto is a city made up of 2.2 million people. Of course the good neighbourhood's will out-weigh the Bad neighbourhoods or else people wouldn't call it the Liveable City now would they?- Quiet

If you consider the homicide rate in Toronto's low income neighbourhoods such as Jane and Finch, it would be much higher. —

This proves my suspect that Wikipedia articles are started by people who are totally clueless on the subject, and trying to rack up writing points

Why is there is a picture up of St James Town to represent "Prajects" in Toronto???. St James Town was never associated with public housing until recently. It was built in the 60's as a high middle class apartment buildings. It was never purpose built social housing. Toronto housing bought a few of the building after the area became a destination for new immigrants in the late 1990's

2.2 million is a huge number for most people in Canada. Try new york at close to 8 million and has stayed that way since the 1940's

Toronto does not represent all of Canada. Public housing differs substantially across the country, some projects owned by the Feds (CMHC), some owned by provinces, some owned by cities. Some new some old... High-rise public housing for families was a decision CMHC made in Toronto, and they quickly realized it was a mistake. That mistake was rarely repeated in the rest of the country.

It is important to note that the city of Toronto has more public housing projects than the rest of Canada. Other cities in Canada can't compare to Toronto when it comes to violence in low-income areas.

The city of Vancouver has close to 20,000 government funded housing units, and it has the *poorest* neighbourhood in the entire country (do a Wikipedia search for Vancouver's Downtown Eastside)

Yes, but that is only one notably "unsafe" neighbourhood in Vancouver whereas Toronto has quite a number of them.

Fair enough, but you can't say that "social housing" causes "unsafe" neighbourhoods, because Social Housing didn't cause Vancouver's Downtown Eastside to be unsafe (the social housing showed up after it was unsafe). Furthermore the old Social Housing developments that are in Vancouver are typically in normal working class neighbourhoods. Take "Little Mountain" for example. It's a family social housing project that's over 50 years old, and has over 200 family units. The neighbourhood around it seems to be doing just fine. As a matter of fact, it would be hard to buy a house for less than 1/2 a million in that neighbourhood.

It's funny that you say social housing does not cause "unsafe" neighbourhoods, because such is, and always has been the case in Toronto. Neighbourhoods like Jane and Finch, Jamestown, Flemingdon Park, etc. were made as "model suburbs" and eventually when more immigrants came, the crime rate in the aforementioned places started to rise. What I find sad is that the city is redeveloping alot of the projects to make "mixed income" housing. They are also in the process of demolishing one of the largest projects in Toronto (Regent Park), and it looks like they are going to level Lawrence Heights, which is another big one. Anyways, it was cool to learn a little about Vancouver, I am going there this summer! Nice talkin to ya.

"Fair enough, but you can't say that "social housing" causes "unsafe" neighbourhoods"...exactly right.

Many people flap their lips about social housing, when they have never been in on, walked pass one lived in one, walked through one.

Most people in Canada especially in Toronto get their ideas about social housing and "prajects" from the media, and a very alarming one at that. The other source source is ill informed, and want to fit in trendy youths, who spread false information about neighborhoods to look cool, especially people who are into hip rap, as much of the music is associated with that.

New York Problem[edit]

US and Canada may need splitting, as high rises projects do still exist in New York, though they've been torn down everywhere else. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Noremacmada (talkcontribs) 00:28:24, August 19, 2007 (UTC).

HOPE VI[edit]

Any comment on the HUD HOPE VI program? I don't know the history nationwide, but it's been a glaring failure in San Francisco. I have a great deal of information about local conditions, but I can't generalize for the program as a whole.

Question? Does this make sense?[edit]

The article says:

Federal law required that no person could pay more than a quarter of his or her income for rent in public housing. Since middle class people would pay as much, or more, for rent in public housing as they would in superior private housing, middle class people had no incentive to live in public housing at all.

Maybe I'm just stupid, but doesn't this need to be rephrased? The second sentence doesn't seem to follow from the first.

--It makes perfect sense. Public housing rent is income-based, so those who are earning more pay more rent in real terms. Hence when the private rental market was less inflated than it currently is in most built-up parts of the globe, those on middle class salaries could have ended up paying a greater proportion of their income in public housing than in private rental. Then again, those on middle class salaries wouldn't qualify for public housing in the first place. 06:06, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Also, in another section, it mentions the Penn South Houses in NYC as an example of pre-WW2 high rise public housing. According to various sources, Penn South was built in 1961/62, NOT before WW2.


I was noticing that this article doesn't contain any references. There are some statements, such as: "In France, a quarter of the population lives in government-subsidised housing complexes, known as HLM (habitation à loyer modéré)" that need a reference. I don't know where that figure came from--it seems a little high--and there should be a reference and maybe some clarification. I don't think that living in government-subsidized housing implies living in a housing project, as this article suggests.-- 04:37, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

UK Section[edit]

"Council Estates are located in working class neighbourhoods and are magnets for high crime (evidenced by easily available crime statistics) and urban decay due to their negative effect on surrounding property values. They are looked upon as very undesirible by middle class and upper middle class Britons to have located in their neighbourhoods. Many elderly and/or disabled tenants suffer greatly due to the inability of responsible government agencies to clamp down on rampant crime. So-called activists will often fight any legislation that would throw out undesirable tenants claiming civil rights violations."

Nothing is cited for this paragraph. Someone clearly has an axe to grind. Will edit shortly. ClaudiaVEGraham 15:48, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

"Yet this social housing is still so expensive that 77 per cent of all tenants need to claim housing benefit in order to live in it". This is misleading and redundant. Entitlement to Housing Benefit is primarily based on income, not cost of housing. Only once income exceeds a certain level does the cost of housing affect entitlement. So even if social housing cost a few pence, most tenants would still be entitled to claim housing benefit to live in it. (see main article on Housing Benefit

I have added some paragraphs covering changes to social housing management in the UK since 1979 - Right to Buy, Large scale transfers to HAs, ALMOs, Decent Homes, Choice Based Lettings. There is some overlap with the Council Housing entry, but if someone searched on social housing and arrived at this UK entry I hope the extra material will provide some help. Seeing the first item above, maybe more to say on ASBOs and tenancy agreements? Sheffsmedley (talk) 09:32, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Not convinced of this paragraph:- "Local Authorities have been discouraged from building council housing since 1979. The Parker Morris standard was abolished for those that were built, resulting in smaller room sizes and fewer facilities. And the Right to Buy was introduced, resulting in the move of some of the best stock from public tenanted to private owner occupation." Firstly who says LA's have been discouraged? Secondly, in 5 years as a councilor on a council with Housing, and a member of the planning committee during that time, I can't recollect ever hearing about the Parker Morris standard, so while the statement is invariably true (while I was on the planning committee I felt a constant pressure from developers to reduce building sizes, for both Private and Social housing), the implication is of a strong causal link, that isn't there. Similarly in the final statement, which also seems to have an axe to grind against RTB. While it's almost certainly true that the best stock has been bought by tenants, the implication, by using the adjective best, is that this is a bad thing. Whereas the Right To Buy was one of the most popular aspects of the 1980s Tory government, and served to keep Margaret Thatcher in office. After all it moved more people out of Council Housing into Private Housing than any other measure since the Rent Act (by allowing them to purchase their own homes) sibaz 17:41, 30 December 2011 (UTC)


Racism is an issue in the United States? There are no issues with racism in Canada? This is an opinion, unreferenced and silly. Native Canadians feel totally at home?

It could, however, be valid, were it rephrased: "Racial issues tend to persist more in the public housing projects of the United States, due to the history of racially-driven income disparity."

Oh yeah, and you'd have to cite that too. The other one was ridiculous. I've removed it. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:13, 19 December 2006 (UTC).

---oh, now someone has removed the entire US/Canada section. Hopefully, it'll be rewritten from a more objective perspective.


I know that much of housing in Austria, or at least in Wien (Vienna) is owned by city or state. Public housing buildings are generally interspersed with other types of buildings, not all tenants are subsidised and some flats are sold on the open market, thus avoiding "ghettoisation" and high rate of crime and vandalism that goes with it.
Would some, err, native care to write a section on this, I would say, rather notable success story? --bonzi 14:36, 21 April 2007 (UTC)


Why has someone gotten all the references to "public housing" in this article and changed them to "projects"? "Projects" is very Americo-centric. I don't know of anywhere else in the world where public housing is referred to as "projects". Certainly public housing estates in Australia are never referred to as "projects", yet the Australian section of this article was thus changed. --TripleThree 04:08, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

It all boil's down to the same meaning my friend whether you may call it a Project, a Ghetto or an Estate. - Quiet

Excuse me, Quiet, that is not the right attitude to bring to the editing of an encyclopedia. Of course it is important to get the terminology correct, and that may well mean that terms will vary between countries. As in all other areas of life, let's strive for an absence of USA hegemony. ~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:44, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I was under the impression Project was a euphmism anyway, thus completely wrong. Also, there is a massive difference between a Ghetto and social housing, though technically social housing would be a form of ghetto. Every word Quiet used though is inapropriat.( (talk) 18:22, 15 March 2009 (UTC))

Possible controversy here?[edit]

From the article:

HLM construction was (as far as we know, nothing proves that it is still the case) also a major -- and illegal! -- source of political financing: building companies had to pay back the political party of the mayor that launched an HLM program. This resulted in corruption and some scandals ; the last and most important one was about Paris' HLM, it implied all major parties that all had a share of the corruption money[1], and it resulted in an important reform of political financing (the HLM system itself escaped reform).

I'm thinking we need a whole pile of sources for this: and illegal, building HLM program, corruption and some scandals, and lastly, which "reform" is being referred to? As a US citizen, I don't know exactly what's being referred to, but it smells rotten. FuzzyPlushroom (talk) 03:39, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Hi, I'm a french native (still living in France, for 21 years now)
I can confirm everything written here (I am no the author, it's my first visit on this page, I wanted to know what americans meant when they said "projects"), the HLM projects, like many nation-wide construction projects (example : there was a lot of scandals of corruption about public highschool construction project), were subject of corruption. The most famous (and the most important to date ; as similar corruption schemes still exist, but in more smaller and complex forms, to avoid judges and media attention) is the "Paris' HLM affair" (see : Affaire_des_HLM_de_Paris (Wikipedia France) for more details) which was so big it led judges to a second smaller and similar corruption scheme in Haut-de-Seine ( Affaires_des_HLM_des_Hauts-de-Seine (Wikipedia France) . I can't translate the whole article right now and provide sources (there's so many documents, it's one of the most complex french corruption affair), but I'll see if I can something this week-end.
How it worked (works) ? The mayor decide to spend a part of the public budget on HLM construction, some construction companies gave money to mayor friends and friends' companies, faking services for them, and the HLM construction would go to the corrupting companies. The corruption later extended to other elements of the HLM project like the elevator installation and maintenance. The corruption consequences were visible few years later : very low quality buildings requiring high cost of repair/maintenance (painting have to be re-done completely, concrete have cracks, sound isolation is terrible, undeclared asbestos), elevators are out of service very often (even when the company is paid to repair them - due to corruption, lack of controls and insecurity).
About the said reform, it was the 4th reform concerning the financing of political parties, the 19 january 1995 (see Wikipedia France sub-part on this law in the article on french political parties financing. It made any form of donations from any form of legal person fully illegal (even with a middle-man, like in the HLM affairs). It was made by Phillipe Séguin (RIP), who worked on that law after 3 important ministers had to leave the government due to these HLM scandals (in which they were involved).
France is often the second most corrupted "rich" country (first being Italy) according to Transparency International ; France rank on corruption (1st is the best) was : 25th (2002), 23th (2003), 22th (2004), 18th (2005), 18th (2006), 19th (2007), 23th (2008) and 24th (2009). This is not "just a detail", it's an important part of France identity.
HLM means a lot of thing in french culture : poverty, violence (yea, burned car & co), immigration and 80'/90' corruption (the RPR, Chirac, the Tibery family, an era of corruption...), it's also the most symbolic element of the disrespect and contempt the politics have against immigrants and young french with immigrant origins, these blocks of concrete are the #1 symbol (it's one of the reason some mayor are now destroying "the bars" and replacing them with 1-story to 3-story blocks and/or residential houses)
(For your information, I'm a low-tier middle-class french (with french origins and all, my great-grandparents were peasants in a farm in Aveyron), I lived 10 years very close to one of these "cités HLM", had friends living in HLM and now studying politics and law => I'm not a tinfoil-hat paranoid freak :)-- (talk) 19:00, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

New York City and Chicago[edit]

These two cities should have their own section seing as how they are the leaders of public housing in the USA. Toronto should have a subsection for canada but united states and canada should DEFINETELY be seperated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:33, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

France section - so very POV[edit]

Don't you free-market utopians ever get tired of vandalizing wikipedia? Do you have to implant your biases everywhere? ... This section is written like an article out of some crazy right-wing economics magazine. That is to say, it contains serious biases, and is NOT written encyclopedically. It is yet another embarassment to the Wikipedia community. We should start a site-wide campaign to get rid of these thousands of obsolete POV articles written by people so out of touch with reality. The focus of this article, anyway, should not be on the evil "state intervention", "Strict regulation" or the effects thereof upon rich developers. How sick to care more about the well-off than the post-war needy! How sick! (talk) 00:26, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Brazilian public bank[edit]

Caixa Econômica Federal isn't the only public bank in Brazil, so wouldn't it be more accurate to state it as "a Brazilian federal bank" (in opposition to "the Brazilian federal bank")? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:23, 18 March 2014 (UTC)