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Grant number like: FT-264836-19

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Kristin Maria Szylvian
St. John's University, New York (Queens, NY 11439-9000)
Instant Housing: Operation Breakthrough, George Romney, and the Unrealized promise of the Factory Built House

A book-length study of George Romney's tenure as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and the legacy of public housing initiatives started during the Richard Nixon administration.

The lack of equal opportunity housing was widely regarded as a major factor in the uprising and protests that took place in many US cities between 1962 and 1968. In May 1969 George Romney, US President Richard M. Nixon's Secretary Housing and Urban Development, launched Operation Breakthrough (OB) to help the US dramatically increase housing production. Romney was unable to shatter or "break through" barriers preventing or inhibiting the industrialization of house production including building codes and zoning laws that sought to restrict low-income housing development and union work rules that discouraged the use of mass-assembly methods and new materials in housing. The nine prototype communities built in eight states did, however, offer among the first, publicly funded, privately built integrated, mixed income planned residential communities in the US (edited by staff).

Project fields:
Political History; U.S. History; Urban History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2019 – 7/31/2019