NOVEMBER 15, 1945
NEW YORK, Wednesday—I had a most interesting letter the other day, drawing my attention to the success of a government housing project for war workers. This is known as Greenmount Village in Dayton, Ohio, and was initiated in 1941. It is one of eight mutual ownership projects built in a locality where the workers are likely to retain their employment after the expiration of the war emergency.
The plan was that the residents of these projects would form mutual ownership corporations which would eventually purchase these properties from the government, at a fair market value; and the government would hold a 45-year mortgage at the interest rate of three percent. Individuals who might lose their jobs, and have to move, were safeguarded by a plan which permitted them to sell their equity in the corporation at any time, either to another individual acceptable to the corporation or direct to the corporation itself.
One of the residents of Greenmount wrote me with pride that they were proving there a point which he felt my husband had wanted to prove—namely, that "the average American only needed the opportunity to help himself." Given that opportunity he would work out his own salvation, which the success of this project seems to prove.
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So many interesting things come to my notice every day that it is sometimes hard to remember to tell you about them. One of them sounds to me like a most unusual and valuable idea.
It is an exhibition which will be put on at the Cleveland, Ohio, Health Museum, and it is sponsored by the Welfare Federation of Cleveland and four other organizations. Since it is an exhibition to show the needs, resources and capacities of the aged, they chose as a slogan "Live Long and Like It." The exhibition shows the increasing proportion of older people to the total population, and portrays dramatically the economic status of many of the old people, as well as their opportunities for recreation. They have a hobby show and an amateur photograph contest and, believe it or not, they found that several hundred hobbies were engaged in by people over 65 years of age.
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The exhibition runs from November 15 to December 10. Dr. R. Clyde White, professor of public welfare at Western Reserve University, who is chairman of the Welfare Federation's committee on the aged, summed up the objective of the exhibition in the following words: "We believe it is high time to set in operation educative forces which will help individuals and their families, as well as community agencies, better to adjust their sights to old age. The reasons and opportunities for increased length of life are of definite interest to all persons, and will be dramatically portrayed in the forthcoming exhibition."
It would seem to me that such an exhibition might well be toured throughout the cities of various states, since we need to think more about our old people as well as more about our children.