A $900 million, five-year plan to revitalize the devasted South Bronx where President Carter was greeted in October by shouts of "Give us money" and "We want jobs" was made public today by lame duck Mayor Abraham D. Beame.
The plan calls for roughly 75 per cent federal funding of the massive rehabilitation effort and Beame said it has been given to federal authorities for their consideration.
"We believe we have submitted a document that would work if implemented. It would serve as a model for rebuilding vital parts of other cities," Beame said.
The South Bronx has become a national symbol of urban destruction and desolation.
In the past two years there have been 7,000 fires, a large number deliberately set. Since 1973, some 300 firms and 10,000 jobs have departed. There are more than 3,000 vacant lots and buildings covering over 500 acres. The population has dropped 14 per cent since 1970 and one of three residents is on welfare. The per capita income is 40 per cent of the national average.
After his Oct. 5 visit, Carter said: "It was a very sobering trip for me to see the devastation that has taken place in the South Bronx in the last five years . . . I think they [the residents] still have to know we care."
Major features of the plan released by Beame include creation of three industrial parks, a residential new town, revitalization of existing shopping areas, construction or renovation of 22,000 housing units and creation of 10,000 jobs.
A 61-page summary of the plan states that economic development has highest priority. The South Bronx, it says, has the most attractive industrial land in the city because of highway and waterway access.
Unemployment is as high as 30 per cent, the report says. It adds dryly "the South Bronx suffers from the public perception that its streets are crime-ridden and unsafe to travel on."
New York City would contribute $49.7 million over five years. New York State would pay between $82 million and $132 million and the federal burden would be $658 million ot $738 million, the report says. "A major purpose of the plan is to induce investment from private sources," the report adds.