Sen. William Proxmire (D-Wis.) and other members of the Senate have introduced a legislative package designed to shift emphasis in urban policy toward neighborhood preservation and reinvestment.
The three bills, introduced along with Sens. Jake Garn (R-Utah), Walter Huddleston (D-Ky.) and Edward Brooke (R-Mass.) would make neighborhood preservation a national goal and require cities to plan for housing revitalization. Another Proxmire bill would also require financial regulatory institutions and charter applications to take greater cognizance of the needs of specific negihborhoods.
"It would be an ironic turn if the rich rediscovered old city neighborhoods and pushed out the poor into suburban slums," Proxmire said in introducing the three bills. He said incentives are also needed to help make city neighborhoods "vitable communities for blue collar residents" as well as wealthier newcomers. He said the bills did not call for massive federal funds, but would create incentives for the private community to better utilize existing resources, such as community development revenue sharing funds.
The Proxmire, Garn and Huddleston-sponsored National Neighborhood Policy Act would establish a 20-member commission, to recommend charges in preservation policies, laws and programs. The Neighborhood Preservation Act, co-sponsored with Brooke, would require greater targeting of federal loan money into concentrated areas.