HOUSING: Ghetto Shakedown

The lack of decent housing for poor people living in the nation's largest cities has long been a national scandal. Doubtless it contributed to the fury of the race riots that plagued U.S. ghettos in the mid-1960s. In response, Congress in 1968 directed the Federal Housing Administration to help the poor buy homes in "high risk" areas by guaranteeing mortgages and sometimes subsidizing part of their mortgage payments. But with indictments last week in New York and Philadelphia and investigations under way elsewhere, that program itself was becoming a scandal in which the poor once again had become the...

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