Housing census 1950- Bad bones


This PDF you can find wandering around www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/index.html the census website and look at the data and come to your own conclusions. Because I have a bias, you have a bias, and we filter information differently.

This is for housing, looking at the condition of houses in the TC part of Shaw, enumeration district 46. ED 46 goes from New Jersey Ave NW to Florida Ave NW to New York Ave NW. Other parts of Shaw are in EDs 44, 48, 45, 49, and 50. But I live in ED 46 so that's what I'm looking at.

In 1950 there were 1766 housing units in Truxton Circle total. Only 385 of those units were owner occupied, 1,297 rentals, the rest vacant. What does this mean? If you're living in the TC the house you're in was probably a rental for years because of what I've seen in other Census housing reports. And that means the landlord more than likely didn't live near the house and didn't give the house the same level of attention that a owner occupied house would get. Of 1720 units, 439 had no bathroom and or was dilapidated, 268 no running water at all and or was considered dilapidated.

Let's look at a couple of blocks. Census block 2, Square 507 and Census block 20, Square #617. Block #2 is bordered by NJ, RI, FL and 4th St. Of 106 units on that block, 26 were owner occupied, 78 rentals, 2 vacant/for sale. Of the occupied units, 47 had no private bath/ dilapidated, and 7 had no running water/ dilapidated. 100% of the block was non-white, read African American more than likely. Average rent $37.56 a month. Block #20 bounded by N St, North Cap, O and 1st Streets. Of 189 units, 31 were owner occupied, 155 rentals, 2 vacant/for sale, and 1 other type of vacant. Of 186 reported occupied units, 90 had no private bath/ dilapidated, 86 had no running water/dilapidated . 153 were non-white and the average rent was $36.80. To get a sense, city wide there were 223,675 units, 27,727 with no private bath and 10,965 with no running water, average monthly rent $57.42.

The funny thing is whether a house is considered dilapidated based on if there was decent plumbing. The actual phrasing is "No private bath or dilap."/ "No running water or dilap." According to the report, "a dwelling unit is 'dilapidated' when it is run down or neglected or is of inadequate original construction, so that it does not provide adequate shelter or protection against the elements or it endangers the safety of the occupants."

In 1960 Block 2 had 77 units, 69 sound, 7 deteriorating, 1 dilapidated. Block 20, 180 units, 45 sound, 86 deteriorating, 49 dilapidated, and a majority of occupied housing rented. Both majority non-white but not 100% non-white. For both, the number of units went down, block 2 the most. Renters were the majority still.
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But the real question is what did those blocks look like in 1970 after the riots? I tried digging through the forms but couldn't figure it out, maybe you did? I imagine there were a lot more dilapidated buildings and even more in 80 or 90...

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