The Ghetto Game: Racial Conflicts in the City

By Dennis Clark | Go to book overview

4
The Housing Industry-- Unfree Enterprise

THE HISTORY of homebuilding and real estate marketing has been turbulent. Not only has competition been intense and speculation rife, but professional organization has lagged and the economics of the housing market have been erratic.1 The use of the word "industry" to designate the business networks that transfer and finance real estate is questionable. The business elements which produce and market dwellings form a rather haphazard structure of interlocking interests rather than an industry in any accurate sense of the word. The business of producing and exchanging residential property goes on, however, and with it the ordination of residential racial patterns.

Homebuilding and real estate brokerage have traditionally been easy business areas to enter. As one builder put it, "Anybody who has a wheelbarrow and who can get his hands on some land is a homebuilder." A great deal of capital has not generally been required. It is not uncommon for a sizable portion of the homebuilding companies in an area to be made up of men who began as odd-job carpenters, stonemasons, bricklayers, or even laborers. This speaks well for American initiative, but there seems to be no reasonable expectation that such

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The Ghetto Game: Racial Conflicts in the City
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • 1 - Race and Our Cities 3
  • 2 - Segregation's Sequence 27
  • 3 - Negroes Are . . . 53
  • 4 - The Housing Industry-- Unfree Enterprise 83
  • 5 - Distant Neighbors 107
  • 6 - Streets of Danger 135
  • 7 - Renewal and Rights 159
  • 8 - The Order of Tolerance 181
  • 9 - The Determinants of Change 207
  • 10 - Formula for Urban Freedom 225
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