Grants have been applied for to set up a casino placement service to facilitate people getting jobs in the casino industry. Similarly, a grant has been obtained to set up a housing relocation center clearinghouse. But these are merely information centers. If housing is scarce and expensive, the clearinghouse can serve no real use in placing people who are poor.
Only those few families involved in public housing are getting sound planning. The Atlantic City Housing Authority operates about 1650 units (out of 15,000 in the city). The Housing Authority has its own residents constituting 36 percent of its own staff. It collects data on the nature of its residents (for example, it knows that 81% of the heads of households are female). It has negotiated with Resorts International to train and hire the females in the public housing units for a machine operating plant and it is negotiating with Playboy to train its residents for the building trades. This competent organized planning is the exception rather than the rule.
The displacement of the poor presents the most critical problem. Yet, as we see the existing cities, such as Camden and Newark, in urgent need of revitalization, there seems to be a great need for state wide planning to create job and housing opportunities throughout the state. The revitalization of Atlantic City alone may merely shift the burden of the poor and unemployed to other communities.
Economic Research Associates: Impact of Casino Gambling on the Redevelopment Potential of the Uptown Urban Renewal Site and on the Economy of Atlantic City. Atlantic City, Economic Research Associates, 1976.
Associated Press: "Casino side effect". Philadelphia Inquirer, 11 November 1978, p. 1A.