The Present Day of Public Housing’s Past

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The John Robinson Homes, which opened in 1943 as a segregated apartment complex for black families in East St. Louis. CREDIT WILLIAM WIDMER | SPECIAL TO PROPUBLICA

MUSIC BY Trifeckta, ClassicBeatz

On this episode ... 

The specter of Pruitt-Igoe still looms over St. Louis. The massive 1950s era public housing complex suffered under disinvestment and bad public policy. Ultimately, officials literally blew the whole thing up. Since then, the focus of public housing has shifted to the Section 8 voucher program and smaller developments. Yet, the model of large public housing complexes is still very much alive today. From mice to mold, the problems facing St. Louis’ aging public housing complexes is long. And there’s not much funding to fix a backlog of issues. On this episode, we tell you what life is like for our neighbors living in two of the last remaining vestiges of St. Louis’ public housing past. 

Past episodes on public housing …

Affordable Housing: Redrawing the master plan

Sectioned Off: Low-income housing in America

Reporting by Molly Parker and Ashley Lisenby on public housing in East St. Louis …

Ben Carson declared mission accomplished in East St. Louis—where public housing is still a disaster