A passage from it that resonates with personal significance:
Housing policy is serious business and needs to be discussed in the context of the effect of the housing on people, however it got that way.This problem is much, much larger than the edifices involved. It is indicative of at least one thing: how much the bottom dollar trumps the nurturing of community these days. When there is no chance for people with aspirations to grow and change and eventually pull themselves out of their poverty and their dependent status in society, it is then that their surroundings become more of a prison that a home. A home that others can profit off of mightily.
Alexander von Hoffman of Harvard wrote a paper on public housing I especially thought this part was on target."The fundamental dilemma facing public housing was the changing character of its tenants. ... After the war, the clientèle became lower-class rural migrants ... many of whom had little experience with the city and its institutions. ... To make matters worse, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the federal public housing agency insisted that local authorities enforce income limits, expelling many stable and upwardly mobile tenants ..."warehouse the poor" seems an apt paraphrase of "limit[ing] the program to low-income people", something included in the 1949 housing bill.
It seems that the paper in general supports the idea of mixed income developments, something advocated by every current proposal.
There has also always been a paternalistic bent in social programs designed to help the poor, often to keep them from misusing the assistance. You can see this in almost every assistance program ever conceived. The paper also mentions that "social work" receded. I think people should be "empowered" to make their own choices.
In New Orleans (and other places) we also have the history of a failed Housing Agency which mismanaged the resources it was allocated and created a grossly ineffective and expensive drain on other city resources. Public administration of housing has failed miserably here and pretty much everywhere. The repeated attempts to fix HANO all failed. It is an intractable problem and there is no known way to fix it.