We also have developed slums in America - those sores of the old world cities. It might have been supposed that in a new country like the United States, with opportunity to develop as we wished, with all the land that we could possibly desire at low prices, these objectionable features of an older civilization would not be repeated.
Unfortunately, however, some cities of America not only have developed slums but have the worst slums in the civilized world; this is notably so of New York and of some parts of Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Cleveland and other cities.
It would not be accurate to say that slums prevail generally in America. What is true, however, is that we have slum spots or small sections of slums in all of our great cities. Fortunately, these are not very great in extent in most of the cities and can be remedied. They do, however, possess all the usual characteristics of the slum and produce the kind of crop that is to be expected from such conditions.
We have been conscious of a housing problem in America for nearly 100 years. That is a very long time in the history of so comparatively young a country as the United States. It may very properly be asked, therefore, "What has been done to remedy bad housing conditions in this country and what is being done at the present time?"
While we have been conscious of housing evils for nearly a century, that consciousness has existed only in the great cosmopolitan centers, particularly in the city of New York. Outside of New York there has been a consciousness of need of effort for housing reform for more than a period of 25 years.
There are various movements on foot - national in their scope - seeking to deal with the situation. Various citizens' organizations that have been formed by public spirited men and women who are conscious of the evils that flow from the neglect of such conditions and who are anxious to take steps in a practical way to prevent their growth, and to remedy existing evils - so far as they are remediable.