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Jap Town Slum Drive Growing
Quick Survey Is Ordered by Geiger

The move to prevent San Francisco’s 20-block Japanese district from becoming the worst slum in the city’s history gathered momentum today as various groups and municipal government leaders studied cures for the problem.

Immediate action was taken by Health Director Geiger, who ordered six housing division inspectors to begin a house-to-house investigation in the area and take condemnation proceedings against any buildings that fail to meet city standards of safety and health.

It was admitted, however, that condemnation proceedings could only result in the dwellings being left empty to deteriorate further and perhaps become nothing more than fire hazards and unsightly spots in the district, because city and state laws prevent them from being turned over to real estate or other agencies for development.

Wait for Legislature

Raymond D. Smith, acting secretary of the San Francisco Real Estate Board, said the board, which has been studying the situation for two months, believes the best program is to wait until the State Legislature reconvenes next year and seek slum clearance legislation.

Under a plan to be advanced Thursday by the Associated Home Builders of San Francisco the entire section would be razed and be left idle until after the war. This plan, though not fully developed, would propose that present property owners would be given full protection.

The Board of Supervisors began their study of the problem with a resolution by Supervisor MacPhee calling for the board to formulate a rehabilitation program for the area. It will be taken up by a committee Thursday.

The resolution suggested that the development of the Sausalito shipyard probably will create a housing need which “Little Tokio” might fill.

San Francisco News
April 14, 1942

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