Housing Project: A Record of Acts / by Brian Prugh

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HOUSING PROJECT (2013)

Housing Project documents the unsuccessful attempt on the part of the author to prevent the final approval of a plan to privatize graduate student housing at the University of Iowa. Emails, letters, notes from a meeting with the university administration and a transcript of the author's statement to the Iowa Board of Regents reveal the hidden costs of the proposal and the negative impact that the new housing will have on the communities that the apartments currently serve. These documents “do the math,” calling into question the priorities of decision makers. Taken together with the documents surrounding the approval of the plan and information about the corporations involved, Housing Project presents as complete a picture as possible of the actions and motives behind a decision that was not really a decision at all.

Housing Project reveals the ways in which administrative decision-making processes, by depending on consultants, are structured to result in “public-private partnerships” favorable to corporations that specialize in these profitable relationships, and it witnesses the painful ways in which human beings can talk past one another when greed, ambition, and bureaucracy get in the way.

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