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Pittsfield Village Integration Said Problem-Free

Pittsfield Village Integration Said Problem-Free image
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The movement of Negro families into Pittsfield Village has been free of problems, Malcolm R. Lovell, jr., of Pittsfield Village, Inc., said in an interview.

Since the first Negro family moved in last year following a dispute, several other Negro families have rented there, he said. “We are pleased to have these families,” he added.

In the early months of 1962, the Village, an apartment development of more than 400 units on Ann Arbor’s far east side between Washtenaw Ave. and Packard St., was the scene of picketing by the Ann Arbor Area Fair Housing Association.

The association claimed that discriminatory policies were keeping Negroes from the Village. Reaume and Dodds, Inc., of Detroit, manager, denied the charge.

Last March, about 30 persons marched from the Village to the City Hall to dramatize the association’s contention. The association asked the City Council to publicly support a policy of open occupancy at Pittsfield Village.

The council responded by saying that discrimination in housing because of race, color, creed, or national origin is in violation of the city’s public policy. However, on housing development was specified.

Finally, last August, with the aid of the city’s Human Relations Commission, a settlement was reached and the first Negro family became Village residents a few months later.

Lovell said the Village has always felt that it would be desirable for Negroes to live there as long as they met the basic requirements applicable to all others but that this sentiment was never put into a policy statement.

He said that the meetings with the association’s representatives revealed “that the basic philosophy of both groups was the same on what was desirable. Up to that point not many Negroes had wanted to live in Pittsfield Village.”

Lovell said that since Negro families moved in last year “everything has worked out very well. There have been no serious problems, in fact no unserious problems.”

There have been a few Negro applications, he said, but “no flood.” The Village applies the same standards to all applications, Lovell said, “under its open occupancy policy”