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Resettlement Administration in the Red River Valley

Updated: Aug 19, 2023


Newspaper photograhs of four houses
This portion from a newspaper article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram (November 20,1935) features four abandoned houses in North Texas, which the Resettlement Administration (1935-1937) planned to sell to farmers at $1,500 each. That would be $33,000 as adjusted for inflation, or $1 billion in today's insane market.

Resettlement Administration in the Red River Valley


During the Great Depression, times were so desperate that the Roosevelt presidency (1933-1945) authorized the Resettlement Administration in 1935. This agency's mission was to help struggling families regain economic self-reliance by providing land and housing through low-interest loans.


When the Resettlement Administration began providing benefits to African American sharecroppers and poor white tenant farms to become self-sufficient land owners, Congress de-funded the program as its assistance was deemed "socialistic." The agency then reorganized into the Farm Security Administration (1937-1946) after favorable mid-terms removed the reactionary element in Congress. The FSA expanded its programs to include assistance to migrant workers, women-led households, urban unemployed, and others. Today, these programs continue under HUD as FHA, USDA, and VA mortgages!


Several areas on "west Texas" were targeted for Resettlement Administration plans, like the homes shown in the above photograph. The homes were to be used as "blueprints" for the kinds of houses that the administration would build for over one thousand people. The state of Texas ensured that the homes would be reserved for white people, which is why the Farm Security Administration was established instead.


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