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Urban Development Act Of 1970


The Urban Development Act of 1970 is a U.S legislation which aimed to facilitate urban renewal and development through a comprehensive and coordinated federal assistance program. It provided grants and loans to cities for the clearance, rebuilding and redevelopment of rundown areas. Moreover, it was designed to support education, social services, public transportation, and other community development needs in urban areas.


‘Urban Development Act Of 1970’ phonetically can be pronounced as:UR-buhn duh-VEL-up-muhnt akt ov 19-sev-un-tee

Key Takeaways

  1. Focus on Community Development: The Urban Development Act of 1970 emphasized a shift towards local initiatives in addressing urban problems. It aimed at supporting community development and the rehabilitation of urban areas, fostering local control over decision-making and implementation processes.
  2. Inclusive Housing: The Act featured provisions to increase housing opportunities for low and moderate-income families. It was intended to break away from concentrated pockets of poverty and ensure more balanced, inclusive communities.
  3. New Federal Agencies: The Act facilitated the creation of new federal agencies, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These agencies were tasked with administering the policies and programs outlined in the legislation, playing a major role in urban development in the United States.


The Urban Development Act of 1970 is significant in business and finance because it fundamentally transformed urban development in the United States. This legislation was enacted to address growing urban decay and to stimulate economic growth in these regions. It provided federal assistance for urban areas by financing redevelopment projects, rehabilitation efforts, and construction of public facilities. Essentially, the Act widened the scope of urban economic development strategies, leading to significant investments in real estate, infrastructure, and community development. These activities generated countless jobs and spurred economic growth, making it a pivotal moment in the history of U.S. urban development.


The Urban Development Act of 1970 was enacted with the purpose to stimulate advancement and refurbishment in decaying regions of urban conurbations and augment financial assistance within the United States. This federal law was launched to make funds available for investment in both real estate and businesses lying within the urban growth areas. The goal was to ignite an economic fuse that would shun disinvestment and instead focus on ameliorating standards of living in desperately underserved urban sectors.Furthermore, this Act was utilized as a tool in tackling socio-economic issues residing in urban communities such as job shortages, uninhabitable housing, and a general lack of business investment. Under this law, urban development action grants (UDAG) were provided to distressed cities to stimulate private investment. These grants were often directed towards large-scale commercial or industrial projects, generating jobs, and spurring the revival of depressed urban areas. This use of financial frameworks to engender rejuvenation and recovery displayed the sheer power that effective governmental policy can wield in addressing urban decay and revitalizing exhausted regions.


1. Southwest Washington, D.C.: Under the Urban Development Act of 1970, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funded several projects in Southwest Washington, D.C. These redevelopment projects were to revitalize the area that was ravaged by rioting after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time, the 56-acre area was torn down and reconstructed as a mixed-income residential, commercial and cultural development, and it is now home to several federal buildings, public parks, and residential developments.2. Madison Street, Brooklyn, New York: Under the Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) program, which was later formed based on the Urban Development Act of 1970, funds were provided to revitalize Madison Street with affordable housing projects. The renewal project attracted private investments for residential and commercial developments, improvements in the streetscape, and created new job opportunities.3. Pruitt-Igoe, St. Louis: Originally a housing project that became emblematic of public housing failure in the U.S, the area underwent massive reconstruction after its notorious high rise complexes were demolished in the mid-1970s. Funding from the Urban Development Act of 1970 helped bring needed investment into the area, with the focus being on creating a mixed-use neighborhood with diverse housing options, attractive public spaces, and robust infrastructure. Today, the area is an essential part of the revitalized downtown St. Louis.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Urban Development Act of 1970?

The Urban Development Act of 1970 is a U.S. federal law that was established to provide additional federal assistance and programs for urban areas. It aims to fulfill urban development objectives, including improved housing, better services, and more job opportunities.

Why was the Urban Development Act of 1970 established?

This Act was established to address the growing concerns about urban poverty, housing shortages, and inadequate public services in urban areas. It sought to improve the quality of life for residents living in these areas.

What kinds of assistance does the Urban Development Act of 1970 provide?

The Act provides aid to urban areas in the form of grants for planning, project execution, and provision of essential services such as housing and sanitation. It also provides loans for construction and renovation of infrastructure.

Who benefits from the Urban Development Act of 1970?

The primary beneficiaries of this Act are the residents of urban areas, especially those belonging to low-income groups. It also benefits city governments by providing them with additional funds and resources to improve local facilities and services.

How has the Urban Development Act of 1970 impacted urban areas?

The Act has led to improved social and economic conditions in many urban areas. It has helped provide better housing facilities, improve public services, and create job opportunities.

Is the Urban Development Act of 1970 still in effect today?

While the Act was passed in 1970, its principles and many of its programs continue to have an effect today. However, specific provisions may have been modified, replaced, or repealed by subsequent legislation.

Who oversees and implements the provisions of the Urban Development Act of 1970?

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is primarily responsible for overseeing and implementing the provisions of the Urban Development Act of 1970.

How can one apply for assistance under the Urban Development Act of 1970?

To apply for assistance under the Urban Development Act of 1970, one needs to approach the local or state governmental bodies who can direct applicants to the appropriate federal resources. You should also consult with the HUD for more detailed and specific instructions.

Related Finance Terms

  • Urban Revitalization
  • Central Business District (CBD)
  • Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
  • Eminent Domain
  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

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