Mary Elizabeth Price Hoeber

Mary Elizabeth Price Hoeber, 1927

B.A., Denison University
M.S., Columbia University

New York

Citation awarded on Saturday, June 2, 1973

Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Price Hoeber is one of two volunteers who eight years ago started a project under a federal grant of direct action, combining the use of law with good community organization to accelerate the movement of minority families into the general housing market. Operation Open City, as the project was named, was transferred in 1964 to the Urban League of Greater New York where Mrs. Hoeber, as director, administered it as a continuing program. The project grew to a 40-man operation with offices in Manhattan and all boroughs, and comprised a network of housing action groups in Westchester County, New Jersey, and Long Island, as well as the employees of 18 major New York companies. About 100 Negro and Puerto Rican families register each week at Open City offices. From 1968 to 1970, more than 10,000 families have moved into better housing through the efforts of this unusual housing service. Since 1971 she has continued this effort to equalize housing opportunities through the Open Housing Center and a program of the New York Urban League, financed by employers and foundations instead of anti-poverty funds.

Mrs. Hoeber has received special recognition from the national media (See “Look,” June 16, 1970), the Urban League and the National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing for her continuing role in designing and carrying out a program that has done much to break up ghettos and develop new possibilities in the campaign for a truly “Open City,” not only in New York, but in all the communities of the nation.

She is a member of the Welsh Hills Price family of Denison fame.