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the family with an income of $2,000 is provided public housing at the expense of other taxpayers, then the family in the next higher income bracket will probably demand similar treatment, and so on and on.
I should like to emphasize again the following conclusions reached by our people in regard to this bill:
1. Except for the extension of Title VI FHA insurance, this bill would not increase the net supply of housing during this emergency period.
2. In order to be certain that the Federal Government is not forced to make costly and, at least in these times, unwise commitments with respect to socialized housing, the controversial sections of the bill should be deleted, particularly titles IV, rental housing aids for families of moderate income and veterans, and V, slum clearance and urban redevelopment, and VI, low-rent housing, and VII, farm housing. These titles should be separated from the whole and considered as individual bills so that each proposal can be dealt with on its own merits.
We strongly urge that any ainendments to S. 866 reported by this committee include the provisions of section 801 (a) title IX. This would increase the compensation of the Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency and of the members of the Home Loan Bank Board and the heads of the other constituent agencies of the Housing and Home Finance Agency. We are particularly well acquainted with the work of the Home Loan Bank Board. A fine job is being done by these three members. It is exceedingly important that their compensation be commensurate with the efficiency and ability needed at the top level of this important agency. Actually the proposed increase to $15,000 for the members of the Home Loan Bank Board would merely give them the same relative purchasing power that the members of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board had in 1939. Salaries adequate to attract well-qualified persons to the top administrative and policymaking positions of the Government are an economy in the long run.
There is attached herewith for the record a copy of the resolution adopted by the Convention of the National Savings and Loan League in Atlantic City, N. J., on May 27, 1948.
ADOPTED BY THE NATIONAL SAVINGS AND LOAN LEAGUE IN ANNUAL CONVENTION MAY
27, 1948, AT HOTELS CHALFONTE AND HADDON HALL, ATLANTIC CITY, N. J.
Whereas, S. 866, now pending in the House of Representatives, contains costly and inflationary provisions involving the expenditure of Federal funds in the approximate amount of $10,000,000,000 in addition to local funds, and
Whereas, the public housing provisions of this bill would not increase the supply of housing before 1950, and
Whereas, the public housing provisions of this bill would initiate vast public ownership and management of housing, and the socialization of housing, and
Whereas, the building of public housing will deprive new private housing construction programs of materials and labor, and
Whereas, public housing adversely affects the extension of home ownership, now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the National Savings and Loan League oppose the passage of S. 866 by the Eightieth Congress of the United States.
Certified to be a true copy.
OSCAR R. KREUTZ,
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH CENTER WORKERS,
New York 18, N. Y., May 21, 1948. Hon. JESSE WOLCOTT, Chairman, Banking and Currenry Committee,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN: The National Association of Jewish Center Workers representing the professional social workers in the 325 YM and YWHA's throughout the country desires to submit for the record its support of S. 866 now being considered by your committee.
We have followed the history of housing legislation in the Congress for the past number of years and in particular that part dealing with the Taft-EllenderWagner bill. As social workers we have been in a position to closely observe the need for a comprehensive housing program which would encompass the needs of millions of Americans who are now living under the most deplorable conditions.
We have seen the effects of poor housing in terms of insanitation, juvenile delinquency, broken families, and other social evils which this great Nation can ill afford. It has always been our opinion that dividends in the form of good citizenship will result from governmental policy which benefits the lowest 20 percent of the income groups. This item refers, of course, to the public housing feature of S. 866.
It is also our contention that those provisions in S. 866 dealing with aid to private builders is very much in order since it would meet the Nation's requirements of 1,500,000 homes a year for the next 10 years.
We see in S. 866 a practical approach to the No. 1 domestic problem. We cannot understand the opposition to this bill which apparently favors all sections of this bill except that dealing with public housing.
It has always been good American tradition that no one in need of food or housing shall be deprived of the minimum elements of such a program. Certainly the humanitarian aspects of this problem call for immediate action if we are to continue to assure to this Nation the best form of government yet devised by man.
We trust, sir, that you in your capacity will do everything in your power to
WASHINGTON, D. C., May 24, 1948.
Washington, D. C.:
WOMAN'S DIVISION OF CHRISTIAN SERVICE OF THE BOARD OF MISSIONS AND
CHURCH EXTENSION OF THE METHODIST CHURCH,
New York 11, N. Y., May 25, 1948. The CLERK OF THE HOUSE BANKING AND CURRENCY COMMITTEE,
United States House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: The Woman's Division of Christian Service, policy-making body of 1.442,421 organized Methodist women. has supported the establishment of an adequate national-housing policy that will make available to all families the advantages of decent, safe, healthful housing. The Woman's Division has endorsed the objectives of S. 866 as desirable legislation toward this end.
The welfare of millions of American families and the stability of community
Local Church Activities, Woman's Division of the Methodist Church.
STATEMENT OF MR. EDWARD WEINFELD, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL PUBLIC
HOUSING CONFERENCE, BEFORE THE BANKING AND CURRENCY COMMITTEE OF THE
My name is Edward Weinfeld. As president of the National Public Housing Conference, which is the oldest national organization in America that has been interested continuously in helping to educate the people of this Nation to the fact that all Americans are entitled to adequate homes, may I present a state ment for the record? I am a practicing attorney in New York and for many years served as commissioner of housing of the State of New York during the development of the housing program in that State.
The National Public Housing Conference is a citizens' organization. Our income comes from individual memberships. We do not accept funds from local housing authorities, or from any agency that secures Federal assistance in the form of annual contributions. At any and at all times the NPHC would welcome any kind of an investigation of our resources, if my statement of fact is questioned, resulting from charges that have been made against us by the real-estate lobby.
Two weeks ago our organization held its seventeenth annual meeting in New York City. Noted citizens from all over America participated in our deliberations. Many Members of the Congress took part in our meetings as did local citizens who are thoroughly aware of housing problems in their own communities.
Our objective was basic. We were bringing together citizens, veterans, church groups, welfare organizations, businessmen, bankers, all kinds of people to pool our knowledge and to recommend to the Congress the kind of legislation which we believed from our hearts would bring about relief of our present housing crisis. A crisis of many years duration, and one that has become constantly more acute for the past 20 years or more.
Of course resolutions were adopted. You cannot get several hundred people together and not resolve. I shall not quote at length from any recommendation, but permit me to state a portion of one resolution based upon the fine work of the Joint Committee on Housing :
"The National Public Housing Conference is firmly convinced that the stand taken by the joint congressional committee and its several members on the need for low-rent public housing is a clear recognition that private enterprise has not and cannot reach those families now living in slums and substandard houses. The Senate has taken the first step toward the goal of decent homes for Americans when it voted favorably on the Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill. The House of Representatives must not ignore the findings of the joint committee, and the action of the Senate."
That action was not taken as any kind of a threat, but as a plea from the plain people of America to the House of Representatives to be their representatives in fact.
Mr. Chairman, there have been so many hearings, by the joint committee, by the Taft Subcommittee on Housing and Urban Redevelopment of the Special Committee on Postwar Economic Policy and Planning; by the Senate Banking and Currency Committee, and by your own committee (which were interrupted by adjournment)—that it is hardly necessary for me at this time to go into detail on S. 866 and on the National Public Housing Conference's position in support of that bill. If you so desire I will be glad to submit a statement, title by title, expressing our exact position. I have been led to believe, however, that you wish my statement to be brief.
We admire the bill's declaration of a national housing policy and endorse its statement that private enterprise shall be encouraged to serve as large a part of the total need as it can. We support the bill's treatment of aids to private housing. We commend the bill's inauguration of an urban redevelopment program. We view as absolutely essential the bill's extension of the public lowrent housing program. These generalities have been repeated over and over, by others, as well as by us.
Each day that this committee meets, eventually the point is reached that the real issue of discussion concerning S. 866 is its public housing title. I should like to address myself to some of the arguments which have been leveled against it.
1. That public housing is communistic, socialistic, collectivistic, etc. One look at the sponsors both in the Senate and in the House of Representatives should be a complete answer to that charge. It is as communistic als public health, public education, flood control or soil erosion,
2. That public housing is antireligious. You will recall that such a charge was made in this committee. It is as antireligious as all of the great church groups in America, every single one of them-Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish, each of which has endorsed this measure,
3. That public housing is not desired by the veterans. You have heard their testimony. Every great national veterans' organization supports the measure. Of course they may have particular amendments, but they endorse the principle of the bill. You have heard their testimony.
4. That public housing is not supported by the press. Perhaps not, but all polls indicate that at least 90 percent of the metropolitan press favors the meas
You must know that to be true because you read such newspapers as the Washington Post, the New York Herald Tribune, the New York Post, the New York Times, the Washington News, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the Denver Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas News, and scores of others.
5. That public housing does not have mass support. The National Public Housing Conference has never taken unto itself the role of speaking for other organizations. But for years we have worked with and acted as consultant to more than 40 great national organizations concerning housing. If ever a measure to come before your committee had 'the complete support of the people, whose interest is the public interest, it is S. 866. The record is made that score, and it is complete.
6. It is charged that public housing is competitive. Of the millions of new units S. 8C6 is aimed to help achieve throughout the next 10 years, not more than 500,000 can be publicly owned; that is, owned by local housing authorities. None of them will be owned by the Federal Government. It is less than 10 percent of the total program. Is that a threat to private enterprise? And even as to those 500,000, there must be a finding that the need cannot be met by private enterprise, and there must be a gap of at least 20 percent between the upper rental limits for admission to the proposed low-rent housing and the lowest rents at which private enterprise is providing a substantial supply of recent housing.
7. It is argued that public housing should be indefinitely deferred because title VI of the National Housing Act is all that is necessary in the emergency. Title VI is private housing, which we endorse, but which has never and cannot now produce housing in sufficient quantity for the low-income groups. Title VI will produce housing, certainly, but quantity unrelated to need gives statistics and not homes, obviously not homes for those who need them most. Public housing is not competitive with title VI, as any comparison of rents (or purchase prices) will show. To defer public housing is to perpetuate an emergency and to subordinate those with the greatest need in favor of those whose incomes justify the attention of builders. Not to continue the public-housing program is to do violence to the bill's declaration “to realize as soon as feasible the goal of a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American
and to say that the objective of Congress through Federal insurance, is to help only those in income groups for whom it is profitable for private enterprise to build.
8. It is stated that public housing should be a local program, rather than Federal. It is a local program. The local public housing agency, a State, not a Federal instrumentality, has to make an analysis proving a need that cannot be met by private enterprise. The governing body of the locality has to approve the provisions of such low-rent housing; the locality has to supplement the Federal annual contributions. I doubt whether there has ever been a federally assisted program, of any character, which required of the locality so much initiative, showings, analyses, supervision, and money.
The NPHC appreciates this opportunity of presenting this statement.
NATIONAL AssocIATION OF HOUSING OFFICIALS,
Chicago 37, III., May 14, 1948. The Honorable JESSE P. WOLCOTT, Chairman, Committee on Banking and Currency,
House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. Sir: During the coming week, it is our understanding that your committee will consider testimony favorable to the enactment of the Housing Act of 1948, S. 866, the Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill.
On behalf of the National Association of Housing Officials, representing some 3,200 public officials (almost 80 percent of them local officials) and private citizens across the Nation, I should like to reaffirm the association's support of the basic principles developed in this legislation. The association has been on record in support of these housing principles since 1944, when the congressional investigation of the housing problem was assigned to a subcommittee on housing and urban redevelopment of the special Senate Committee on Postwar Economic Policy and Planning and when many groups such as ours began the formulation of a set of long-range housing policies.
In essence, what this association has long believed and what has been the basis of our continuous loyalty to the Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill is that the Nation must have an official housing policy-a publicly stated and legislatively adopted commitment that there shall be provided, through the combined efforts of private and public enterprise, decent, safe, and sanitary housing for all American families. Our long work in the housing field has convinced us that this goal cannot be achieved through any one simple mechanism. The housing complex touches on so many fundamental sectors of our economic and social structure that developing a program to overcome our housing shortage; to encourage and protect home ownership: to raise and maintain a high housing standard for the country; to clear away the areas of urban and rural housing congestion and blight that are all too obvious to even the most casual observer; to enlargo our supply of rental housing and to bring it within the reach of families of all income levels—to achieve all of these goals, the tools we must provide through national legislation will necessarily be numerous and the machinery will neces. sa rily be complicated. Try as we will, the governing board of this association and the members of this association can see no way toward a solution of what is recognized from coast to coast as one of our most serious domestic problems except through a comprehensive housing bill that follows the pattern laid down in the Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill.
The overwhelming recognition of the seriousness of our housing dilemma and of the importance of this bill to its solution that was spontaneously and continuously expressed this month when the National Conference on Family Life met in Washington has fortified us in our conviction that we are on the right track in supporting the principles of S. 866. When it is realized that the conference represented some 40 million American citizens through 125 national organizations representative of every phase of American family life, it is hard for us to ignore this source of strength to our 4-year position in favor of the bill's objectives and proposed procedures. This association has not arrived at its position through any quick and easy
There has been constant and unremitting study of the problem going forward through our board and our committees during the entire 15-year history of the association's existence. Back in 1934, the association published a Housing Program for the United States-a document that received Nation-wide recognition and that developed the basic principles carried in the United States Housing Act of 1937. In 1944, this publication was followed by Housing for the United States After the War, a statement of a comprehensive housing policy that sought to unify the wide-ranging elements of the housing field. As of the end of last year, our board of governors gave unanimous approval to the following set of basic housing principles :
"The National Association of Housing Officials, founded on the conviction that every American family should have suitable and decent shelter, believes that any effective housing program must be based on certain fundamental principles :
“Enough homes to overcome the present shortage, keep up with the increase in families, and replace the slums.
“New homes for all kinds of people in all income groups, for rural as well as urban families,
"Good homes in good neighborhoods in pleasant and efficient communities with its corollary, the elimination of slums and blighted areas.
“Maximum opportunity for private enterprise through a modernized building industry; sound finance on easy terms with adequate consumer security for all who want and can afford to own their homes; expansion of rental development; and special encouragement for well-planned, large-scale, nonspeculative housing enterprise, for rental and also for cooperative and individual ownership.
“Public financial aid for any part of the essential program that private enterprise clearly cannot accomplish alone.
“Public initiative where absolutely necessary to rehouse low-income families and get rid of slums and blighted areas.