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page 303, exhibit 14, "Characteristics of Residents of Public Housing for Low-Income Families." If I may have that included I would be very grateful.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, that may be inserted in the record.
Does that indicate the average family income that is necessary as a minimum to be eligible for occupancy?
Mr. DEANE. I was coming to that, Mr. Chairman. This exhibit 14 refers to service status, minors, heads of families, assistance, and broken families.
The other page I would like to include would be the page with reference to the income.
Without objection, they may be inserted in the
(The information referred to is as follows:)
EXHIBIT 11-INCOMES OF FAMILIES ALREADY RESIDENTS OF PUBLIC HOUSING, CALENDAR YEAR 19521
Incomes of residents are verified at least once a year after admission to determine whether the family is eligible for continued occupancy. In addition to the exemptions from net income for determining eligibility at admission, the law authorizes the exemption of all or part of any income of a minor in lieu of the $100 exemption for that minor. This provision was included by the Congress so that families would not be made ineligible for continued occupancy because of temporarily increased incomes due to the employment of minors. While the family remains eligible the increased income is taken into account in determining the rent.
While single persons are not admitted, a surviving individual of a family may continue in occupancy If otherwise eligible. About 3 percent of the units were occupied by such individuals. Net income: Same as at admission.
The figures in this table cover all families whose incomes were verified for continued occupancy, including those families found ineligible to remain. The next table gives the incomes of eligible and ineligible families. (See exhibit 12.) 1 Source: Statistics Branch, Public Housing Administration.
EXHIBIT 14.-CHARACTERISTICS OF RESIDENTS OF PUBLIC HOUSING FOR LOW-INCOME
1 Receiving public or private relief or recipients under Social Security or other public pension or payment plans.
Families with minors and only one adult.
3 For 1951; data for 1952 not yet available.
Source: Statistics Branch, Public Housing Administration.
Some of the highlights of the above table and comparisons are as follows: 1. Negro families (and a small number of "other" races) represent about 32 percent of all families being admitted to and 41 percent of all families in lowrent public housing, although they are only about 8 percent of all nonfarm families in the United States. This reflects their lower economic status and greater inability to secure standard private housing within their means.
2. Of the families of veterans and servicemen admitted, 10 percent were families of disabled or deceased veterans or servicemen.
3. The more than 2 minors per family in public housing compares with 1.13 minors (under 18 years) per nonfarm family in the United States according to the 1950 census.
4. Nearly 10 percent of families already in and 6 percent of the families admitted in 1952 had a family head 65 years old or over. Almost 12 percent of all nonfarm families in the United States, according to the 1950 census, were headed by a person 65 years old or over.
5. Twenty-nine percent of the families who were living in low-rent public housing and whose eligibility was reexamined in the first 6 months of 1952, and 26 percent of those admitted during 1952, received some form of assistance.
6. Twenty-six percent of families admitted and 22 percent of families already in the low-rent public housing in 1952 were broken families, that is, families with children but only one adult present.
Mr. DEANE. Mr. Cole, from your observation since you have been head of the agency, have you had an opportunity to study the Commissioners and the people administering these programs?
Mr. COLE. I have met with a great many of them, Mr. Deane, both in the localities and as they came to Washington. Mr. Slusser has seen many more of them than I, and has become much more familiar with them than I have. But I would say that I have met quite a few of them.
Mr. DEANE. What is your opinion of these men?
Mr. COLE. I assume you mean as to character, reputation, and ability?
Mr. DEANE. That is right.
Mr. COLE. It is good. Excellent. I have no criticism of them. Mr. DEANE. I only know those in a number of projects in North Carolina, and I have found them to be men of outstanding ability and vitally interested in housing for the lower income group. Would you share that view?
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir; I would share that view. As I commented in response to a question from Mr. Bolling last night, I think one of the things that I have found in my experience as administrator has been that among the people who are working with and are a part of this program, both employees and the so-called public members-I mean those who are nonpaid members of the authority, the great majority of them, practically all of them, have a strong sense of civic duty and responsibility, and that, to me, is a very fine thing.
The statement which I made yesterday, about some people who would carry on a program irrespective of what can be done or should be done, has been dissipated somewhat, in my mind.
Mr. DEANE. I am glad to have you be a little more moderate in your response. I wouldn't say it was heated, yesterday, but from my observations I have seen a minimum amount of political activity in the PHA projects in my areas. At least I have never been the recipient
Mr. COLE. Mr. Deane, most of my fears about public housing having been due to those things which I saw as possibilities. I want to make that very plain-possibilities, if they were not carefully eliminated in their applications, and I still say that. The possibilities, the tool which you place in the hand of the centralized Federal Government leads to those possibilities. Personally, I would just as soon not discuss any more of that. We want to determine what we can accomplish for the benefit of our people.
Mr. DEANE. I think this is true, that these people who have been close to the public housing program, are sold on the program, and in view of the action of the Congress in gradually whittling away the program they have been, perhaps, taking aggressive steps that they otherwise would not. I guess that would be characteristic of farm groups, labor groups, manufacturers, and all the rest. Would that be true?
Mr. COLE. Very true. I want to say one more thing. I have found that there is not an unanimity of opinion among those people who are strongly in favor of public housing. By that I mean, I find that they have differences of opinion about matters of policy, procedure, and law, and there is quite a wide variance of opinion among those people, and a sincere one. And many of them agree with me.
Mr. DEANE. I do not know whether you would have any comment, but during the last 2 years the House has not assumed any responsibility toward approving any units, leaving it to the Senate to write the legislation.
I am just wondering, have you appeared before the Appropriations Committee urging the House to include sufficient funds for the 35,000 units?
Mr. COLE. Some years ago, when I was a House Member, I appeared before the Appropriations Committee and gave them a statement, and then went out and gave it to the press. I did not realize that I was under restrictions. I thought I was a House Member to do as I
pleased. But I find that testimony before the House Appropriations Committee is a privileged communication until the printed hearings are available.
May I say this to you, however: The 35,000 units per year for 4 years, is a program of the President, it is a program of this administration, and it is my program, and I have done everything possible within my power, and will do everything possible within my power, to help Congress to establish that program.
Mr. DEANE. That is very fair, and I thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BOLLING. Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bolling.
Mr. BOLLING. Yesterday, when we adjourned, Mr. Cole, I was beginning to get into the question of the effect of the action of the Congress on public housing during the last year, and I would like to begin in a slightly different fashion today.
As I understand it, the PHA operates now under legislation which is essentially a modification of the Housing Act of 1949 by appropriations riders, and I would like that described for the record, the action that we took last year.
Mr. COLE. The appropriations rider?
Mr. BOLLING. Well, the effect of it.
Mr. COLE. The effect of it?
Mr. BOLLING. Yes, sir. What can be done in the field of public housing as of now, say?
Mr. COLE. Well, the appropriations so-called rider limited the construction of public housing units, in the fiscal year, to 20,000. It stopped the so-called pipeline for the preparation, planning, architectural studies, plans, the acquisition of land, the securing of contracts, and so forth, it stopped all of that preparation because no additional units could be constructed beyond the 20,000.
Therefore, the business of preparation, to keep the inflow of units, one year to the next, was terminated.
Mr. BOLLING. Now, if that specific item of legislation in the appropriations bill were repealed, then what would be the effect, on just that item?
Mr. COLE. It would make considerable difference.
Mr. BOLLING. Where would we be, then, in terms of number of units authorized, and so on?
Mr. COLE. The units authorized, then, would be that number authorized by the substantive legislation, 135,000 a year. 135,000 a year would be authorized.
Mr. BOLLING. Well, now, if, let us say, to make the thing clear-I pose this theoretical possibility-if the Appropriations Committee repealed the 1954 fiscal year rider, then would we not in fact return to the 1953 fiscal year rider?
Mr. COLE. If they merely repealed it?
Mr. BOLLING. Yes, sir.
Mr. COLE. We think not.
Mr. BOLLING. You think not. What was the limitation imposed on an annual basis in the 1953 fiscal year independent offices appropriations bill?
Mr. COLE. Thirty-five thousand units per year.
Mr. BOLLING. Now, I would like to return to the line of questioning that I left last night, and I would like to find out, for the record, what was the effect of the action, in terms of numbers. You have already described that it limited to 20,000 the units for this fiscal year, and cut the pipeline off.
What was the effect, and how many units are now under firm contract, which I gather could not be implemented without additional action from the Congress; how many units or projects, which were working under preliminary loans, had to be liquidated and, finally, how many reservations-which I understand is a very loose process→→ existed at the time the pipeline was cut off?
Mr. COLE. Mr. Slusser will answer that.
Mr. SLUSSER. There are authorized now 35,810 units. We know of a certainty that there will be some attrition there, possibly bringing that down to between 32,000 and 33,000 units that would be available. Under the preliminary loan contract, but not under annual contribution contracts, 124,112. These are now in process of being liquidated.
Mr. BOLLING. What I am trying to establish, in effect, is the amount of, and the stage, of concrete community interest in the program, and there is one further step that I would like to get to, if we can. ize that they are not in any sense binding, but they indicate the interest of the community in proceeding in an orderly fashion toward public housing building-reservations, I believe, is what they are called. Do you have a figure on that?
Mr. SLUSSER. I do not have a figure as to number of units. That would not be possible, because the applications were never processed. In July 1952, all preliminary loan applications were stopped.
Mr. BOLLING. Do you know as of that time how many preliminary loan applications there were?
Mr. SLUSSER. There were about 1,100 cities that had filed applications.
Mr. BOLLING. That had filed preliminary loan applications?
Mr. BOLLING. If I understand that correctly-and please interrupt me to correct me if I am in error
Mr. COLE. Mr. Bolling, may I interrupt a moment so the record will not be incorrect, and will be corrected before we get too far? I was in error, in answer to your question about the removal of the present limitation. If the present appropriations rider is removed, you are correct in your assumption that it would return to the 35,000 limitation of the prior year. We have checked it and found that I was in error in my statement.
Mr. BOLLING. So that in effect there are two riders to be considered, one of which, by a coincidence, the 1953 rider, would provide for the level of construction recommended in the President's program. Mr. COLE. Yes, sir.
Mr. BOLLING. Now if I have understood these figures correctly, you have 35,800 units under firm contract, and you have 124,000 units which were under preliminary loan and were or are in process of liquidation. Mr. SLUSSER. That is right.
Mr. BOLLING. Then you have additionally 11,000 communities which have indicated