« PrécédentContinuer »
recommendation of the advisory committee for payment of taxes, and also the providing of housing for aged single persons.
Mr. O'HARA. You believe, do you not, that the President of the United States is sincerely concerned in a reasonable amount of public housing?
Mr. WINSTON. I did not hear you, sir.
Mr. O'HARA. You believe that the President of the United States is sincerely interested in increasing the units of public housing? Mr. WINSTON. I do, sir.
Mr. O'HARA. And do you think
Mr. WINSTON. His statement so indicates, his message to Congress. Mr. O'HARA. Do you think it would be improper for the administration to suggest to Members of the House that matters in regard to public housing should be determined first, by this committee, the Banking and Currency Committee, and then the Congress itself, the Members on the floor, rather than by a limited number of members of the Committee on Appropriations? Now, you know what I am talking about; don't you?
Mr. WINSTON. Yes; I do.
Mr. O'HARA. What suggestion would you have to make along that line?
Mr. WINSTON. We would like to see the present legislation include legislation to take away the restrictions which were placed on the appropriations bills for 1954 and 1953, which do limit the Housing Act of 1949.
Mr. O'HARA. Now, the Housing Act of 1949 was a pretty good act; wasn't it?
Mr. WINSTON. Yes, sir; it worked.
Mr. O'HARA. And you were here at the time of its enactment, were you not?
Mr. WINSTON. I was.
Mr. O'HARA. And you remember, before it came to the House, that there was a great question as to whether it would pass, and the doubt was resolved when the statesman from Ohio, the late Senator Taft, issued his statement. You remember that, don't you?
Mr. WINSTON. I certainly do.
Mr. O'HARA. Calling your attention to the provisions in the Housing Act of 1949 for a research department, that came largely from the mind of Senator Taft; did it not? You would give Senator Taft the credit for being one of the fathers of the great legislative concepts in the Housing Act of 1949?
Mr. WINSTON. We certainly do.
Mr. O'HARA. Now, the President's advisers, at the present time, have submitted a report, have they not, finding that 10 million American families this year will have to find relocation of their homes? Mr. WINSTON. That is the finding of the President's Advisory Committee.
Mr. O'HARA. The advisers of the President?
Mr. WINSTON. That is right.
Mr. O'HARA. That is, this is the committee that is giving information and counsel to the President of the United States at the present time; is that right?
Mr. WINSTON. That is correct.
Mr. O'HARA. And I understand, and I presume you understand, that the President of the United States has in the Congress at the present time, and in the House, a majority membership of his party. That is right, sir?
Mr. WINSTON. That is right.
Mr. O'HARA. Now, you have found, have you, that of these 10 million American families that will have to find new homes, that at least 5 million are in the middle-income or below the middle-income wage group?
Mr. WINSTON. That is the finding of the Advisory Committee, sir. Mr. O'HARA. Then you may say as far as this administration is concerned, that is final and official. Is that a fair statement?
Mr. WINSTON. I cannot say what-are you talking about this committee or the Advisory Committee?
Mr. O'HARA. The Advisory Committee.
Mr. WINSTON. Oh, yes; that is the published report.
Mr. O'HARA. That is the Advisory Committee that made a deep and impartial study of the situation; is that right?
Mr. WINSTON. That is right.
Mr. O'HARA. Then as far as this committee is concerned, studying this legislation, we must proceed on the thought that we must come through with legislation that is going to give some homing possibility to 5 million American families that are in the middle-income or below the middle-income wage group?
Mr. WINSTON. Yes, sir.
Mr. O'HARA. Will this legislation which is here proposed meet that problem?
Mr. WINSTON. The legislation as proposed, as far as public housing is concerned, is silent except for a few amendments to the 1949 Housing Act, but there is nothing in this legislation which relieves the restrictions placed upon this bill by the last two annual appropriations bills, or the riders to those bills, which restrict the operations under the 1949 Housing Act. Without the removal of those restrictions the legislation on the books is of no particular good to use, and I think that the public-housing program, although very small in itself, is a sine qua non of the whole comprehensive program recommended
Mr. O'HARA. Then the legislation that is proposed, having in mind the 10 million American families that the Advisory Committee has found will require new housing or relocation, may beneficially, to some degree, affect 5 million families; is that right?
Mr. WINSTON. That is correct.
Mr. O'HARA. But the other 5 million families are entirely unattended to; is that correct?
Mr. WINSTON. I don't quite follow that, sir.
Mr. O'HARA. Is there any benefit in the legislation we are now considering, any benefit that will reflect itself upon the 5 million American families, among the 10 million, that are in the low-income bracket? Mr. WINSTON. You are referring to the 5 million listed by the Advisory Committee as those being in such low-income status as to be eligible for public housing?
Mr. O'HARA. Yes, sir.
Mr. WINSTON. Unless the restriction is taken off the Housing Act of 1949, either through this committee or by legislation, or otherwise,
it is not likely that much housing is going to be provided for that lowincome group. It is unlikely that very many of those will find housing through rehabilitation in the immediate future or through the efforts of the new section 221, which we are strongly for, but which we do not think will get down to the real low-income group.
Mr. O'HARA. Then what is going to happen to most of the people in that 5 million family group?
Mr. WINSTON. If slums are cleared, and the renewal program goes on, they will be pushed-the impact of those families will probably cause other slums on the periphery of the ones you have just cleared. Mr. O'HARA. Then instead of making progress we will be going backward; is that what you fear?
Mr. WINSTON. It has been the experience in those cities which have proceeded with a slum-clearance program without a relocation program simultaneously or previous thereto.
Mr. O'HARA. Did I understand correctly from your testimony that you envision, in the operation of this proposed rehabilitation program, that it will be impossible to relocate the displaced families!
Mr. WINSTON. I think it will be, sir. To give one example, in my own city of Baltimore, right now they have several urban redevelopment projects. One large one of 30 acres. In Baltimore our connection is through a private redevelopment agency. We have a contract whereby the primary authority does all the relocation work for the redevelopment agency. It is our responsibility to relocate all the families. We have relocated over a thousand families in one area. We have just now approved and are going to proceed with a State office building, which will clear over a thousand families from a large slum area. That could not be possible were it not for the fact that we hope to have ready by that time another large public-housing project in that general neighborhood to take care of those families by the time the relocation is upon us. That is the best way I can illustrate, or answer by illustration.
Mr. O'HARA. You are acquainted with the situation in Chicago, I presume?
Mr. WINSTON. To some extent, sir.
Mr. O'HARA. Where we are constructing a great system of superhighways and building subways, and in doing that we were delocating a great number of people and had to find new homes for them. Mr. WINSTON. That is right.
Mr. O'HARA. And that would have been impossible if it had not been for the public-housing projects in Chicago.
Mr. WINSTON. That is right. The result is to create
Mr. O'HARA. I don't think enough stress has been put upon that great urban undertaking in Chicago, giving perhaps the finest superhighways system in the world, which would have been impossible had we not had the cooperation of the Public Housing Authority.
Mr. WINSTON. In Baltimore the expressway plan was deferred by the city council until the civic public housing could be completed. Mr. MCDONOUGH. Will you yield?
Mr. O'HARA. I am happy to yield to the distinguished gentleman from California.
Mr. MCDONOUGH. Concerning your building of expressways and freeways in Chicago, I do not know how extensive it is, but I can
assure the gentleman that in Los Angeles we are going into a program, have had under way a program, that has required the dislocation of thousands of people. In one instance I think some 40,000 living units were affected, and there are others being affected now, but the Public Housing Authority has not been the solution to it. People have found places in other parts of the community to live without going to the public housing units.
So that, although it may be necessary in Chicago, it isn't the whole solution to the problem-that is public housing is not the whole solution for the provision of living quarters for people dislocated by the construction of expressways.
Mr. O'HARA. I would say, dear colleague, that every city has its own problems, and that I would not be at all competent to discuss the problems of Los Angeles, and I know that my colleague would not hold himself as being in position to know the problems of Chicago as well as I do.
Mr. MCDONOUGH. I agree.
May I ask unanimous consent, Mr. Chairman, that immediately following my previous remarks, that there be included in the record an article entitled "Comparative Costs of a Standard House," in the Insured Mortgage Portfolio issued by the Federal Administrator, which is pages 15, 16, 17, and 18, including the design?
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, it may be inserted. (The material referred to appears at p. 327.)
Mr. WINSTON. May I add this, Mr. Chairman, on that cost of mortgages, and so forth, I would state once more that we are concerned with making it possible for builders to build downtown and also to build larger-sized units.
Again I have to ask your forgiveness for referring to my own situation in Baltimore, because that is the one that I am most familiar with. It would not be possible to build such structures in the downtown areas of Baltimore at the $7,000 level, and, if you did, you would have to build what has actually been proposed and I hope it will never be built there-housing units of which 1 section have no bedrooms, merely efficiency apartments, and 1-bedroom units, and no 2- or 3-bedroom units. That will not take care of the families displaced.
You can build housing at any cost, if you want to go out and ignore your downtown areas, but what we are trying to do, I presume, in this bill is to replace some of the slums we clear with good housing, and replace it with housing for the people who want to live there, and not just for single people who don't need a bedroom, but just an efficiency apartment. There is a little difference there, I believe, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Are there further questions?
Mr. DEANE. Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Deane.
Mr. DEANE. I direct this question to both of you gentlemen. Would you consider, say, the area here in Washington, between the Capitol and the Social Security Building, to be an urban renewal area? Mr. WINSTON. Mr. Searles can answer that, perhaps.
Mr. SEARLES. I think between here and the railroad tracks, sir, would be a part of a renewal area. The renewal concept does go much beyond the slum-clearance area, as we understand the legislation, and
actually the area between the railroad tracks, running on Virginia Avenue, and Maryland Avenue, and the Mall, have been designated over a long period of years as a Federal taking area and has just been released from that category. There has been some rehabilitation in that area, and included with the clearance area, which lies south of it in the southwest, it would be a part of a large renewal area, where different kinds of treatments could take place.
Mr. DEANE. How many families would you say are located in that area?
Mr. SEARLES. Are you referring to the entire southwest area?
Mr. DEANE. Well, principally where you are thinking about. I think we are thinking of the same area.
Mr. SEARLES. Well, the area lying from the railroad tracks out to Fort McNair, and from South Capitol Street over to the waterfront and Fourteenth Street, contains now 22,000 people, or almost 6,000 families.
Mr. DEANE. What is the approximate rental they are payingaverage?
Mr. SEARLES. The average rental-there is no block there that averages more than $50 a month. Some are as low as $25 a month, on an average, by block. The average for the entire areas runs around $40 a month.
Mr. DEANE. And how many thousand people?
Mr. SEARLES. Twenty-two thousand people, between 5,500 and 6,000 families.
Mr. DEANE. Assuming that this was declared an urban renewal area, what would be the procedure that would be followed in submitting an application under this bill?
Mr. SEARLES. Well, it so happens, sir, that that area has already been declared an urban redevelopment area, and that under this legislation's saving clause it would be an urban renewal area also, and, therefore, I presume that we would proceed as we are proceeding with it.
Mr. DEANE. Under the bill now pending the Administrator approves as appropriate for a project such an area; is that correct? Mr. SEARLES. That is right.
Mr. DEANE. Is that according to the present law?
Mr. SEARLES. Under the present law he has also had to approve areas as appropriate for redevelopment under title I, and he has done that with the area you are discussing, sir.
Mr. DEANE. Where would these people find housing, in Washington? Mr. SEARLES. They must find housing in a number of places. Each family has to be carefully studied for its own income, needs, and so
We have a staff which has made such a study of each family, and we try to find housing to meet the particular family's problems. Those that can afford private accommodations are offered those. Always they must be decent, safe, and sanitary, under the law, and within their means, and Washington does have a housing market which is a little looser than that of Chicago, and there are houses available for those families in the upper half, or upper 60 percent of those who live there, as far as income goes.
The lower 40 percent will have a priority in low-rent public housing, and they have been exercising that priority up to now, sir.