« PrécédentContinuer »
ment are all basic to the orderly development of defense-affected communities. In the long run, a relatively small investment of Federal funds in this type of service will pay large dividends not only in social well-being but in the efficiency of the labor supply on which our whole defense program depends. We should like to urge also that authority be restored to the Housing and Home Finance Agency to conduct research in this matter of community needs and adjustments. Such studies in the past have proved most useful in assisting both communities and Federal defense agencies to make a smooth transition.
Our experience in UCDS has brought home to us very forcibly one characteristic of contemporary American life which bears directly on all aspects of economic, social, and governmental policy, i. e., its extreme fluidity. Not only is a high degree of adaptability demanded of our productive machinery in order to maintain our economic health and meet changing needs-including our defense needs-but a high degree of mobility is demanded of our people. Census figures are most revealing on this latter score. For example, it is reported that in the past 3 years 15 million people have changed residence as a result of defense activities. Two-thirds of all adults in most American cities were born somewhere else. About one-third of all adults living in a typical city can be expected to move within the next 10 years.
A logical concomitant of this extensive migration is the rapid change in population distribution with rates of community growth which in some instances reach fantastic proportions. For example: Augusta, Ga., which had 71,500 people in 1950, doubled its population in 1 year; Moses Lake, Wash., doubled in 2 years; Richmond, Calif., has 5 times as many people as in 1940.
This tremendous mobility of population, much of it caused directly or indirectly by Federal defense policy and activity, spotlights three basic points which we should like to make in conclusion with respect to Federal housing policy in general and the pending bill in particular:
1. It is essential to the national welfare and to the success of the defense effort that the Federal Government assume a positive leadership in aiding both private enterprise and local communities to meet the housing and related needs of this shifting population.
2. It is essential that such a program, while facilitating homeownership for those families whose situation makes this desirable, also recognize that an adequate supply of rental housing is important as a facilitating and equalizing factor in this highly fluid situation.
3. It is likewise essential to recognize that in some situations where speedy action is essential or where the particular housing need is temporary (as in the case of construction projects) the regular processes of private enterprise and Government may not be adequate to meet the specific need at hand. In view of the unpredictability of future defense developments, the basic importance to their success of a mobile labor supply, and the Federal stake in the successful solution of this problem, we strongly urge the continuation beyond June 30, 1954, of both title IX of the National Housing Act and title III of the Defense Community Facilities and Services Act of 1951.
Mr. JOHN H. MOORE,
UNITED STATES ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION,
Executive Director, United Community Defense Services,
New York, N. Y.
DEAR MR. MOORE: This is in response to your letter of December 11 in which you express the interest of your organization in learning the extent to which Atomic Energy Commission contractors are encouraged or permitted to include within their contracts the cost of services to their employees and families in such areas as health, welfare, counseling, recreation, and housing.
It is the policy of the Commission at its various installations to rely upon Federal grants, loans, and guaranties available to local bodies and private enterprise under national legislation such as the Defense Housing and Community Facilities and Services Act of 1951 and Public Laws 815 and 874 to relieve school, housing, and other community facility deficiencies which are attributable to the construction and operation of the atomic-energy plant. The Commission's policy is in accord with that of the administration; namely to assure the availability of housing and related community services and facilities for its employees through reliance on programs of Federal assistance which are uniform as to national policy and which are administered by agencies of prime technical competence.
The policies outlined above apply to all AEC installations except the communities of Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Richland, Wash.; and Los Alamos, N. Mex., which the Commission now owns and operates. It is the Commision's intent to dispose of these three communities when and as quickly as practical circumstances permit, after which the policies outlined above will apply.
To the extent that services may be required in the other fields about which you inquire and for which there is no legislation or designated agency of responsibility, it is the policy of the Commission to permit its contractors to follow their usual personnel practices within reasonable limits established by the Commission.
In any case where the crcumstances warrant, the AEC will consider using its existing authority to meet the needs of its employees when local bodies or other Federal agencies are unable for any reason to supply such assistance.