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small-home owner against shoddy construction. The special features of FHA insurance for families "of lower income" are limited in the bill to mortgages of less than $5,000. Since several cities have already stated that they cannot build under this condition, and since it does not appear that building costs, when they do become stabilized, several years hence, will return to the 1939-40 level, we recommend that title IV of the bill be amended so as to apply to FHA loans up to $5,700, in order to cover houses costing up to $6,000.

Title V provides for "yield insurance" to encourage direct investments of large financial institutions in large-scale housing projects. The National Lawyers Guild believes that a large-scale attack on slums and blighted areas will be greatly accelerated if institutions with large aggregate of capital such as life-insurance companies and savings banks can be encouraged to participate in large-scale housing projects on a wide scale. The large housing developments undertaken by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. provide a hopeful sign in the direction of more active participation by private enterprise in large-scale private urban redevelopment.

Title VI of the bill provides a 5-year program of acquiring slum areas and clearing them in preparation for redevelopment. The American Association of Social Workers and the National Housing have told you what slums and blighted areas mean in terms of disease and delinquency; the Municipal Law Officers, in terms of the burden on the taxpayer. The problem is essentially fiscal. The cost of acquiring and clearing land in slum areas is usually prohibitive. As a result, the profitable redevelopment of the slum areas for their most desirable use is rendered very difficult and often impossible. The bill expresses a clear recognition of the problems. Title VI provides for Federal loans to localities to be used in connection with clearance and redevelopment projects. The write-down of the land to its proper reuse value-for housing for upper and middle income families as well as low-income families, for parks, playgrounds, or other community purposes-is to be accomplished by Federal and local contributions equaling at least 50 percent of the Federal contribution base. However, the specific sums appropriated for both loans and annual contributions are inadequate-even for experimental purposes-as indicated from the cost estimate contained in the statement submitted to your committee on November 27, 1945, by Mr. Blandford, We, therefore, recommend that section 605 (b) of S. 1592 be amended by increasing the amount specified in line 14 to $100,000,000, and the amounts specified in lines 20 and 23 to $1,000,000.

The nonfarm public housing program under title VII provides for only 125,000 new units a year. While this number is larger than any previous accomplishment in the public housing field, it is meager compared with the 360,000 units that are needed annually with a monthly rental of less than $20, and the 590,000 units with rentals under $30. We oppose any effort to restrict the goal of providing a decent home for every American family. We, therefore, recommend that the limitation of 500,000 units provided for under section 707 (a) of title VII be eliminated and that the amount authorized for annual contributions be substantially increased.

Title VII further provides that the per room cost for public housing construction be limited to $1,000 except in cities and metropolitan districts with a population of over 500,000, where it is limited to $1,250. Construction costs have risen considerably since these stipulations were made in the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended. The limited low-rent housing program contemplated under the bill may be impossible to achieve because of unrealistic cost restrictions. The required 20-percent gap between rental limits for admission to the proposed low-rent housing and the lowest rents at which private enterprise is providing a "substantial supply of decent, safe, and sanitary housing" creates a no-man's land where no housing will be provided. No such gap is necessary. Each community knows just how low private housing can reach in its locality. If at any time in the future private enterprise should succeed in providing a substantial supply of decent, safe, and sanitary housing below its current level, public housing will, of course, lower the market it serves proportionately.

We note with approval that the bill does not neglect the special problem of the veterans and that veterans receive a preference in all public-aided projects. We further approve the provisions of title IX, which provide for the disposition of permanent war housing for low-rent housing with preference to servicemen and veterans.

In conclusion may we congratulate you as well as Senators Ellender and Taft for the nonpartisan, statesmanlike approach you displayed toward the problem

of meeting the total housing needs of the Nation. A large-scale housing program is clearly an indispensable part of any program for full employment. Furthermore the health and living standards of our children-the citizens of tomorrow-demand suitable living conditions. The need is pressing. We, therefore, earnestly recommend immediate favorable action on this bill.

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SIR: At the meeting of the Council of the City of Los Angeles, held December 27, 1945, a resolution was adopted memorializing the Congress of the United States to enact bill S. 1592, popularly known as the Wagner-Ellender-Taft housing bill, establishing a national housing policy.

I am transmitting to you a certified copy of the resolution.
Yours very truly,



Whereas there is now pending in the Senate of the United States a bill to establish a national housing policy, and to provide for its execution, whiuh bill is designated as S. 1592, popularly known as the Wagner-Ellender-Taft housing bill; and

Whereas if enacted this legislation will provide aid to local planning; will improve existing aids to privately financed housing; will enable private enterprise to serve families of lower income; will make possible direct private investment in housing for families of moderate income; will make possible direct private investment in the development or redevelopment of slum and other areas in local communities; will further aid local communities in slum clearance and low-rent housing; will provide for the effective disposition of federally owned war housing, with preference to families of servicemen and veterans; and will set forth and make effective a sound national policy with respect to residential housing, to the benefit of the general health, welfare, and security, and for the encouragement of private enterprise in this important field: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Council of the City of Los Angeles does hereby memorialize the Congress of the United States to enact S. 1592 with the utmost expedition in the interests of the general health and welfare of the people of the United States and of the communities in which they reside throughout the Nation.

I hereby certify that the foregoing resolution was adopted by the Council of the City of Los Angeles at its meeting held December 27, 1945. [SEAL]


December 28, 1945.


United States Senate, Washington, D. C.

MY DEAR SENATOR WAGNER: The board of commissioners of the Housing Authority of the City of San Antonio, Tex., has instructed me to send you a copy of the attached resolution, which endorses the statement of policy expressed in the General Housing Act of 1945, S. 1592, now being heard before the Senate Banking and Currency Committee.

The commissioners are heartily in accord with the purposes of the bill, and hope that it will be passed by both the Senate and House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States.

Respectfully yours,

F. W. BROWN, Secretary and Executive Director.

Commissioner Tranchese introduced the following resolution:


Whereas it is the desire of the American people to assure a decent home for every American family and to erase the blight of slums in the United States; and Whereas it is essential that the housing and construction industries be permitted to assume a substantial share of the employment that must be secured, with Federal assistance where required, if an orderly transition to peacetime economy is to be obtained; and

Whereas the slum-clearance and low-rent-housing program under the provisions of the United States Housing Act of 1937 as amended, has been proven both practicable and effective in the city of San Antonio, Tex., and S. 1592 enlarges and strengthens that program, and at the same time encourages private enterprise to serve as large a part of the total need as it can; and

Whereas the Housing Authority of the city of San Antonio, Tex., is generally in agreement with all the provisions of the statement of policy expressed in S. 1592, the General Housing Act of 1945: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the commissioners of the Housing Authority of the city of San Antonio, Tex., That said housing authority of the city of San Antonio, TX., petitions Senator Tom Connally, Senator W. Lee O'Daniel, and Representative Paul J. Kilday, of Texas, to support this measure in every way possible, and that the authors of the bill, Senator Robert F. Wagner, of New York; Senator Allen J. Ellender, of Louisiana; and Senator Robert A. Taft, of Ohio, be advised of this action.

Commissioner Tranchese then moved that the said resolution be adopted as read. Commissioner Simmang seconded the motion to adopt the foreging resolution, and the secretary called the roll with the following result :

Ayes: Simmang, Tranchese, Edwards, and Blue.

Nays: None.

The chairman then declared the motion carried, and the resolution finally adopted.

Minutes of December 13, 1945.



Washington 5, D. C., December 7, 1945.

Senate of the United States, Washington, D. C. (Attention Hon. Robert F. Wagner, chairman.)

GENTLEMEN: The members of the Prefabricated Home Manufacturers' Institute in a meeting at Tulsa, Okla., on December 4, 1945, considered the provisions of the Wagner-Ellender-Taft bill and are generally opposed to its enactment.

There was unanimous agreement that our industry by the use of mass-production techniques can produce low-cost homes economically and speedily and in conformity to FHA standards providing the materials are not taken by the Government, but are made available to members of our industry.

It was further believed by those present that this opportunity of providing low-cost homes that are in the reach of workmen even in the lower wage brackets shou'd be encouraged by a reasonable attitude by OPA, stimulation of the production of building materials, and free opportunity for private enterprise to fill the demand.

The following resolution was unanimously passed:

"Resolved, That the Federal Government in the interest of promoting good citizenship, should encourage ownership of homes produced insofar as possible by private enterprise; that aid should be given in the procurement of materials to this end and that, in the interest of citizens and taxpayers, subsidized housing should be limited to the indigent; be it further

“Resolved, That members of the Prefabricated Home Manufacturers Institute are opposed to passage of the Wagner-Ellender-Taft public housing bill as fostering slothfulness, unduly burdening taxpayers, and delaying the provision of low-cost economical housing by long and wasteful governmental procedures which could be done more speedily, more economically, and more effectively by members of the prefabricated home manufacturing industry."

It will be appreciated if this expression of attitude will be made a part of the record of the current hearings on this bill.

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United States Senate, Washington, D. C.

(Attention of Hon. John H. Bankhead.)

GENTLEMEN: There is a serious housing shortage in the city of Birmingham, Ala., at this time. The Wagner-Ellender-Taft bill, Senate bill No. 1592, known as the General Housing Act of 1945, is now pending in the United States Senate. This bill is now being studied by your committee.

Because of restrictive State legislation, the city of Birmingham, will not be eligible to receive Federal assistance for public housing. The Legislature of Alabama does not meet for more than a year from now and, therefore, this restrictive legislation will still be in effect at the time the General Housing Act of 1945, is passed by the Congress and becomes effective. We fear that the appropriations made to effect the purposes of this act may be committed, before this municipality will be eligible for participation under the act.

We recommend that your committee amend Senate bill No. 1592, to provide that where counties or municipalities would be eligible for participation under the General Housing Act of 1945, except for restrictive State legislation, that where meritorious applications are filed, or are now pending, by such counties or municipalities, that the National Housing Administrator shall have the authority to earmark and set aside funds to be appropriated under the General Housing Act of 1945, subject to and contingent upon a change of the State law, either by judicial determination or legislative act, which would permit Federal aid for public housing to be used in such States, counties, and municipalities. Respectfully submitted.



President, City Commission.

Commissioner, Public Improvements.

Commissioner, Public Safety.

Birmingham 3, Ala., January 31, 1946.

United States Senate, Washington, D. C.

GENTLEMEN: Since you have under consideration Senate bill No. 1592, known as the Wagner-Ellender-Taft bill, which will provide funds to finance the construction of public housing projects, I should like to request that you give consideration to areas similar to Jefferson County, Ala.

The last Alabama Legislature passed an anti-public-housing bill applicable to our county. Since that time strong sentiment has developed in this community for the repeal of this antihousing bill, I therefore request that you include this county in your estimate for the program, so that if the law is repealed this county may obtain its share of the money proportionate to other communities. Thanking you for your consideration of the above request, I am,

Very truly,


C. M. PINSON, President.

Birmingham 3, Ala., February 1, 1946.

United States Senate, Washington, D. C.

GENTLEMEN: The Jefferson County Rural Housing Authority, which was established by the Jefferson County Commission, of which I am a member, has an ap

plication pending before the Federal Public Housing Authority for 3,740 housing units, the cost of which amounts to $9,948,400.

It is my understanding that Senate bill No. 1592, known as the Wagner-EllenderTaft housing bill, is now before your committee. While studying this bill, we hope that you will give due consideration to the fact that this county has applied for approximately $10,000,000 worth of Federal rural housing funds. There is a critical need of housing in Jefferson County, and since the rural housing program will permit nonfarm units, a large portion of the units applied for will be nonfarm rural units, and this type of dwelling will largely fit into the urgent need of this large mining and industrial area.

It is tragic that the Legislature of Alabama passed a local act whereby Jefferson County is prohibited from securing an appropriation under the Wagner-Ellender-Taft bill. However, there will be an effort made to declare this bill unconstitutional at once, and our legal authorities have been advised that it is very probable that it will be declared unconstitutional. In addition to that, we now have an election on, which will take place in May, and all candidates for the legislature will surely declare themselves to correct the error made in the passage of our county's Antihousing Act. We believe this true, because this is the only county that has been deprived through its housing authority from getting Federal housing assistance by a State legislature.

Therefore, will your committee please amend the present Wagner-Ellender-Taft Senate bill 1592, so that Jefferson County's application for $10,000,000, as well as the applications of the municipalities, amounting to approximately $24,000,000, may be considered.

We will appreciate an amendment that would earmark these funds for our county and cities, as we are certain to correct the legislative act, prohibiting Federal public housing in this county, at an early date.

Yours very truly,


HENRY W. SWEET, County Commissioner.

BESSEMER, ALA., January 30, 1946.

United States Senate, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: As you are probably aware, Federal housing funds are no longer available in Jefferson County, due to the action of our recent State legislature in enacting a bill which prohibited the use of Federal funds in construction of houses in this county. Due to this fact, funds in the amount of $29,978,000 which had been allocated for Federal housing in this county became unavailable, and as a result thereof practically nothing has been done in this county in the last 12 months to remedy the dire housing shortage that exists here.

In the Bessemer district of this county there are literally hundreds of families that are without adequate housing, and in the city of Bessemer alone there is an immediate need for at least 250 housing units for the accommodation of veterans of World War II and their families who are unable at the present time to obtain adequate housing here. I trust that some action can be taken by your committee and by the Congress to provide us with housing accommodations in this district sufficient to meet the needs of these veterans and their families. Far from assuming the responsibility for furnishing adequate housing to our people, local landlords and private capital have done practically nothing in this county to meet the need for adequate housing.

Assuring you of my continued desire to cooperate with your committee and the Congress, and with kindest personal regards, I am,

Yours very truly,

JAP BRYANT, Mayor, City of Bessemer.

FAIRFIELD, ALA., January 30, 1946.


United States Senate, Washington, D. C.

GENTLEMEN: Referring to Senate bill No. 1592, known as the Wagner-EllenderTaft bill, we wish to make the following statement and request:

The city of Fairfield has a population of about 12,000 people and is situated in a highly industrialized section of the State of Alabama. The large steel mills are

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