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at least a decade the council strongly endorses those provisions of S. 1592 which will assist colleges and universities to take immediate steps to meet these needs. The provisions for insuring loans up to 95 percent and at a maximum of 3% percent for a period of 40 years will be of genuine assistance to some institutions. Also the provisions which give preference to veterans will be of help to colleges since the present congestion of housing is due largely to their return. But it is our considered judgment that the bill should be amended to include specific reference to the application of these provisions to meet the need of veterans on the college campus and to make such loans equally available to both privately and publicly controlled institutions by increasing the guaranty to 95 percent for both types of institutions.
I understand such recommendation has already been made to this committee.
Senator TAFT. After all, you own the land and in all probability most universities have extra land nearby where they could build. That would be counted in as part of the 10 percent. Is there any great necessity to increase that?
Mr. BROWN. I am not sure the difference between 90 and 95 percent is of great concern to all of them. It might be to a few. It was a matter of making equal both types of institutions that the committee felt as it did about that. At the present time it is 90 for private and 95 for public institutions.
Beyond these provisions I would like to recommend:
1. That the maximum interest rate for established educational institutions be placed at 2 percent rather than the 3%1⁄2 percent proposed in the present bill. Many institutions are already able to borrow on a long-term loan, at less than the proposed 3% percent and for these the present bill would provide little assistance. By reducing the maximum at least to that which is earned on Government bonds, funds would be available and real help would be given to the educational institutions.
Senator TAFT. It wouldn't do any good to reduce the maximum unless you borrow the money and nobody is going to lend you money at 2 percent.
Mr. BROWN. The testimony of the college presidents is that they can get money at the present time from one and three-quarters up to three and one-half percent.
Senator TAFT. Not for 40 years on a mortgage. I would say that was absolutely wrong.
Mr. BROWN. I am only repeating what a college president told me yesterday.
Senator TAFT. Maybe he could borrow that for 6 months, but of course, if he can get 2 percent, why, the FHA can insure it.
Mr. BROWN. That is one of the things which they were very much concerned about; namely, that the interest rate be dropped below that which they could get, possibly not by inserting it in the law, but in the practicies that would develop under the law.
Senator TAFT. FHA will insure a mortgage at 2 percent if you can find it, I think. There is no objection to that. If you can get anybody to loan you money at 2 percent, the FHA will insure the mortgage. That ought to get you a reduction of half of a percent in the rates or something like that.
Mr. BROWN. It was our understanding that some of the institutions that it would be desirable for them to borrow directly through an agency and with others it would be a guarantee through regular channels.
Senator TAFT. Other Government agencies? I don't understand. Mr. BROWN. I haven't given that enough study
Senator TAFT. We are not borrowing this on direct Government loans.
Mr. BROWN. No. I understand that. Through an agency with a guarantee there, so that it would be made available to the institutions at 2 percent. As I say, I am not enough of a legal expert to know exactly the provisions that are required in terms of loans.
2. That further study be made of the possibility of including a system of payments for veterans enrolled in both publicly and privately controlled institutions. As a basis for such discussions we would suggest a grant-in-aid ratio of 46; that is, that the Federal Government appropriate $4 for each $6 which the institution provides. This ratio is proposed to offset the current increase in building costs and to prevent the necessity of such increase being paid through rentals by the veteran. The use of such funds should be restricted to the construction of small family-size units of housing, to be used exclusively for the housing of married veterans until such time as the number of units available exceeds the number of married veterans who desire to reside in such facilities.
Senator TAFT. Do you mean a subsidy?
Mr. BROWN. Yes; that would definitely be a grant-in-aid.
Senator TAFT. What sort of a grant-in-aid-to the university, or a subsidy to the veteran, or what?
Mr. BROWN. It would be actually in fact a payment to the institution on the basis of 40 percent from the Government and 60 percent from the private institution for construction of housing units. I have discussed this with a considerable number of individuals and their general feeling is that they all favor loans first, and, if it is possible to go beyond loans, then a grant-in-aid would be a very definite assistance to them.
Senator TAFT. It seems to me that is a GI question, not a housing question. If they want to give GI rent free besides the allowance given for tuition and maintenance, that would be the place for that, it seems to me.
Mr. BROWN. In this second one the general emphasis is on permanent housing.
Senator TAFT. I don't see why we should give a grant-in-aid to a university for permanent housing that they are going to own. That I don't quite see. Would you do that forever?
Mr. BROWN. No. I wouldn't assume that.
Senator TAFT. It is ,as I understand it, just connected with the veterans alone, your suggestion; is that right?
Mr. BROWN. There is where the major emphasis comes, but my point is that would be permanent construction on the campus.
Senator TAFT. You would make a present of it to the university? Mr. BROWN. Just as is done with the grant-in-aid at the present time under a number of other provisions passed by the Congress, for example, the George Dean Act and all those, are matching grantsin-aid.
Senator TAFT. It would be a very limited field, not for university buildings or dormitories?
Mr. BROWN. That is correct, sir. Each one is for a specific service. This is a rather definite departure, I will frankly grant it, simply thrown in there for the consideration of the committee.
Senator MITCHELL. That is exactly what happened under Public Works Administration for some colleges and universities; isn't that correct?
Mr. BROWN. That is correct, sir, a very considerable number of colleges had dormitories, and other buildings, even swimming pools built under PWA.
Senator TAFT. PWA was abolished 10 years ago or more.
Mr. BROWN. That is right. That was presumably to make jobs. This would be to provide service.
If no Federal grants are made available and the institutions are allowed only to borrow from the Federal Government on the terms noted in 1 above, there might still exist a situation in which the lowest rental possible in order to amortize the loan would be in excess of the ability of the veteran to pay. The increase is due largely to inflated building costs brought about by the war.
This difficulty might be eliminated by incorporating certain features of a bill-(S. 977)-introduced on May 7, 1945, by the two Senators from Oregon, Senators Morse and Cordon. On page 4, line 21, of that bill, and continuing to page 5, line 9, are specific recommendations for meeting the problem. Briefly these paragraphs call for a reduction of the rental in such quarters of 50 percent, but not to exceed $15 per month. Any reduction under such a provision would be credited to the institution's account toward final amoritization.
Senator BUCK. Hasn't that been taken care of by a bill passed recently contributing $65
Mr. BROWN. I think to a large degree that part of it has. An institution may feel free to charge a slightly increased rental, but I think they will be loath to do so because it will appear that the increase in maintenance to the individual was actually to the institution, not to the individual. Of course, it has not been enacted into law. It has been passed by the Senate, but not by the House.
I am very sure that the institutions will be loath to increase their charges for maintenance, lest they be accused of taking advantage of the additional payment as an institutional benefit and not as an individual benefit.
3. A very important one and one on which action is moving to meet the immediate emergency, the committee on relationships also unanimously recommended that action be taken at once by the Congress to make funds available to implement section V of the Lanham Act. Although responsibility for this action rests with the Appropriations Committee of the House rather than this committee, it is hoped that congressional action may be taken immediately. The CHAIRMAN. Didn't they vote on that in the House?
Mr. BROWN. It was my understanding that they voted to reinstate the $24,000,000 but they didn't vote on the over-all bill.
The CHAIRMAN. That is what I meant.
Mr. BROWN. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
Mr. BROWN. On November 6 the following letter was sent to Chairman Clarence Cannon of the House Appropriations Committee: At its recent meeting, the committee on relationships of higher education to the Federal Government of the American council discussed the housing shortage which has already developed in many colleges and universities. The committee instructed that this letter be written and sent with their unanimous support of the recommendation.
As you probably know, this extremely critical housing situation now facing the institutions of higher education is due to the return to school of veterans under the educational provisions of Public Law 346 (2d sess., 78th Cong.) the so-called GI bill of rights. The colleges are hard-pressed to supply the dormitory space for the single men who are returning, but we believe that they will be able to manage this problem without aid.
However, an entirely new situation now faces the colleges, that is, the return to the campuses of married veterans who want to live with their wives while studying. Almost no colleges have adequate housing facilities to provide even the minimum of the housing requirements of such couples. Approximately 60 percent of the higher educational institutions of the country are situated in small communities where it is absolutely impossible for the community to provide the facilities to house these veterans and their wives. In one small college in Pennsylvania which has a normal enrollment of less than 400 students in attendance, the number of veterans who have been turned away this fall has been 37. All of them are married and since no apartment units are available, they have been forced to defer their education or seek another institution where housing was available. The situation is little or no better in most institutions.
We understand that the President's request for funds to implement section 5 of the Lanham Act is now before your committee. While these funds will not meet the long-range problems of housing, they will make possible the immediate adjustments that are imperative on the college campus. Congress has made education the right of every veteran. Even this small amount of money will assist colleges and universities to make it possible for this right to be exercised. We earnestly request that you give immediate attention to the matter of making these funds available to alleviate this critical situation which has already arisen and will be almost universal by the fall of 1946.
4. That priority be given to educational institutions for essential building materials. At the present time, contractors are refusing to accept bids despite the urgency of the situation, because of the difficulty in procuring the physical materials. Unless such definite priority is given, there will be a long and unfortunate delay in getting construction in progress.
I may say we have worked rather closely with the Surplus Property Administration and others, and I earnestly hope that greater speed can be made in terms of surplus property. Possibly some notation, not direct action, by this committee might help in speeding up such availability.
5. That the Army and Navy immediately declare excess the housing units which they are no longer using. Such Quonset houses can be moved to areas adjacent to college campuses. If this is done, and immediately and section V of the Lanham Act is implemented by funds, it may be possible, at least partially, to meet the emergency already arising and that will become acute by the February enrollment in our colleges and universities.
Senator MITCHELL. Do you have any information that the Army and Navy are not declaring as surplus housing which they are not using?
Mr. BROWN. I have only one instance which came to me directly from a college president in which that was true-some 800 housesI will refer to it in just a moment.
Senator MITCHELL. Do you refer to it by name?
Mr. BROWN. Yes. Whether there are others or not, I don't know. It is imperative that action be taken immediately both on the bill and on these recommendations to meet the pressing problem of housing married veterans. They will be denied the right of education granted them by the Congress unless action is taken now to provide housing facilities. Time is the most important single factor. Every day's delay means that additional veterans are being deprived of the right of education provided by the Congress.
At the University of Indiana-I am saying this with the full permission of the President, veterans are sleeping in corridors and on cots in the gymnasium. Married veterans, some of them with one and two children, are crowded into a single room. Yet some 800 temporary houses are unused in a camp 10 miles away. The temporary emergency could be met if only the Army would declare these houses surplus and funds would be made available to move them!
But the longer range problem, which S. 1592 is aimed to meet, must still be faced. Buildings cannot be constructed overnight; the high tide of returning veterans is anticipated for next fall. Action is imperative. We call upon this committee and the Congress to provide the leadership now to meet the crisis already developing. The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much. It is a very comprehensive statement. Are there any questions?
Senator HICKENLOOPER. May I ask a question, please, Mr. Chairman?
The CHAIRMAN. Surely.
Senator HICKENLOOPER. I am concerned about this veteran's problem and the normal problem of the universities and colleges.
Do you have any figures indicating what the history of enrollment of colleges and universities may be immediately after a war and what its eventual enrollment may be after the temporary postwar period is over?
Mr. BROWN. I can answer that in this way: That after the last war there was a rather immediate influx, even without any Public Law 16 or 346, that tended after about 1921 to 1924 to taper off slightly. It could be indicated as a curve up and then tapering off and then continued on a constant increase from then through the depression years and even up to 1940. In fact, actually the depression tended in many cases to an increase in student enrollment rather than a decrease.
Senator HICKENLOOPER. It is my understanding that the college enrollment immediately following the last war practically doubled and that eventually about 50 percent of that increase was lost, so that perhaps the college enrollment 5 or 6 years, or 7, after the last war was a net increase of approximately 50 percent more than the enrollment just prior to the war; that we may reasonably expect at least a similar increase-at least a doubling in the college population after this war for a period of time, but that will settle back to a normal attendance as soon as these extraordinary situations are satisfied.
Mr. BROWN. Of course, a very artificial factor that will make the settling back as you have referred to it possibly greater than after the last war is the impetus given to education all along the line by the GI bill and Public Law 16. As I have indicated, in my judgment at