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Mr. INGLIS. I do not have anything further to say except that I was going to explain these charts and I will give all members copies of this chart. I think you have all seen this one.
The CHAIRMAN. You have covered them generally in the testimony, have you not?
Mr. INGLIS. This one point I would like to make: This shows the fact that public housing pays twice as much tax as slum housing in Detroit. This shows what the tenant of public housing receives for his rental dollar.
The CHAIRMAN. That is in the statement, is it not?
Mr. INGLIS. No. As compared with what the slum dweller receives for his rent dollar. This is expressed in dollars and cents in terms of assessed value. For every rent dollar paid the slum dweller receives $19.10 in value and the tenant of public housing receives $76.20 in value.
Mr. VAN ANTWERP. Mr. Chairman, I want to express my appreciation to yourself and the members of the committee for their very fine reception of our presentation. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. We are very happy to have had you with us, Mr. Mayor. You have added immeasurably to our understanding of the problem. Thank you.
Mr. Brophy and Mr. McGuire want to make a brief statement.
Mr. MCGUIRE. I am president of the Milwaukee common council. 1 am here with Mayor Zeidler. I merely want to get into the record that I did not want the committee to misunderstand that we have a Socialist form of government in our city. We do not. Our Mayor did not run as a Socialist nor was he endorsed by the Socialist Party. He is not operating as a Socialist. Our entire council, composed of 27 men, is nonpartisan. I wanted to get that into the record.
I have a short statement, Mr. Chairman, that I would like to have made a part of the record.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, Mr. McGuire's statement may
be inserted in the record
Thank you, Mr. McGuire
STATEMENT BY MILTON J. MCGUIRE, PRESIDENT, MILWAUKEE COMMON COUNCIL
Mr. MCGUIRE. Implicit in any national housing objective is the goal of a decent home and wholesome environment for every American family. American has not, on the whole, built enough houses in the past to provide adequate standards of shelter for the bulk of its people. New housing, generally, has been built for a relatively small group of the population enjoying the highest incomes. By this process, and subject to a variety of influences, only the old housing was left to filter down to the lower income groups. The requirements of a steadily increasing population and the limitations of the supply of progressively deteriorating old houses have led to a decline in housing standards wherever the volume of new construction fell below an exceptionally productive level.
I do not pretend to qualify as an expert, nor am I concerned with splitting hairs-technically, legally, or otherwise, but as president of Milwaukee common council of the city of Milwaukee-a city of more than 600,000 people-I am keenly aware of the desperate need for an all-out attack on every front, in order to accomplish a real and
lasting solution of the housing problem. All of us have too long relief on vague generalizations-temporary and "emergency" palliativeswhich will no longer suffice.
I therefore urge that a national housing policy be established-by Congress-which sets as the fundamental objective a decent home and wholesome environment for every American family. Implementing this policy, every reasonable and feasible aid should be extended to private enterprise to meet as much of the total housing need as possible, and direct Federal assistance should be extended to communities in the special problems of slum clearance and the provision of adequate low rent housing for families with incomes so low that they cannot otherwise be decently housed in new or existing private housing.
I am fully aware that low rent housing and slum clearance are not the same thing, but I do insist that neither are they mutually exclusive. The most impressive result of our chronic housing shortage is the slum, or before it gets to be that, the blighted area. In every city, and Milwaukee is no exception, it will be found that the worst housing-that which is reserved for families at the bottom of the income scale-is concentrated in a decaying section, somewhere near the downtown business district.
Milwaukee, for example, covers about 29,000 acres, of which approximately 3,700 acres, or 13 percent, are sufficiently blighted to warrant immediate action by way of rehabilitation or total demolition and redevelopment. Further, of the city's total supply of approximately 170,000 dwelling units, 24 percent were found to be substandard, according to the United States Census of 1940. In 11 selected census tracts, these findings were confirmed by a special survey of the American Public Health Association's committee on the hygiene of housing. There is no question, therefore, that Milwaukee, too, has ahead of it a long, hard job of clearing its blighted areas, and as a corollary, the equally important task of housing the low-income families presently living in these areas.
I regard as a myth the assumption that somehow or other the problems of blight elimination and low-rent housing are capable of selfremedy. A study of the history of urban growth and subsequent decline will serve to clearly indicate that the most obvious characteristic of blight is its infectiousness. It is not only the houses that, by virtue of age and obsolescence alone, become delapidated to a point of being a public liability, but whole blocks and entire neighborhoods finally become a community responsibility.
Yes, it will take public participation, or subsidy, if you will, to cope with such public problems. Onerous as subsidy appears to some well-intentioned people, let there be no question that every blighted area, wherever it may be, is presently subsidized, but unfortunately only to the end that it may be perpetuated. Every blighted area embodies a subsidy which is assessed directly or indirectly upon every citizen of the community. Accelerated deterioration of physical value, a declining tax base and the toll of crime, delinquency, and disease are but a few of the attributes of these areas, and are the burden of the entire community. Apart from the social consequences, an actual dollar cost to the community is involved which, while difficult to measure exactly, is no less heavy for being thus concealed.
I realize, of course, that these problems of blight elimination, urban redevelopment, and low-rent housing are essentially matters of local
concern, and must be resolved at the local level to the greatest possible extent. No community will long retain its integrity and selfrespect if it attempts to slough off its problems without having exhausted the possibilities of helping itself. The financial limitations of even the most solvent communities, however, soon become self-evident, once the total cost of blight elimination and low-rent housing has been calculated. It is true that Milwaukee, by frugal management, has achieved the liquidation of its bonded debt, so that, in effect it is a debt-free city. We have recognized, however, that the accomplishment of a number of long-term improvements must be financed by borrowing, chief among these, housing and blight elimination.
On April 6, 1948, the citizens of Milwaukee, by referendum, approved a $2,500,000 bond issue for blight elimination. These funds will be used primarily for the acquisition of property in blighted areas under the so-called blighted area law, whereby the land may be cleared and sold to private redevelopment corporations at a "use" value as determined by the common council. Any one familiar with land costs in blighted areas will immediately recognize the limited amount of elimination that can be accomplished with $2,500,000, although that amount in itself is quite a substantial contribution for a city of Milwaukee's size. Our housing authority, in developing Milwaukee's first aided low-rent slum clearance project in the sixth ward, acquired by purchase or condemnation, two square blocks at a cost of $350,000. Assuming this cost to be typical, for purposes of estimate, the $2,500,000 bond issue would make possible the acquisition of about 14 blocks, and there are literally hundreds of blocks that may be dealt with.
My purpose in being here as a proponent of the T-E-W bill must therefore be obvious. I regard title V, and the aid it would provide to local communities as indispensable if cities are ever to make a real beginning in their attack on slum clearance.
Augmenting such aid, however, must be the further assistance of a federally sponsored low-rent housing program since, as I have attempted to point out, blight elimination and the housing of low-income families must go hand in hand.
Milwaukee has contributed $962,000 to its first low-rent slum clearance project, the Federal Government participating to the extent of $1,786,000. The city made this grant to make the project possible, but clearly no city's finances will permit a comparable contribution for all of the low-rent housing that is needed. Veterans' housing needs also must be given consideration. Milwaukee voted $3,500,000 for this purpose, and the Housing Authority is undertaking 1,200 units of permanent housing for veterans to rent at $50 per month, using the $3,500,000 as a one-third equity, and financing the remaining twothirds with revenue bonds of its own issue. When this program has been completed, we will still lack about 3,000 units, since 4,200 units were recommended for a 3-year veterans' housing program.
Looking to the State of Wisconsin for aid in our housing problem, we have been confronted with legal difficulties which will delay for an indeterminable period any aid that might be forthcoming from that source. The city, aside of its own limited resources, must therefore turn to the Federal Government for assistance.
I realize that I have confined myself, perhaps too closely, to Milwaukee's own problems, particularly as regards slum clearance and low-rent housing. I further realize that the development of a stable
and healthy home-building industry is of the utmost importance, if it can be given an opportunity to make its full contribution toward & prosperous economy of maximum and sustained production and employment.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will stand in recess until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.
(Whereupon, at 12: 30 p. m., the committee adjourned, to reconvene at 10 a. m., Friday, May 14, 1948.)
The committee reconvened at 10 o'clock a. m., pursuant to adjournment, the Hon. Jesse P. Wolcott, chairman, presiding.
Present: Messrs. Wolcott, Gamble, Smith, Kunkel, Talle, Kilburn, Buffett, Cole, Stratton, Banta, Nicholson, Spence, Brown, Patman, Folger, Riley, and Buchanan.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
We will proceed with the further consideration of S. 866 and related bills.
Mr. Farrell Dobbs, the presidential candidate of the Socialist Workers Party, was scheduled to appear before the committee in support of the bill, but he will be unable to read his statement personally. However, it will be included in the record at this point, without objection. Also Frederick A. Ballard,who was appearing on behalf of the Washington Housing Association, finds himself in a similar situation. His statement, which he desired to have inserted in the record, has been left with the committee.
STATEMENT OF FARRELL DOBBS, PRESIDENDIAL CANDIDATE OF THE SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY
Mr. DOBBS. I want to talk today about an iron curtain. This particular iron curtain was not fabricated by Russians or totalitarianism. This iron curtain carries the trade mark "Made in U. S. A."-it was made by the capitalist system which is strangely called "free enterprise." I am talking about the iron curtain that separates millions of American working-class families from decent homes and in innumerable cases from any homes at all. I am talking about the iron curtain which separates the veterans and their families from the lofty promises of modern, livable, and low-rent housing accommodations which were made to them during the war.
The record proves beyond a doubt that Congress has not kept the promises which were made to the veterans. But this is all in the tradition of giving soldiers a promissory note to make them fight the rich man's wars and then welching on the note when it came due for collection. The tradition is as old as America. The merchants and bankers of the Revolutionary years, led by their evil genius Alexander Hamilton, contrived the great swindle of cheating the veterans of Valley Forge out of their earnings by manipulating the value of the currency. About 70 years later the corrupt agents of the industrial barons and the railroad kings swindled the Civil War veterans out of their homesteads-that, too, gentlemen, might be called a housing scandal.
The war hysteria now being whipped up right here in Washington from the floor of Congress is not unconnected with the shortage of homes in this country. It is a method as old as class society itself. It began with the circuses the Roman slave masters employed to divert the attention of hungry, homeless, and discontented people. Hitler and Mussolini brought this method to modern perfection-when concentration camps and jails proved inadequate they were