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We believe a national housing program such as incorporated in this bill providing as it does valuable aids to private enterprise and grants for a limited amount of public housing is indispensable.
JEROME ZEIGLER, Executive Secretary.
OREGON APARTMENT HOUSE ASSOCIATION, INC.,
Hon. WAYNE L. MORSE,
United States Senate, Senate Office Building,
Washington, D. C.
DEAR MR. MORSE: The price of fuel oil to apartment houses was increased last Thursday, March 20, to $2.20 per barrel. The price on March 1, 1942, was $1.27 per barrel making the price approximately 80 percent higher to apartment-house owners for their space heating than the price existing at the rent-freeze date. Other costs have continuously risen so that the position of owners is becoming increasingly serious.
Will appreciate your bringing this to the attention of the Senate Banking and Currency Committee.
Very truly yours,
SAM O. PLUNKETT.
UNITED STATES SENATE,
April 7, 1947.
Hon. CHARLES W. TOBEY, Chairman,
Senate Committee on Banking and Currency,
DEAR SENATOR: Recently I received corrspondence from Mr. A. O. Johnson, commissioner, building and loan department, State of Colorado, in which he proposes that the following be substituted as an amendment to section 502 of the bill, S. 866:
"Any Federal savings and loan association may convert itself into a savings and loan, building and loan, or homestead association, or coooperative bank, incorporated under the laws of the State, District, or Territory in which the principal office of such association is located (hereinafter referred to as the state institution), upon the vote, cast at a legal meeting specified by the law of such State, District, or Territory as required for such a conversion, but in no event less than 51 per centum of all votes cast at such meeting, voting in person or by proxy: Provided further, That legal titles are protected by such conversion or provided that conveyances of legal titles are made. If none of the outstanding shares of the converting Federal association are held by the Secretary of the Treasury or the Home Owners' Loan Corporation, and if such conversion is to a State institution, which is mutual in character and of a type which has been insured by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, no approval of such conversion by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board or the Federal Home Loan Bank Administration shall be required and such converted institution shall continue to be an insured institution and bound under all of the agreements contained in the original application for insurance of accounts, and by such conversion shall accept and be bound by all agreements required by Section 403 of Title IV of the National Housing Act and such insured institution shall upon such conversion and thereafter be authorized to issue securities in the form theretofore approved by Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation for issuance by similar insured institutions in such State, District, or Territory. Such conversion shall be effective upon approval by the duly constituted authorities of the State, District, or Territory which have supervision over such institutions where such institution is located, and the filing of a certified copy of the resolution authorizing such conversion and the approval of such State, District, or Territory authority with the Federal Home Loan Bank Administration or the Federal Home Loan Bank Board.
"In addition to the foregoing provision for conversion upon a vote of the members only an association chartered as a Federal Savings and Loan Association, including any having outstanding_shares held by the Secretary of the Treasury or the Home Owners' Loan Corporation, may convert itself into a state institution upon an equitable basis, subject to approval, by regulations or
otherwise, by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board or the Federal Home Loan Bank Administration and by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation: Provided, That if the insurance of accounts is terminated in connection with such conversion, the notice and other action shall be taken as provided by law and regulations for the termination of insurance of accounts."
This information is being furnished for whatever action you may deem appropriate.
MY DEAR SENATOR: I am strongly opposed to the WET bill.
Let the Government provide long-term, low-interest financing, and we builders will do a far better job-in less time-for a fraction of the cost.
Already we have had too much Government interference- and fumbling—in the building of homes. Let us alone, and the job will be done. Very truly yours,
RUSSELL H. WILLIS, Treasurer.
THE FEDERAL SAVINGS AND LOAN LEAGUE OF CONNECTICUT,
Hon. CHARLES W. TOBEY,
Washington, D. C.
DEAR SIR: You have before you for consideration a recommendation to the Senate of the United States-Senate bill S. 866-designated as the TEW bill. Representing 17 Federal savings and loan associations in the State of Connecticut, with assets approximating $85,000,000, we wish to express our desires concerning the modification of the bill in the event of its approval.
Under title II, we urgently request a return of the Federal Home Loan Bank System, the Federal Savings and Loan System, and the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation to supervision under a five-man board as separately proposed under Senate bill 803. This would require a change under title II, subsection (c) of section 201 (line 20 on p. 3), by striking the words after the comma "the Federal Home Loan Bank Administrator", and substituting therefor the words "the Chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board."
Under title V, section 502, we request, in all fairness to our type of institution, that we be permitted to convert our associations to State-chartered institutions on a basis equitable with the regulations permitting State institutions to convert to federally chartered institutions without requiring an association to completely liquidate its assets.
Bill S. 913 has been submitted to the Senate by Senators Tobey and McGrath, and it is respectfully requested that this bill be passed in lieu of section 502 of S. 866. We further suggest that under section 505 of S. 866 a definite statutory penalty for the dissemination of derogatory statements be fixed in order to effectively stop malicious and vindictive statements from being made against our Federal Savings and Loan System.
Under section 506 of S. 866 we approve of the suggested amendment to section 402 of the National Housing Act for the purpose of adjusting the rate of dividend paid by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation on its capital stock. We urge, however, that section 2 of S. 804, a bill to adjust the rate of dividends to be paid by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation on its capital stock and to decrease the premium charge on its insurance, introduced by Senators Tobey and McGrath, also be enacted into law. We in the Federal savings and loan industry are justly proud of the job we have done in stimulating thrift throughout the country and consider it a gross injustice that the charges made for the insurance of our savings accounts are 50 percent greater than for similar insurance in commercial and savings banks. This bill would reduce the premium charge from one-eighth of 1 percent to one-twelfth of 1 percent per year. A similar bill was passed by Congress at its Seventy-ninth session but was pocket99279-47-34
vetoed by the President for reasons which are not in keeping with the records and requirements of the insurance corporation. We believe that information furnished to the President had been confused to the extent that he considered our industry had not set up adequate reserves in keeping with contractual obligations, whereas the truth of the situation is that all obligations, regulations, and requirements have been met as called for and existed in every instance.
We in the savings and loan industry are extremely desirous of obtaining the soundest economic background we can obtain to serve our country best. Therefore, we urge that in keeping with title V, sections 501–506, inclusive, of S. 866, a supplemental bill, S. 801, introduced by Senators Tobey and McGrath on March 7 (legislative day, February 19), 1947, be enacted. This bill would authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase bonds or obligations of the Federal Home Loan Banks and the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation at his discretion, on a basis similarly in effect for the purchase of obligations of the Federal Reserve System, Farm Credit System, Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Federal Public Housing Authority, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Federal Housing Administration by the Secretary of the Treasury.
We sincerely appreciate every effort you will make to obtain the approval of the legislation as recommended herein, as I can assure you that it will benefit millions of thrifty people in the United States who are building backlogs of economic strength.
Very truly yours,
WILLIAM L. DELANEY, President.
Senator CHARLES W. TOBEY, Chairman,
Senate Banking and Currency Committee
LEON E. TODD, INC., Camden, N. J., April 4, 1947.
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C.
DEAR SENATOR TOBEY: I wish to express my strong opposition to the Taft-Ellender-Wagner Bill (S. 866). I am immediate past president of the Camden County Real Estate Board, and vice president of the New Jersey Association of Real Estate Boards. I am speaking for them, backed by resolutions from each I oppose this bill for the following reasons:
Of the amount appropriated, 90 percent is to be used for public housing, and will be a total loss to the taxpayer. It will be a loss for another experiment under socialized housing, that has already failed.
The veterans and the public want homes, not quarters in projects that look bad, are managed poorly, and are a disgrace.
It is stated that this project is to house the lower third of our population, which would mean that the other two-thirds pay the bill. It is further stated that public housing projects should not accept more than 25 percent of relief tenants. Thus, it doesn't help the needy, and those who are relief tenants should be cared for under the welfare agencies, as in the past.
It is an additional Government agency, with more Government bungling on a large scale. It would retard public enterprise in building, which is on a sound business basis at no cost to the taxpayer. I refer you to the FHA and recent news releases of housing projects being developed under No. 608.
It costs the Government more to build the same project than it costs private enterprise.
The emergency is to house the veterans and the other people now, not for the next 45 years, especially when the next 45 years cannot be forecast.
Since when has it been economically or politically the policy of our people for one group to support another group? This is economically impossible, a political crime, and a physical impossibility.
Why should the lower third live in new houses, when so few of our own representatives and outstanding businessmen live in unsatisfactory old homes?
The final, important point is that it has never been the policy for the Government to be in any business, especially that of real estate and homes. The socialistic trend must be stopped.
I am hoping that these few thoughts show that I have studied this problem, and that I am sincere, being in the business and recommending the defeat of this long, disastrous bill.
Very truly yours,
LEON E. TODD, INC.
WHITCOMB & KELLER, INC., South Bend, Ind., March 17, 1947.
Hon. CHARLES W. TOBEY,
Washington, D. C.
DEAR Mr. TOBEY: Realtors and home builders are unalterably opposed to Wagner-Ellender-Taft Bill, Senate 866. This bill seems to be largely a duplicate of the former housing bill by the same authors, except that it takes in more territory and would mean a larger expenditure of Government money.
Public housing and other socialistic schemes have about ruined "old England". It would seem that their experience should be a lesson to the United States.
FRED W. KELLER, President.
MASSACHUSETTS ASSOCIATION OF HOUSING AUTHORITIES,
Hon. CHARLES W. TOBEY,
Chairman of Committee on Banking and Currency,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C.
DEAR SENATOR TOBEY: It is needless for me to say in behalf of this association, that we wholeheartedly endorse any constructive national housing scheme which will relieve the desperate condition which now exists in housing in this commonwealth, but in doing so we are conscious of the effect a national housing bill can have upon the family life of the Nation as well as that of our commonwealth. It is something that should be carefully guarded in the draft of legislation such as this which reaches the homes and the family life of the Nation.
Heretofore the housing authorities in this commonwealth, and we assume in other States, have had sad experience with the administrative policies of those who are in charge of housing and who possess ideologies foreign sometimes to our American way of life.
It is the considered opinion of this association, formed of groups associated with housing since its earliest legislative days, that S. 866, like the legislation which has preceded it, fails to recognize local conditions and fails to recognize the rights and privileges of local bodies upon whom fall the burden of carrying out the mandates of the Congress.
This association, composed of 28 public-housing authorities established under the housing-authority law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, feels that S. 866 should be amended to provide a greater freedom of action locally; freedom from the unwarranted administrative control of the Federal Public Housing Authority which has developed to such an extent that local action on practically every administrative detail of the management and construction of public housing is subject to review by the national agency. We do not believe it was the intention of the Congress in previous housing legislation, nor the intent of S. E66, to permit the growth of a huge administrative body to fix by mandate the decision of every local housing body in the Nation. If this be the intent of the Congress, let it be completely run by the national agency. However, the States and muncipalities, particularly Massachusetts and its constituent cities and towns, have granted aid, through tax exemptions, closely approaching the Federal subsidy. Their interest should be recognized. We do not feel that the Congress meant that the Federal Public Mousing Authority should dictate every phase of the construction of our developments, how many rooms an apartment should contain, the size of those rooms, how many people should live in them, what type hinges should be on the doors, nor the number, type, and condition of the pesronnel to be employed by a local body. Past experience has proven them wrong too often. We have leaky walls and similar conditions arising from failure of national officials to recognize local climatic conditions. Charges of enforced birth control have been aired because of insufficient apartment size, forced upon local authorities by national officials unacquainted with local family size and tradition.
We feel that the Congress should establish restrictions upon the Federal administrative control over local action. Such control as the Congress wishes should be written into S. 866 and the Federal agency limited to that. Provision should also be made for nonjudicial interpretation of the legislation by a body or tribunal
independent of the agency administering it. Honest differences of opinion of the meaning of the legislation and the intent of the Congress often arise between local authorities and the national agency. A provision for an impartial interpretation may make unnecessary later judicial interpretation.
A draft of a proposed amendment is attached herewith for the consideration of your committee.
Thanking you for your courtesy in this matter, I am
MASSACHUSETTS ASSOCIATION OF HOUSING AUTHORITIES, By JOHN SIROIS, Secretary.
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO S. 866
Insert in page 63, line 20, the following:
"Provided, however, That nothing in this section shall be construed so as to diminish or impair the power or control of the several States or political subdivisions thereof or of the local body over any and all projects undertaken or constructed in such State or political subdivision by such local body under this act. Neither the National Housing Commission, the administration thereof, nor the Administrator of any of its components shall require as a condition to assistance under this act that any such State or political subdivision or local body shall waive any right or privilege granted or duty imposed by State or local law unless such waiver shall be specifically required by the terms of this Act. Insert in page 69, line 5, the following:
"SEC. 901 (a) The United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended, is hereby amended by inserting in section 15 (4) before "Provided" the following:
"Provided, however, That nothing in this section shall be construed so as to diminish or impair the power or control of the several States or po'tical ; ubdivisions thereof or of the local body over any and all projects undertaken or constructed in such State or political subdivisions by such local body under this Act. Neither the National Housing Commission, the Administrator thereof, nor the administrator of any of its components shall require as a condition to assistance under this Act that any such state or political subdivision or local body shall waive any right or privilege granted or duty imposed by State or local law unless such waiver shall be specifically required by the terms of this Act." Insert in line 6, page 69, after 901 “(b)".
Senator CHARLES W. TOBEY,
Bismarck, N. Dak., March 31, 1947.
Chairman, Banking and Currency Committee,
Senate Building, Washington, D. C.
DEAR SENATOR: We are writing to you with regard to National Housing Commission bill (S. 866), of which we have made some study after reading in the newspapers of the violent opposition to the bill being put forth by the National Association of Real Estate Boards.
Our association has obtained 125 acres of choice land for building houses in a suburban part of our city, and now we are faced with all the problems of building and financing for the many virtually homeless veterans that constitute a great part of the membership of this association.
Having studied the summary of the bill, we believe that there are parts of the proposed program that may be of great help to us, and also firmly believe that other parts of the program would greatly help veterans and others in other situations. The provisions for making initial purchase easier, lessening the monthly finance charges, and the encouragement of participation by builders in the program seem especially praiseworthy. In our situation, since we will be seeking financing by an institutional or other large-scale investor, the provision for yield insurance to protect such a ninvestor might enable us to get the terms we want.
We are not alone in our insistence that something constructive will have to be done soon to facilitate home building to relieve the present unsatisfactory condition. A few weeks ago the housing situation, especially as it pertained to the need for legislation to implement the authority of public housing authorities, was discussed at a meeting of the local Legion post, which had been instrumental about a year earlier in getting our association organized and on its way. One of the reasons for the support given the proposal for better public housing