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RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MANITOWOC, WIS.
Whereas the cost of building homes for veterans has increased considerably due to removal of priorities and price controls on materials; and
Whereas such costs are prohibitive to the average veteran; and
Whereas it is evident that it is impossible for municipalities to provide homes for veterans. The problem is and always has been one for the Federal Government. If the Federal Government had maintained priorities and kept materials at price levels where veterans are able to proceed with the construction of their homes, perhaps we would be on the road to a solution. Now nonresidential construction exceeds residential and they are in competition. It is obvious that the average veteran, after his discharge from military service, is unable to finance the purchase of a $7,000 or $8,000 home. The Government experienced no difficulty and did not delay long in furnishing housing accommodations for war workers in industrial areas. It is the Government's responsibility to see that the returning veteran is properly housed and the Federal Government should not shirk its responsibility in this respect. If the costs are proper and if no controls should again be imposed, then the Government should provide housing accommodations for the veterans at a cost commensurate with the veteran's ability to finance, and if assistance is required, the Federal Government is the unit which should provide it. It cannot be shunted to the municipality. Everyone is agreed that there is a housing shortage; everyone is agreed that the average veteran cannot finance construction at existing costs. It is therefore imperative that the Federal Government immediately recognize its responsibility and provide the housing accommodations required.
The returning veteran is the displaced American citizen, and it is the duty of the Federal Government to rehabilitate him, and the first requirement is adequate housing. It is dangerous for any country to neglect the welfare of its citizens. Discontent breeds hatred of existing institutions. If the citizenry is content we need not fear the antics or vituperations of Communists and others espousing foreign ideologies: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Honorable Mayor and Common Council of the City of Manitowoc, That we do hereby respectfully petition the Legislature of the State of Wisconsin to memorialize the Congress of the United States to take such immediate and appropriate steps as may be necessary to provide immediate, adequate housing accommodations for our returning veterans who are sorely distressed.
Dated this 17th day of March 1947.
STATE OF WISCONSIN,
City of Manitowoc, ss:
I, Arthur Post, city clerk of and for the city of Manitowoc of the State of Wisconsin, do hereby certify that I have compared the above and attached copy of a resolution with the original of said resolution on file in my office, and that the said copy is a true and correct copy of such original resolution duly and regularly adopted by the Common Council of the City of Manitowoc, Wis., at a meeting held on March 17, 1947.
Witness my hand and seal this 28th day of March 1947. [SEAL]
ARTHUR POST, City Clerk.
Senator CHARLES W. TOBEY,
UNITED STATES SENATE, Washington, D. C., March 31, 1947.
Chairman, Senate Banking and Currency Committee,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR TOBEY: I am enclosing herewith telegram of March 26 from Mr. Henry R. McGee, president, Chicago Branch of NAACP.
Will you kindly place it on file with your committee in connection with S. 866?
Yours most sincerely,
SCOTT W. LUCAS.
Senator SCOTT W. LUCAS,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C.:
CHICAGO, ILL., March 26, 1947.
The 20,000 members of the Chicago Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People are wholeheartedly in favor of Senate bill 866. We urge your committee to favorably report this bill and place our statement on record before your committee.
HENRY W. MCGEE, President, Chicago Branch, NAACP.
UNITED STATES SENATE,
March 31, 1947.
Hon. CHARLES W. TOBEY,
Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking and Currency,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C.
MY DEAR SENATOR: Pursuant to the request contained in attached telegram from George H. Jones, president, Danville Veterans Homes Corp., I am referring the telegram to your committee for incorporation in the record of hearing on Senate bill 866.
Very truly yours,
C. WAYLAND BROOKS.
DANVILLE, ILL., March 28, 1947.
Senator C. WAYLAND BROOKS,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C.: This organization recognizes the need for good permanent housing for veterans and families of low income and recommends wholeheartedly the passage of Senate bill 866. Please incorporate this statement in record of hearing now in progress.
GEORGE H. JONES, President, Danville Veterans Homes Corp.
NATIONAL WOMEN'S TRADE UNION LEAGUE OF AMERICA,
Hon. CHARLES W. TOBEY,
Chairman, Committee on Banking and Currency,
DEAR SENATOR TOBEY: This letter is written in behalf of the National Women's Trade Union League, which is a federation of trade-unions with women members, and with a supplementary membership of persons who endorse its principles and program. In addition, many national and international unions and State federations of labor are linked to the league by affiliation. Since this Nation became conscious of its slum blight and of the inadequacy of decent homes for millions of our families we have been doing our best to assist in correcting this situation. I am directed to write this letter to you as chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency so that we may express our general approval of S. 866, the Taft-Ellender-Wagner Housing bill, and to request that this statement of support be included in the official hearings of your committee.
While we believe firmly that the enactment of this measure is essential to the welfare of the Nation we feel that in some respects it could be strengthened. Changes from the Wagner-Ellender-Taft bill of the Seventy-ninth Congress, have in our opinion weakened, rather than strengthened the bill.
You will recall that as the Wagner-Ellender-Taft bill passed the Senate a year ago it provided that prevailing wages should be paid on FHA-insured individual homes as well as on large-scale rental housing both private and public. The present measure does not provide for the payment of prevailing wages on FHA-insured individual homes, although the principal risk, if there is one, is being taken by the Government. Our organization believes it of vital importance that this amendment be reinstated and urges such action by the Banking and Currency Committee.
We cannot understand why it is that the provision for a 95-percent insurance at a maximum of 32 percent interest rate for mutual home ownership and cooper
ative housing should be dropped. Such aid is recommended for individual home ownership involving a principal obligation of not more than $5,000, which we approve, but we believe that the principal should extend to group ownership where the risk is sure to be less and from which better-planned communities may be anticipated. We urge strongly that the committee return to the language of S. 1592 regarding mutual and cooperative home ownership, as it was adopted by the Senate in 1946.
Title II of S. 866, which establishes a National Housing Commission, is in the opinion of our organization a distinct step backward from the language of S. 1592 which would have created a National Housing Agency with an administrator having definite powers creating national housing policies. Bringing together many agencies of Government into a monthly debating society, with an administrator with no authority can result only in confusion. Cooperating agencies are left dangling and the Congress will be able to look to no one source for housing responsibility. The method of administration suggested by S. 866 has been tried and failed time and again. It is our great hope that the committee will review title II with great care, and we respectfully recommend that you return to the language of the previous measure.
All labor organizations and public-interest groups have long urged an adequate land assembly and slum-clearance program, developed separately from public low-rent housing. Title VIII of S. 866 makes an admirable start toward that end, except that administration is placed directly under the Administrator, who in the outline of his duties is supposed to have no administrative authority, instead of placing it where the function belongs within the Federal Public Housing Authority. The entire financial program that is outlined follows closely the experience of FPHA under provisions of the United States Housing Act. It is the only Federal agency with experience in this financial field, it has trained personnel, but instead of making use of that know-how and personnel it is proposed, in effect, that a new agency be created for this function. We ask that the committee consider a realinement of this function into the administrative agency where it logically belongs, namely the FPHA.
These recommendations are made to the committee purely in the spirit of cooperation. We live in the midst of the housing crisis, thousands of our members are its victims. We feel that we are in a position to make helpful suggestions based on long experience. The authors of S. 866 have made a great contribution by the introduction of this measure. Millions of citizens are grateful to the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency for pushing ahead with hearings. No measure on the domestic front is so important to so many million Americans. We hope for prompt enactment of the bill, and we respectfully ask that you give serious consideration to our specific recommendations.
Very sincerely yours,
ELISABETH CHRISTMAN, Secretary- treasurer.
Hon. ALEXANDER WILEY,
Washington, D. C.
PLATTEN-HAMMES REAL ESTATE, INC.,
DEAR SENATOR: If Government would get off the neck of builders there would be no need for public housing. The building industry would get back to normal and rents would adjust themselves. If we were not hampered by Government permits to build, and requirements to sell to veterans the houses for which we got priority numbers to build in 1946 and which are still under construction, we could and would build houses for sale to the general public who can and would buy them thus vacating other property and making more rentals available. We also could and would build four-room houses to sell for $3,800, five rooms for $4,300, and six rooms for $4,800 unless these homes would be insulated, have electric lights, kitchen cabinet, and sink and flush toilets.
Everybody cannot afford new homes, nor is it necessary that they have an ultra modern home. My parents never lived in a home with either a flush toilet, bathtub, or a lavatory, yet they managed to keep their bodies and home clean and sanitary, and reared a family of eight healthy law-abiding citizens.
Will you kindly send this letter to the Senate Housing Committee or to whoever is hearing arguments on this subject?
Yours very truly,
PLATTEN-HAMMES REAL ESTATE, INC.
FIRST FEDERAL SAVINGS AND LOAN ASSOCIATION OF MERIDEN,
Senator CHARLES W. TOBEY,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C.
DEAR SENATOR TOBEY: I am taking this opportunity writing you relative to pending legislation before the Senate Banking and Currency Committee in which our business is vitally interested
May I solicit support of the following Senate bills-S. 801, 802, 803, 804, and 913? These bills are all of a nature which, if adopted, will permit our industry to improve the service which is now rendered to our various communities, and it will also strengthen the financial structure of the United States insofar as home mortgage financing and savings business is concerned.
I would also like to ask that you use your best efforts to discourage the passage of bill S. 866, known as the TEW bill. It is the opinion of our industry throughout the country, that this bill provides nothing to assist the public to home ownership that cannot be done equally well by private industry at far less expense to the United States Treasury. It is my opinion that, if Government controls are withdrawn entirely, the steadily improved situation relating to building materials and supplies will permit a sufficient volume of new home construction, so that the next 2 years will see a great portion of the housing shortage entirely eliminated.
The future bottleneck in the building industry will undoubtedly be a shortage of skilled labor, and certainly this condition cannot be corrected by a National Housing Authority. The past record of Government control of the building industry, with the exception of the Federal Housing Administration, certainly has not been one to point at with pride.
Thanking you for your consideration of these comments, I am
H. DUDLEY MILLS President.
ASSOCIATION OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS,
Hon. CHARLES W. TOBEY,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR TOBEY: The Association of Landscape Architects, composed of land planners, city and regional planners, and landscape architects in this northern region of California, is inseparably tied up in its professional practice with homes, housing, and the welfare of people.
The present housing crisis has impelled us to appoint a special housing committee to look into and analyze the entire matter and report its finding to our executive board for association action, with particular reference to the recent bill introduced by Mrs. Helen Gahagan Douglas, H. R. 1750, and the TaftEllender-Wagner bill, S. 866 (H. R. 2523).
Careful scrutiny of these measures reveals the following:
Mrs. Douglas' bill will ameliorate conditions particularly for the veteran and his family. The bill aims for immediate remedy and solution, and is a simple, straightforward piece of legislation.
The Association of Landscape Architects favors this bill, urgently recommends that you, too, vigorously endorse and support this measure for quick enactment.
The TEW bill, S. 866, a revised WET measure of the Seventy-ninth Congress, provides for over-all necessary provisions to cure the existing acute national housing crisis.
A most careful study was made of bill S. 866. The Association of Landscape Architects endorses this bill, but with the following recommendations:
(a) That title I of S. 1592 be substituted for title II of S. 866. The resultant changes would simplify its administration.
(b) That title II of S. 1592 be deinstated to replace the weakened provisions for research in title IV of S. 866. The former provides for proper technical research supported with financial assistance to communities.
(c) That the proposed 95 percent insurance and maximum 32 percent interest rate for mutual home ownership as provided in title IV of S. 1592 be substituted for the comparable section in title IV of S. 866. This is especially important to encourage fuller participation in the home ownership program.
While Mrs. Douglas' bill, H. R. 1750, aims to provide homes for veterans as quickly as possible and at a rental they can afford to pay, the Taft-Ellender
Wagner bill, S. 866, is a long-range over-all program which is badly needed by this country to relieve the universal long-prevailing housing crisis.
We strongly urge, therefore, that you give S. 866 (H. R. 2523) vigorous and tangible support for congressional enactment as quickly as possible.
May we hear from you at your earliest convenience in order that your views may be made known to our entire membership?
Yours very sincerely,
BERNARD WISELTIER, President.
CITY OF LOUISVILLE MUNICIPAL HOUSING COMMISSION,
Hon. CHARLES W. TOBEY,
Senate Banking and Currency Committee,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C.
(Care of Mr. Robert C. Hill.)
DEAR SENATOR TOBEY: I am sure you are well acquainted with the national celebration of Negro Health Week, which has been carried on annually for over a generation.
Louisville climaxed its health week program with a mass meeting and passed several resolutions, one of which supported public housing. You will please find attached the resolution passed unanimously by the body Monday night, April 7, 1947. The Negro citizens of this community are willing and anxious to do everything in their power to help obtain the speedy passage of bill No. 886 (Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill).
Most sincerely yours,
E. E. PRUITT, Manager, Beecher Terrace, Member of Mayor's Emergency Housing Committee.
Whereas National Negro Health Week is now being celebrated throughout America; and
Whereas interested citizens of this community are now assembled here in mass meeting, also celebrating National Negro Health Week; and
Whereas the citizens of this community are conscious of the acute need and improvement of better health, housing, and recreational facilities and conditions;
Whereas the participants of this mass meeting fully realize the necessity of the eradication of slums and the necessity for the erection of more public housing; and
Whereas Senate bill No. 886, now known as the Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill, is being seriously considered as a piece of legislation designed to relieve the acute housing shortage, the eradication of slums, and for the erection of substantial, permanent dwelling units: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That this body of citizens assembled sincerely (1) urge the early passage of Senate bill No. 886, known as the Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill; (2) be it further resolved that our citizens who have participated in Negro Health Week and its workshop program give aid and support to this bill by writing their national Representatives of the Senate and House in Washington to further urge the passage of Senate bill No. 886; (3) and that this resolution be forwarded immediately to the Honorable Charles W. Tobey, Chairman, Senate Banking and Currency Committee, with the request that it be inserted in the printed record of the committee hearings; and (4) further that a copy of this resolution be spread upon the record of this National Negro Health Week program.
Dr. J. H. WALLS,
Chairman, Negro Health Committee.
E. E. PRUITT,
J. E. SIMES,
Mrs. FRANCIS KIRBY,
This resolution was offered and passed at the annual mass meeting of the National Negro Health Committee, April 7, 1947, at Louisville, Ky.