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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
least, that is a matter of perhaps 5 to 10 years, before the full effect of this legislation is over.
But if you also follow the history of higher education, as you have indicated, it did drop back and then continued to go up almost constantly straight through until 1940 when the enrollment was the highest in the history of higher education.
Senator HICKENLOOPER. Doctor, one of the-I wouldn't say objections-I don't mean it that way exactly-but one of the difficulties, as I understand your argument, is that you apparently propose that the Government go in now and establish, in one way or another, permanent housing for these universities and colleges on the basis of an immediate emergency need, but that emergency is going to be substantially over in say 4 years at the outside. I think when you say it will go on for 10 years, there will be what you might call the tag end, but that will be a very small percentage of the number that will then want college facilities. This emergency situation developed because young men and women have not been able to go to college for 3 or 4 years.
It seems to me that will be over in an average of 3 to 5 years. There will be some taking professional courses longer than that, but many of these people coming back to college have already had 1 or 2 years of college.
I cannot quite justify in my own mind the Federal Government going in and providing permanent housing at Government expense which will become the permanent property of the college after the emergency need is over.
It seems to me our problem is to meet the emergency now and any permanent housing would be more or less up to the institutions themselves as a permanent part of their program.
Mr. BROWN. I think there are two aspects of that problem. One is the one that you have emphasized. That is, this is to meet an emergency issue which can, to some degree, be met by the temporary housing, Quonset houses, trailers, et cetera-not too likely a way of meeting it as far as university campuses are concerned, but that is not the worry on their part. Their chief problem now is to find a place for them to have their homes.
However, there is the other problem, namely, that there has developed as a result of the war two things. First, a serious shortage of housing on the university campuses by the absolute cessation of housing construction for 4 years.
Secondly, and this is in the minds of a good many and is the reason why it may be justifiable for Congress to assist in some kind of a grantin-aid, and that is the very large increase in building costs as a result of the war.
For example, one institution has a small construction planned and funds raised which would have been allotted to a contractor at $250,000. They have recently resubmitted it for bids and the lowest bid is $240,000.
I don't want to get into that because I know nothing about realty or the legal aspects of it.
Senator TAFT. Not only that, but the theory of subsidizing expenses because costs are increasing is something that would break the Government wide open. I don't think we can take that into account. Presumably the increase in income to the institution, on the other