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The CHAIRMAN. The entire article may be made a part of the record. (The following article appeared in the issue of the New York Times on Thursday, November 29, 1945:)
[From the New York Times, November 29, 1945]
HOUSING SHORTAGE IN COLLEGES ACUTE
THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS AND VETERANS TURNED AWAY IN UNPRECEDENTED CRISIS TRAILERS DOT CAMPUSES-WAR WORKERS' ABODES HOMES OF SOMEGOVERNMENT URGED TO ACT AT ONCE
(By Benjamin Fine)
As a result of an influx of veterans to the campuses, American colleges and universities now face the greatest housing shortage in their history, a survey conducted by the American Council on Education disclosed yesterday. Thousands of students and former servicemen, especially those who are married, are unable to enter college as a result of this unprecedented crisis.
At the same time, a study of 25 typical institutions, conducted by the New York Times, showed that the colleges and universities, both large and small, are grappling with the housing problem but without any immediate solution in sight. Some colleges admit frankly that unless they receive assistance in building dormitories they will be unable to accommodate the many veterans who are now applying. In almost every instance the institutions have been forced to adopt emergency measures to provide housing facilities.
Trailers, apartment houses, gymnasiums, abandoned war plants, and many other improvised quarters are utilized by the colleges and universities to meet the acute situation. Many colleges have from 100 to 400 trailers on their campuses, where married veterans live with their families.
Acute trailer towns have been set up for the students, adding a bizzare note to the traditional calm of the university campus. Thus far 100,000 veterans, 40,000 of whom are married, have returned to the college, classroom. These figures, officials predict, will double when the spring term opens in February. While in ordinary times the colleges can expect 7 percent of their students to be married, the figures for veterans is 40 percent.
EVERY STATE IS COVERED
In its survey the American Council, covering 100 colleges and universities, reached into every State in the union. Everywhere the story was the same: lack of living quarters, acute overcrowding, turning away of students, emergency measures to provide temporary facilities.
One small college in Pennsylvania, which has a peacetime enrollment of 500 students, has turned away 37 veterans this fall, all married, because housing facilities were not available. A similar situation has developed in hundreds of other institutions. The council reports that hardly a day passes that it does not receive word of veterans who cannot be housed.
Never before have the colleges been faced with such a large proportion of married students. According to the council, of the 1,300 institutions of learning in this country, 892, or 74 percent-three out of four-report that they now face a serious shortage of housing for veterans. Only 136 colleges have facilities for married veterans on the campus; a total number of 3,000 students can be accommodated, although 40,000 married veterans have already enrolled, and will increase to 80,000 soon.
Of the 100 colleges polled by the council. 81 percent said that they faced a shortage of housing; 75 percent replied that they needed facilities for married couples; and 70 percent said that their dormitory facilities for single students were inadequate. The 100 institutions need 47,300 single rooms and 22,120 apartments.
EVERY RESOURCE REALIZED
Colleges have utilized every available resource. Trailer towns have been established on more than 50 campuses. Through cooperation with the National Housing Administration, 3,000 trailers have been moved from war production areas to the campus. One hundred or more trailers are now found on the campuses of the University of Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Cornell, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
Indiana University veterans are sleeping in corridors and on cots in the gymnasium. Families of married veterans, some with one or two children, are crowded into a single room. A similar situation exists at Brown University.
The American Council is to appear before the Senate Banking and Currency Committee this morning to plead for assistance for the colleges and universities. It will urge that priority be given to educational institutions for essential building materials.
"The American Council on Education urges immediate attention to the pressing problem of housing married veterans," Dr. Francis J. Brown, counsel consultant declared. "Veterans will be denied the right of education granted them by Congress unless action is taken in the provision of facilities. Every day's delay means that additional veterans are being deprived of the right of education provided by Congress."
Collaborating the conclusions reached by the American Council, the survey conducted by the Times disclosed the existence of a serious housing shortage. Many institutions reported that unless the Government helped them build dormitories or other living quarters they would be forced to limit the number of married veterans.
At the Pennsylvania State College the housing shortage has been partly allevi ated by the installation of 100 trailers on the campus. The college is seeking 150 more; the trailers are devoted exclusively to married veterans.
The University of New Hampshire housing shortage requires limitation on admission of students from outside the State. Married veterans are quartered on an annex campus 9 miles from the university at a Federal Public Housing Authority project, originally built for shipyard workers. Fifty married veterans are living there now and this number will be increased to 100 when the second term opens.
Housing for married veterans is the No. 1 problem at the University of Cincinnati. Of the 1,000 veterans on the campus, 350 are married and live in special campus apartment houses. Others live in the former Willow Run portable housing unit.
The University of Alabama has found that the problem of finding rooms for married veteran students is difficult to solve. Through appeals to home owners by large display ads and to civic clubs, limited accommodations have been furnished to those who are not too exacting.
At Colgate University married veterans are returning in larger numbers than anticipated. Originally the university expected a maximum of 100 but from present inquiries the actual number may reach 200. A crisis will be faced when the regular term begins in March. Taking an unprecedented step, President Everett Case will recommend to the Colgate trustees tomorrow that the college guarantee occupancy for at least four academic years of all suitable apartments constructed in Hamilton in the immediate future.
The University of Rochester is using its facilities to the breaking point. In preparation for an emergency the university is looking into demountable units, prefabricated houses, and trailers.
Similarly, the housing shortage is acute at the University of Denver. Many of the 900 veterans have left the university because they were unable to find places to live. Fifty trailers have been leased from the Government and will be installed for married veterans beginning with the winter term, January 2. One-third of the 400 veterans at the University of Arkansas are married. The American Legion and chamber of commerce have aided the university in finding places for students. An entire apartment house has been leased and the barracks erected on the campus during the war-training program are being converted into apartments.
A serious housing shortage exists at the University of Nebraska. When the February term begins, 1,200 veterans, one-third of whom are married, are expected to enroll. At present there are not facilities to accommodate them. The university is rushing plans on a $200,000 dormitory.
Arrangements have been made by the University of Kansas to house married veterans in a war village near the campus where formerly war workers lived. At the University of Michigan portable housing units have been established near the campus for 78 married veterans. Some veterans have had to be turned away from the University of North Carolina because of the dormitory shortage. Because it faces a critical situation, the University of Georgia is considering the purchase of a complete trailer camp with centralized heating and sanitary unit which would house 600 students. Nearly 300 out-of-State students were turned away this term from the University of Colorado.
All available housing facilities are now in use at Temple University, which has been forced to limit its enrollment, as its congested area does not permit use of trailers or prefabricated houses.
Students and veterans have been turned away this semester at Cornell University, which has arranged with the Federal Public Housing Authority to lease 50 two-family houses which have been used at Massena, Ohio. The houses are being dismantled and shipped to Ithaca.
Mr. BROWN. The question then is, what can the colleges and the Congress do about alleviating this serious situation? Colleges have utilized every available resource. By November 20 of this year, trailer-towns had been established on more than 50 campuses. Through cooperation with the National Housing Agency some 3,000 trailers have been moved from war-production areas to the campus. The president of the University of Kentucky told me that they are moving them from the university to the campus at the rate of four a day but that that in no way keeps up with the need.
While such housing may help to meet the immediate need, it is only temporary, at least, and is wholly inadequate, especially since as previously stated, 10 percent of the veterans have one or more children. It should be pointed out also that the cost per unit to the college of moving, setting up, and providing necessary utilities and sanitary facilities is between $400 and $600 per trailer.
It was pointed out in the testimony here this morning that it varies somewhat with the length of the move and the distance from existing public facilities.
Such an expenditure for short-term housing is almost beyond recovery through the normal renting procedure and will have to be written off the books as an almost complete loss. If rental charge is made adequate to include maintenance and refund of investment, it will be above that which the veteran can afford to pay.
Senator TAFT. Why can't you get it back in 2 years?
Mr. BROWN. Not without putting the rental to the veterans above the level of which they will want to charge for them. Senator TAFT. Oh, no. Why not? $400 for 2 years.
Mr. BROWN. That doesn't include servicing.
Senator TAFT. $20 a month.
Mr. BROWN. I was talking yesterday with President Middlebush of the University of Kansas. I am sure he wouldn't object to my using his name. He said it is costing them about $17 a month to service these trailers, in terms of water, light, and telephone communications, this policing of the trailer areas, and so forth.
Senator TAFT. Why shouldn't the veteran pay for heat, water, light, and telephone?
Mr. BROWN. Well, it is a question of how much they ought to charge. They are charging, he told me, I think I had best not state the figures, but they feel they ought not to charge the veterans more than the servicing costs, which means then
Senator TAFT. They don't make profit on it, but I don't know why they shouldn't get their money back in 2 years.
Mr. BROWN. Perhaps they are charging less than they ought to. I don't know. We made a study of the costs in dormitories and on the basis of single individuals their rental of $15 a month would be about comparable I think in that institution.
Senator TAFT. But this is two individuals. That would be $30.
Mr. BROWN. Well, talking with another college president his immediate reaction was this: They are not charging nearly enough. He thought they ought to be able to write it off, but even so it leaves a very considerable investment on the part of the institution, the figures running between $400 and $600, but their question was whether they could write this off on the basis of $15 a month and amortize the expenditure.
Senator TAFT. All these universities are getting this will be so much gravy. The Government is going to pay their tuition. They are extra students obviously because their housing is already full. I think the Government is being very generous to the universities. I don't think they would have much taste for additional generosity. Mr. BROWN. I am sure you didn't mean to imply what it might imply on the surface from your statement.
Senator TAFT. Oh, gravy-no; I will take back that.
Mr. BROWN. Very definitely so, sir, when you realize that the most the Government is paying is the actual cost of the classroom teaching plus essential supplies. It is doing nothing for the overhead in terms of administration, in terms of building construction or any of the other expenditures.
Senator TAFT. You are speaking about
Mr. BROWN. Payments under the GI bill, Public Law 16.
Senator TAFT. Then the universities get the regular standard fee? The Government pays the regular standard fee, do they not? Mr. BROWN. That is right.
Senator TAFT. It is only State universities or institutions that have no fee at all where they don't pay anything?
Mr. BROWN. The average through the Nation as a whole is 60 percent-when the Government pays the established fee of an institution it is actually paying 60 percent of what it costs to educate the veteran. When it is paying it to an institution of low fee, such as the State universities and land-grant colleges, it is paying only the cost of the classroom teaching and essential supplies.
Senator TAFT. Still I think the additional students made possible by additional housing will be profitable to universities, as has been the Army and Navy housing-Army and Navy assistance to universities.
Mr. BROWN. Would it not be more accurate to say that the Army and Navy programs assisted the institutions in retaining their services, but that no institution made a profit in the sense of receiving money for necessary actual cost outlay?
Senator TAFT. Probably not, but the universities were able to run without a loss. Without that during the war they would have had a loss.
Mr. BROWN. That is granted, because of the difference in the amount of overhead, they had to go on whether the student body was large or small. In one sense what you say is true and that is as more students return to an institution the overhead tends to go down for all students.
Senator TAFT. I am talking about these people who come in over and above what the universities ordinarily handle.
Mr. BROWN. Every one of those institutions will lose money since the only payment will be that for teaching and essential supplies. The institutions are glad to do it. There is no feeling on their part other
than a willingness to go all the way in bearing their share of the cost, but I do think it is important to bear in mind that while the GI billPublic Laws 346 and 16-provide the most generous scholarship ever made possible in this Nation; it is not a generosity to the institution. It is a generosity to the individual.
Senator CARVILLE. Does that extend over 4 years? I wasn't here when that bill was passed.
Mr. BROWN. Public Law 16 provides an over-all 4-year limit in which the individual who is 10 percent or more disabled may reestablish himself in terms of employability. Public Law 346 gives to each veteran 1 year plus the length of time he was in service, with a 4-year maximum.
Senator CARVILLE. Thank you.
Mr. MITCHELL. What is your estimate as to the time it will take for the educational system to get back to normal, for the veterans to go through college, and for you to get back to the place where you only have 7 percent of the students married again?
Mr. BROWN. I touch on that in the following paragraph.
Mr. BROWN. If I may, I should like to hole the answer until I discuss it there and then raise further questions. Senator MITCHELL. All right.
Mr. BROWN. Shall I go ahead, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. BROWN. Other colleges have taken over war housing projects and are using a system of shuttle busses to bring and return students to the campus. Neither of these examples, I am sure you will agree, would fit into the picture of normal college experience as the Congress visualized it at the time it enacted Public Laws 16 and 346 providing the opportunity for and the rights of education to every veteran.
It has been said, and this answers your question, Mr.. Mitchell, that the education of veterans under the two present acts, Public Law 16 and Public Law 346, will be a short-term proposition and that the need for permanent housing facilities near or on college campuses is not a pressing one. It is well to remember that the revision of the Serviceman's Readjustment Act of 1944, passed by the Senate on November 6, 1945, extends the period in which a veteran may pursue his course of education to encompass a period of 9 years after the end of the war, a time as yet not designated. The rights of the so-called GI bill are now being extended as inducements to reenlistment in the regular armed services and the final time limit for taking advantage of the educational benefits of the law are not yet fixed. It will be at least 10 years and perhaps longer--a period too long to be met by any temporary measures.
To answer your question quite specifically, Senator Mitchell, my estimate that it will be at least 10 years and perhaps longer before the colleges can expect the normal student body, a period too long to be met by any temporary measures.
Senator TAFT. Wouldn't you hope that by that time a considerable number of the universities would practically have caught up with facilities providing permanent facilities?
Mr. BROWN. That is the hope, sir, and that is the recommendation we have made. In the light of these considerations, the desperateness of the present need, and its continuance over a period of