Gambar halaman

Mr. PERSHALL. Several are cited by the American Mortgage Association of the same thing.

I have lived there for about 15 years. In the last World War, the Government built the Curtiss-Wright airplane plant. I mean they built the plant and Curtiss-Wright operated it. This plant is now in possession of McDonnell Aircraft who are presently employing 8,000 men. They are committed to a very large expansion program. They do not know where they are going to get the extra land and it will require more housing, but they are committed to produce these jet planes.

Immediately next to the McDonnell Aircraft, there is further industrial area of some 1,500 or 1,600 acres. On this area has been built and is in operation the Ford Motor Co., a plant costing somewhere around $16,000,000. It is rumored that that plant will go into production of war materials. Ford themselves say that it will be three out of five plants or two out of five plants making similar products that will be into that work.

We have in addition to that the General Motors Co., the Frye Roofing Co., the Minton-Ford Tractor Co.

The CHAIRMAN. Was it in Kansas City or was it in St. Louis that the Cadillac plant was turned over to making tanks?

Senator SCHOEPPEL. I think that was in the Detroit area.

The CHAIRMAN. I was curious; I had forgotten.

Mr. PERSHALL. I could recite other industries located in the area. It illustrates there the interchangeability, the flexibility, the possibility of changing any one of these factories tomorrow and once changed into wartime work it can be reconverted back to peacetime.

Our little town has plenty of money. We owe nobody. We have more than our annual budget in the bank right now, cash. But there is no doubt in our minds we have engaged competent engineers for land-use programs which Senator Schoeppel talked about. We have about the best engineer that we could have, even our small community, one generally recognized as tops in that field of endeavor. We have no financial problems. We have electricity. We have water. We will have gas. I mean in huge volumes to care for these industries. We do definitely have a problem on sewers because we are sparsely settled and it is difficult to get a sewer system established in a sparsely settled area.

These houses were in process of being built. There will always be need in our little town for labor. We have not those houses there


We would like to put them up.

The CHAIRMAN. You say, in process. You mean they would have built them if it had not been for Regulation X? They were going that way.

Mr. PERSHALL. Until we were stopped.

The CHAIRMAN. Regulation X stopped it?

Mr. PERSHALL. Yes, sir. The question is that we would like to support that amendment. After this war effort is over and we win whatever war we get in and we always have, we will have need for these houses. If there comes another emergency, we will have that same labor group there available for these same factories. We are going to have quite an industrial expansion over there in that area and we will need more houses than are presently needed to operate the factories we presently have.

We would like to build a house something better than we think the original bill anticipated under defense housing plant. We ask for no money; we do not need anything. It might help on the sewers-but if they would just give us relief.

The CHAIRMAN. We thank you, Mr. Mayor.

Now, without objection, I am going to insert in the record a statement from Mr. Ralph Walker, the president of the American Institute of Architects.

Is there objection?

Senator SCHOEPPEL. No objection. The CHAIRMAN. It will be inserted. (The statement referred to follows:)


While the American Institute of Architects, the national professional society of the architectural profession, has not had any concerted action by its membership on this bill, a convention approval as late as May of 1950 was in favor of Federal action in the housing field. We are wholeheartedly, therefore, in back of the general policy to provide, through private enterprise where practical, with Government help if absolutely needed, adequate housing to accompany our defense effort. We further agree that community services and facilities are eminently desirable, whether provided by private enterprise or Government aid; and that in time of crises such as these we should strive to build as permanently as practicable; and also that individual ownership, finally, is a desirable thing for American citizens. We accept with keen interest and hope the provisions of title III of the bill, although we would like to see them strengthened.

[ocr errors]

We have no quarrel with the present Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency, Mr. Raymond Foley, for whom we have great admiration. We would, however, suggest that where broad powers are indicated in such phrases as "The President will determine,' or where "the Administrator is authorized," that some hardships may develop, and that again, as in the powers recently given to the NPA, a review committee, with membership in large part of the construction industry, be authorized to review such hardships as they may develop.

We realize the difficulties which will arise but believe the suggestion to be in line with democratic procedures. The construction industry is definitely grass roots, middle class, and made up of many small businesses-probably well over 200,000 units throughout the country. Government actions which affect it are liable, therefore, to be felt directly upon a wide base of generally fair earning power. The architectural profession is concerned with many contacts with all parts of this industry, for not only do we touch all the design professions having to do with all shelter, but also with all the building trades. We recognize and witness the effects of any legislation upon both employer and labor. Actions which may not seem unduly arbitrary at the source may well be unnecessarily severe in separate localities.

We have no outstanding criticism of any of the provisions of the bill, as indicated under title I and II, except the item of proposed costs. The legislation should carry, without doubt, an indication as to what housing units may cost under this bill; but, some authority should be given the power to recognize that in some cases in very isolated places especially, or due to delays in obtaining materials, or to other difficulties that these costs may be exceeded. So, again, a commission to determine the actual conditions might be both disirable and effective.

In the matter of title III, we are wholeheartedly in favor of the provisions. We would like to see them broadened in every possible way to encourage State and county agencies to zone and plan areas adjacent to towns and cities, as well as in the isolated areas, with the intent to eliminate the wasteful spread and misuse of land to be seen everywhere in the present trend toward urban decentralization. We would like to see this great defense effort used to influence true community development rather than merely to continue the presently seen amorphous growth of ribbon-like future slums along the main highways out of cities. There has been much talk about the English new town movement. We architects are not necessarily advocating this solution as the only one possible, but we do believe that there is a definite relationship between a reasonably sized community and

responsible citizenship, responsible toward not only their own good living but what is more essential here, toward high productivity.

We would suggest that at present there do not appear any definite requirements for a coordination in the placing of industry and the necessary housing to make the community efficient, not only in the isolated areas indicated in the title but also alongside present cities or towns. We believe that the planning provisions should be strengthened. Therefore, there should be definite requirements that all the work under the bill should carry definite plans for all the community facilities and amenities necessary to encourage a low turn-over of labor. Federal moneys should not be used to encourage slovenly shack towns. Moreover, the sum of $10,000,000 for this purpose would seem far from adequate.

Under title IV the question of prefabrication is considered and a definite sum set aside to encourage further development. Again, the American Institute of Architects is in approval. Anything which can thoughtfully be brought forward to improve the character of small-house construction, developing factors of both desirability and economy, will be welcome. If, however, there has been a lessening of appropriation to the HHFA for the purpose of research and which they now are authorized to do under previous legislation then, frankly, I think a mistake might be made. There is an urgent need for further research in this field, and whether the results are immediate or not they should not be lost sight of because of an emergency.


The CHAIRMAN. We are glad to have you, sir. You have given us a lot of good advice in years gone by.

Monsignor O'GRADY. I want to submit for the record a statement that I presented on this bill before the House Committee on Banking and Currency and I wanted to make a few observations.

The CHAIRMAN. You say you want your testimony before the House committee filed in this record?

Monsignor O'GRADY. Yes, sir. Then I would like to make a few observations.

[ocr errors]

The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, your testimony before the House committee will be printed.

(The statement referred to follows:)


This bill is designed to take care of housing and community needs arising out of the defense emergency. In discussing this bill, it is well to keep in mind that there is a rather acute housing shortage in almost every city in the United States at the present time. This shortage especially affects the housing needs of middleand lower-income groups. One of the reasons for this acute shortage is the vast public improvement programs that have been taking place in our cities during the past 5 years. Many cities are building new speedways; they are developing community facilities like schools and medical centers. This has meant the demolition of a very large number of housing units. Undoubtedly some of these housing units have been of very low standard, but it must be recognized that many houses of sound construction and in good physical condition have also been demolished. The cities by and large have gone ahead with their programs of demolition without any plans for the rehousing of those whose homes have been demolished. This has imposed an additional tax on the housing facilities of our cities.

It is well for us to face the defense housing program with the general basic housing shortage in mind. Presumably it is not the purpose of Congress at this point to provide for all the housing needs of American communities. Even if such a program were possible under ordinary circumstances, it certainly could not be achieved at the present time.

I am somewhat concerned about one provision of H. R. 1272, which makes it possible to turn over to defense housing the low-rent housing projects that are in process of construction or are being planned under the Housing Act of 1949. We

know that there is an acute shortage of housing for low-income groups. For the most part, these public housing units will now be usable for defense workers. Public housing has already been reduced to a minimum. At the pace at which the program is going, we will hardly be able to reach the minimum. Moreover, according to the statement made before this committee by the Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency, approximately 800,000 civilian housing units will be built during this next year. If we are to build this many civilian units, it is only proper that a fair share of them should be devoted to low-income groups.


I am greatly encouraged by the emphasis in this bill on single-family houses designed for ultimate sale but held originally for rent. I am convinced that these should be permanent housing units and that each and every one of them should eventually be made available for sale. In other words, one of the longrange objectives of this program should be to stimulate individual home-ownership. It is necessary more and more to make this a part of all our housing program. We have had entirely too much talk about large-scale rental housing units. We have had too much emphasis on efficiency apartments and too little emphasis on housing for families with children and for large families. I noted with pleasure, moreover, in this bill, and in Mr. Foley's testimony, the emphasis that has been placed on two-, three- and four-bedroom units. In all our housing programs, both public and private, too little attention has been given to housing that is designed for family living. I hope that throughout this entire program, there will be constant stress on the row type of housing designed for family living and I hope that it will be possible to avoid entirely the apartment house type of structure.


As I understand it, the bill under consideration will make it possible to extend to all housing the types of cooperative arrangements provided for in section 213, title II of the Housing Act of 1950. This section provides for extending technical assistance to cooperatives to aid them in developing their housing programs. It provides insured mortgages for cooperatives. These cooperatives can be built on the principle of mutual ownership or of individual ownership.


In the administration of the proposed defense housing program, the Housing and Home Finance Agency will need fairly complete and up-to-date information in regard to the immigration of workers into defense areas. It will have to work, therefore, in close cooperation with those in charge of manpower. It will also have to work in close collaboration with industries having defense contracts. It must have on hand at all times complete and up-to-date information in regard to the manpower situation.

In the Second World War, it was very difficult to integrate the housing program with housing needs. This was due in part to slowness in getting the housing program under way. It was due also to the lack of complete information at any one point about the manpower situation. Through their personnel departments, industries were doing their own recruiting. Workers on their own were flocking in to defense industry centers. In critical situations, the Army and the Navy took a hand in the actual mobilizing of workers for war industries.


Those who wrote H. R. 1272 assumed that private builders, with the new incentives to be provided in the proposed title IX of the Housing Act, would take care of most of the housing needs arising out of the defense program. They believed, however, that some provision should be made for governmental housing to meet the needs that could not be met by private enterprise. The same principles to be applied in privately constructed housing units will be applied to governmental housing units. They will consist of single or two-family_row houses. They will be built to meet the needs of families with children. They will be built for eventual sale to home owners. The authority granted to the Administrator in regard to the disposition of the publicly constructed units is quite flexible. He does not have to wait until the crisis has passed before disposing of the units to prospective home owners. As soon as the occupants have become sufficiently stabilized, he can readily initiate plans with them for the purchase of their homes on a long-term-credit basis.


Title II, like title I, of H. R. 1272 is based almost entirely on the principles of the Lanham Act, Public Law 137, passed by the Seventy-seventh Congress and approved June 27, 1941. The Lanham Act authorized the Federal Works Administrator "to make loans or grants, or both, to public and private agencies for public works and equipment therefor, and to make contributions to public or private agencies for the maintenance and operation of public works

* *

* "

Section 204, title II, of H. R. 1272 provides that "the Administrator may make loans or grants, or other payments, to public and nonprofit agencies for the provision, or for the operation and maintenance, of community facilities and equipment therefor, or for the provision of community services, upon such terms and in such amounts as the Administrator may consider to be in the public interest * * * ""

The Federal Security Agency questioned the authority given to the Federal Works Administrator under the Lanham Act. It maintained that the services and facilities should be administered by the Agency through the ordinary State channels through which other Federal grants for related purposes were made. The attitude of Congress, as gathered from the legislative history of the Lanham Act, was based on the principle that Federal aid in providing and maintaining community facilities and services was made necessary by the defense emergency and that the need for such Federal assistance would terminate once the emergency had passed. It was felt that in order to meet emergency situations the entire program should be concentrated in one responsible agency. It was feared that the grants-in-aid to local communities would be used by Federal agencies to bring the Government into areas that would be considered a local responsibility. This fear found direct expression in the provision of the Lanham Act which states, "No department or agency of the United States shall exercise any supervision over any school with respect to which any funds have been or may be expended pursuant to this title. * * *"" Other facilities and services were subject to the same


By the summer of 1942, it had become clear that the Federal Works Agency would have to develop its own set-up to meet the pressing needs in the area of community facilities and services. A special War Public Services division was therefore set up. Finally, in 1945, the War Public Services and the War Public Works were incorporated into the Bureau of Community Facilities to handle the Lanham Act and whatever other programs might be forthcoming. Later, the Bureau of Community Facilities became part of the Housing and Home Finance Agency.

In discussing ways and means of administering community facilities and services it should be kept in mind that the bill under consideration provides basically for their administration through the Bureau of Community Facilities of the Housing and Home Finance Agency. This Bureau brings to us the experience of the Second World War. It also brings to us the experience of people who had become accustomed to the building and maintenance of community projects under the WPA during the years of the depression. It is to be presumed that in the administration of this program, the Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency will make the fullest use of the experience and the counsel of existing Federal agencies. Some of these agencies have had a certain amount of experience in administering emergency programs. Others have had very little experience in administering such programs. They are geared basically to long-term programs. They are involved in the very difficult problems of Federal-State relationships and also in the very delicate situations arising in State and local community relationships. Here we are dealing with much more flexible programs than those with which the old-line agencies deal. There will be a great temptation, too, on the part of the old-line agencies to use the defense program as a means of expanding their own program. This emergency program is entirely different. It must move at a much more rapid tempo. It was our experience under the Lanham Act that when the old-line agencies assumed complete control, the programs moved very slowly. This is essentially true of all programs in which agencies on different levels of government are involved. In places in which services and facilities are most needed, the communities will be least able to pay. Some of the most difficult problems in these communities will result from the fact that the factories, and a large part of the housing, will be owned by Government and will be exempt from taxation. It will be necessary, therefore, to bring into those communities not only the services that the Federal Government and the

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »