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Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C.: I urge that you vote against current public housing legislation and vote for xpanding section 221 to include minorities and other low-income families on ontrolled programed basis. Also vote for lower downpayments of 95 percent n first $10,000 and for elimination of proposed Presidential credit control. These matters urgently need your attention for the benefit of the people of the tate of Washington.

VINCENT BUCK, Western Builders Co.

STATEMENT OF THE BUFFALO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE The Buffalo Chamber of Commerce favors the proposed Housing Act of 1954 S. 2938, H. R. 7839). It believes that the proposed act is well adapted to provide stimulus to home uilding through the discretionary relaxation of credit terms as relating to iaranteed mortgages on real estate. It also belieres the proposed aet provides a needed revision of the housing laws at should improve housing conditions in the Nation. The provisions of the proposed act relating to slum clearance and urban delopment are commendable for their enlistment of affirmative local action as a ndition of Federal aid, and for their objective of preventing deterioration. The design of the proposed act to encourage the shift of housing responsibility om the Federal Government to private industry is commendable. Similarly, e proposed reorganization of the Federal National Mortgage Association, with e gradual transfer of its ownership from the Federal Government to private inds is desirable. The Buffalo Chamber of Commerce favors the permissive equalization of ortgage terms as between new and existing housing, as leading to a more healthy al-estate market. This would make existing housing available to larger oups and tend to stabilize the market for such housing Authorization to opt interest rates to current conditions is also favored as a means of insuring e free flow of mortgage money. The chamber believes that under existing laws, new construction has too often en chạnneled into the smaller type of home, as a result of credit terms rather in need. The proposed raising of the maximum insurable amount, the reduc} of the minimum ratio of loan to value on moderate mortgages, as well as the tension of time for payment, should help to improve the quality of home build; and raise the living standards of the country.

Los ANGELES, Calif., April 2, 1954. nator HOMER E. CAPEHART,

Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR CAPEIIART: I believe, as you do, in improving all housing in erica, and particularly housing for the low-income families. f'wenty-five percent of the privately owned rentals, according to United States nsus figures, now rent for less than public housing rentals. Our first coneration, therefore, must be to concentrate on the improvement of this large ment of our housing supply, which is the best answer for housing the lowome families ; namely, those who pay less than public housing rent. The millions of dollars spent and committed in public housing subsidies only ve to absorb the customary excesses of Government-owned operations, plus lucing the rent levels approximately $10 per month less than the national dian of $47.18. These subsidies will be paid primarily by our children and indchildren over a period of 40 years. The current generation, of course, ofits from the tax-exempt public housing bond. These are the facts but, I am *e, not the objective. Sincerely yours,

Fritz B. BURNS.


San Francisco 4, January 11, 1954. Hon. HOMER E. CAPEHART,

United States Senate, Washington, D. C. Dear Sir: We earnestly submit for your consideration the following statement prepared by our commission on lending practices and approved by the executive council on December 11, 1953.

The commission on lending practices of the California Bankers Association, in its meeting of October 12, 1953, discussed at length the serious problems affecting mortgage tinancing today. The commission feels that California is unusually concerned in this problem due to the great increase in population it has exper enced, and because approximately 15 percent of all FHA and GI loans bave been made in this State. After careful deliberation, the commission went on record supporting the recommendations of the committee on real-estate mortgages of the ABA savings and mortgage division which were later approved by the exautive council of the American Bankers Association. These recommendations are briefly summarized as follows:

1. FHA should be restored to a completely independent status as soon as possible and be governed by a policymaking board, the majority of whose members should be drawn from the ranks outside the Federal Government. The members of this board who are chosen from Government shall be officials of its monetary and tiscal departments and agencies.

2. The rate of interest on veterans' loans should be flexible, subject only to the laws of supply and demand.

3. All responsibility for the means and methods of direction of mortgage credit should become the responsibility of the Federal Reserve System. The Federal National Mortgage Association should be immediately restricted to an emergency standby status. 4. The technical services of the Veterans' Administration, including appraisais

. inspections, and credit investigations, should be transferred to FHA to eliminate parallel agencies performing similar functions, and thus avoid duplication of effort and expense.

The commission believes that if these recommendations are made effective, and if there is a free and uncontrolled interest rate on GI loans and FHA loans as well, that the normal sources of credit will flow freely throughout the many areas of the United States, and supply the financing needed ior the economically sound projects required to properly house the citizens of this country. Please accept our sincere thanks for your examination of these suggestions. Respectfully yours,


Erecutive Manager.


Charleston, W. Va., March 24, 1954. Hon. HOMER E. CAPEH ART, Chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency,

Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR: On March 3, 1954, the Charleston Board of Realtors, Inc, Charleston, W. Va., unanimously approved and passed the following resolution:

"Whereas the members of the Charleston Board of Realtors are informed that a recommendation has been made to the l'resident of the l'nited States that the technical functions of the Veterans' Administration including rea estate appraisals and compliance inspections be consolidated with those of other governmental agencies, and that all future Veterans' Administration realestate appraisals and compliance inspections be made by other agencies; and

"Whereas in our opinion this would delay the immediate attention and service given the veterans in the past on GI loan appraisals and compliace" inspections; and

"Whereas the cost of this service has been willingly paid by the loan applican. and it is our belief that these costs have been nominal; and

"Whereas we are of the opinion that the independent fee appraisal ystem now used by the Veterans Administration afforis more satisfactory servip to all persons concerned: Therefore, be it

Resolved, That members of the Charleston Board of Realtors in regular meeting assembled this 3d day of March 1954 in the Daniel Boone Hotel, Charles ton, W. Va., do urgently recommend that the independent fee appraisal and

compliance inspection system now used by the Veterans' Administration be continued as is; and be it further

"Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be mailed to the chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency of the United States Senate and the

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C., and that a copy also be sent I senators M. M. Neely and Harley M. Kilgore, and Representative Robert C. Byrd asking their support of the independent fee appraisal and compliance inspection system of the Veterans' Administration and that it be continued

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The independent fee appraisal and compliance inspection system now used y the Veterans' Administration is a method of appraisal whereby the local eteran office selects qualified independent appraisers from the real-estate proession to appraise real estate for the veteran purchaser.

The Charleston Board of Realtors, Inc., is an organization composed of realstate brokers, salesmen, bankers, mortgage-loan brokers, and professional apraisers. The board is affiliated with the West Virginia Association of Realtors nd the National Association of Real Estate Boards. We feel that we are a epresentative group of those engaged in and affiliated with the real-estate rofession in Charleston, W. Va. area.

We strongly urge that you give this resolution your prompt and serious ttention.

We would appreciate acknowledgment of receipt of this resolution and your omments regarding it. Yours truly,




Chicago, Ill., March 2, 1954. con. HOMER E. CAPEHART,

Senate Office Building, Washington 25, D. C. DEAR SENATOR CAPEHART : You are the chairman of the Banking and Currency mmittee in whose hands lies the fate of true urban renewal. This letter is written at the suggestion of Congressman Fred E. Busbey of linois. He, as well as the other Congressmen from the Chicago area are aware

the vast areas of defunct lands in Chicago lying along railroad trackage id best suited for that and other reasons for industrial development. These operties can only be acquired by a public agency and the Housing Act of 1954 ems to be an excellent vehicle for providing proper development of such defunct nds. This can be accomplished by adding the following phrase “or open land to be veloped for commercial or industrial use" to Public Law 171, 81st Congress, ge 9, section 110 (c). The enclosure simplifies the matter, the underlined rtions being the suggestion made herein. The problem represented in this request is not exclusively a Chicago blight, as older cities of the country suffer similarly with defunct lands best suited industrial or commercial development. The suggested amendment would not be a subsidy to industry as the resales vuld be made at prevailing prices. This letter is written by authority of the board of directors of the Chicago sociation of Commerce and Industry. Respectfully submitted.

E. P. QUERL. Title I of the Housing Act of 1949 section 110 (C) states that: 'Project may include acquisition of * * * III land which is predominantly en and which because of obsolete platting, diversity of ownership, deterioraa of structures, or of site improvements, or otherwise substantially impairs or ests the sound growth of the community, and which is to be developed for duminantly residential uses, or open land to be developed for commercial and ustrial use. Che italicized words are the ameudment.


SECTION 110 (C) (III) Proposed amendment would add the words "commercial and industrial uses to the paragraph referred to above.



At the present time there are available only limited quantities of land suitable for industrial use within the city limits of Chicago. The accompanying map No. 1, showing "Vacant land zoned for industrial use," shows that there are slightly under 4,000 acres of land for sale within the city limits. By far the greatest amount of this land lies in the southeast portion of the city surroundin: Lake Calumet. Much of the land surrounding Lake Calumet is low and has poor footings for industrial buildings.

There are large areas, within the city limits, of blighted racant land which might be acquired under the Housing Act of 1949 by the Chicago Land Clearance Commission for residential use. However, there are some parcels of pre dominantly open land, adjacent to railroads, which would be much more suitable for industrial or commercial development than for residential use.

Map No. 2 shows 11 sites of predominantly open land, adjacent to railroads, which were selected by tle technical advisory committee on industrial studies of the Chicago Plan Commission, with selections concurred in by the Chicago Association of Conimerce and Industry. A summary of the conclusion of the technical advisory committee on industrial studies of the Chicago Plan Com mission, published in 1972, stated, in part, that the demand for industrial land can be met by the following courses of action :

“(a) Rezone approximately 1,300 acres of essentially vacant land which can find most satisfactory use for industrial purposes.

(0) Amend State (and Federal) acts governing the redevelopment of blighted vacant land for residential use to include the redevelopment of such land fær industrial use.

"(c) Redevelop for industrial use certain blighted areas in the central aret, thereby greatly increasing the usable, efficient industrial space.


At the present time the Chicago Land Clearance Commission can acquire slum properties for residential, industrial, or commercial use, but it cannot acquire predominantly open lands for other than residential use. All 11 of the sites suggested on map No. 2 are unsuitable for residential development. However, for proper development of the community, for true urban renewal, these lands should be utilized for industrial or commercial purposes. By so doing they would create tax rerenue for the city of Chicago and job opportunities for persons occupying dwelling units either now existing or on land developed for residential use.

A great many sites of predominantly open lanı are impossible to acquire for any use because clear title to them cannot be obtained by private means. They are hampered by lost ownership, a great multiplicity of ownership, obsolete platting, and tax delinquency. Industry cannot be expected to assemble the lar tracts necessary for modern one-story plants from lands on which title will re main clouded. The large investments in facilities which industry makes in e tablishing a plant must he expended only on unencumbered land. The eals possible means of rehabilitating these lands is by condemnation through the operations of the Chicago Land Clearance Commission.

The proposed amendment would allow "grants-in-aid” for the acquisitive of predominantly open lands for other than residential use.

Public Law 171, 81st Congress, known as the Housing Act of 1949, now reads as follows:

"Title I, section 110 (C) 'project' may include (1) acquisition of (1) a slum area or a deteriorated or deteriorating area which is predominantly residential in character, or (ii) any other deteriorated or deteriorating area which is to be developed or redeveloped for predominantly residential uses, or (iii) land which is predominantly open and which because of obsolete platting, diversity of owner ship, deterioration of structures or of site improvements, or otherwise substan

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