Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

Mr. HENDERSON. I just want to add this other specific suggestion, and that is in line with our general conception of the role of the Federal Government. We don't believe the Federal Government should underwrite discrimination. When FHA allows itself to be used to insure property where owners intend to discriminate in selling it or renting it, we think that is very, very unfair. We hope that the committee will consider some type of amendment to the legislation which would have FHA prohibit the granting of insurance to properties of that kind, if the owner does not agree that he will not practice discrimination.

Now, going to FNMA, I remember very well last year when I appeared here, and the results of your and the committee's consideration of the problem of advance commitments by FNMA for cooperative housing, and the language that was included in the report of the bill in 1953. But, unfortunately, although after the advance commitment authority of FNMA was extended for 2 months, and although Negroes did acquire some benefit from that, the precise instructions and the reasons for extending the advance commitments were not carried out by FNMA.

We had a meeting with them toward the end of the year, where they admitted, in the presence of Mr. Cole, that they did not give priority to minority groups. That was the only reason for the extension of the advance commitment authority last June, when this committee asked that it be done, and that those advance commitments that were given out, be on a first come, first served basis.

The CHAIRMAN. You will agree in our report we made it perfectly clear what we wanted them to do.

Mr. HENDERSON. Certainly.
The CHAIRMAN. You say they did not do it?

Mr. HENDERSON. They did not do it. And for you just to say it, that doesn't mean they are automatically going to do it.

The CHAIRMAN. I am going to ask Mr. McMurray, one of our staff members here, to go into the matter with FNMA, and report back to the committee on where they failed to follow out our instructions.

Mr. HENDERSON. Of course, the water is over the dam now, because that program ended last September.

The CHAIRMAN. I would just like to know why they did not follow our instructions.

Mr. HENDERSON. They may show an impressive number of units that were made available.

We are interested in new approaches for low-income groups. A large percentage of our people fall into that category. We are not so bound by tradition that we can't see advantages in new ideas, but we don't believe that the proposals that have been made in this bill can immediately be accepted as a substitute for public housing.

I recall reading what Senator Maybank stated the other day. I believe he felt that public housing should be continued until the experiment with the new approach-which I am in favor of in this billis approved.

The CHAIRMAN. This committee a few years ago authorized 810,000 units. That legislation is still in existence, but it looks like the Appropriations Committee, by their action, have made that legislation null and void. If they have, and if we are going to have public housing, we will have to have new authorizations.

Mr. HENDERSON. I hope you will consider that

The CHAIRMAN. The committee passed that in 1949, I think. That was what Senator Maybank was talking about.

Senator FREAR. Did Senator Maybank offer an amendment?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. He did.
Senator Frear. Have you read that proposed amendment?

Mr. HENDERSON. No, but when it is offered we will endorse it. We believe public housing should be continued and expanded until some other approach has been proved to be effective to meet the needs of low-income people. The industry has admitted they can't do it, unless this new idea works. But, until this new idea proves itself

The CHAIRMAN. I just don't like to see a big, high building with people living in it, that will certainly develop into a slum, as you know. I just don't like the idea. I would much prefer to see individual homes or small two-apartment units. I would like to see them out in the suburbs, out in the country, because most of these publichousing projects are all downtown, in very undesirable locations, as you know.

So, I am inclined to think in terms of individual units, which we could sell these people, or some plan where they could eventually own them, even if we have to get long terms and maybe lose some money on them. There are a lot of people today that are in public housing that 6 months or a year from now will get some very fine jobs and get into the position, say, 3 or 4, or 5 years from now where they would be able to pay off a mortgage. Most successes in America, you know, are from men that started in very, very poor circumstances, on the wrong side of the railroad tracks. Therefore, I would like to see some plan where a man could have ownership and take an interest in his property.

Mr. HENDERSON. I agree with you. We are now bound to the public housing idea. We are trying to find some way of meeting the need temporarily until the new idea proves itself.

Now, a word about slum clearance before I conclude, Senator.

We have had serious difficulties with the slum-clearance program, as I have stated many times before this committee, where in the name of redevelopment

The CHAIRMAN. Will you yield just one moment?
Mr. HENDERSON. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. I hold in my hand an amendment to be proposed by Senator Maybank, to S. 2938.

Mr. HENDERSON. We endorse that heartily.
The CHAIRMAN. You are 100 percent in favor of it?
Mr. HENDERSON. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. I think we will have it printed in the record at this point.

(The amendment referred to follows:)

(S. 2938, 83d Cong., 2d sess.)

AMENDMENT Intended to be proposed by Mr. Maybank to the bill (S. 2938) to aid in the provision and improvement of housing, the elimination and prevention of slums, and the conservation and development of urban communities, viz: On page 94, after line 11, insert the following new section:

SEC. 506. The third sentence of subsection (e) of section 10 of the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended, is hereby amended by striking out the period at the end thereof and inserting a colon and the following new proviso: And provided further, That, notwithstanding any other provisions of law except provisions hereafter enacted expressly in limitation hereof, the provisions of this subsection and of section 9 shall be in full force and effect, and, insofar as the provisions of any other Act are inconsistent with the provisions of this subsection or of said section 9, the provisions of this subsection and of said section 9 shall be controlling."

Mr. HENDERSON. Too often in the slum-clearance program we find that Negro residents in the areas which are designated to be cleared, are displaced by the force and weight of the Government, under the power of eminent domain, and all of that, and then refused the opportunity to live in the new housing that is built on the land that is cleared.

We feel that is grossly unfair, Senator, and that if the slum clearance program is going to operate effectively, and in the way that the Federal Government and the principles of democracy should be handled, certainly people who are cleared from the land should have the opportunity to come back, if they meet the economic requirements. We suggest that the committee consider putting an amendment in this bill which would guarantee that that could be done.

That is not as revolutionary as it might seem. Of course, the slumclearance program itself is revolutionary, but Mr. Zechendorf, the big builder from New York, was down here the other day, and in his layout of what he plans to do down there in Foggy Bottom, and the tremendous development he is going to make, he announced that the housing that would be constructed there, under his leadership, would be available to all persons, without regard to race or color. As you know, a lot of the people who are going to move there are going to be Negroes, and if they meet the economic requirements for the housing that will be built, under the agency of the Federal Government, it seems to me that they should be permitted to go back there. We would like the committee to give serious consideration to that, because otherwise, Senator, the slum-clearance program, I am afraid, is likely to get bogged down in a great deal of litigation.

One other aspect of slum clearance is relocation, and we seriously believe that the strict relocation requirements of the 1949 act should still be adhered to. In addition to the workable plan that is talked about in the bill, and in the other features that are mentioned, we believe that section 105 (c) in the act should be repealed, to provide for relocating people in safe and sanitary homes, equally accessible to their employment, and so forth.

We do not wish our criticism of the way the Federal Government's housing program has

operated in the past to be considered a reflection on either President Eisenhower or Administrator Cole. Both have shown an acute awareness of the problems of minorities and a willingness to do something about it administratively. I would just like, at the expense of burdening the committee a minute longer, to read this

a excerpt from the President's housing message:

However, the administrative policies governing the operations of the several housing agencies must be, and they will be, materially strengthened and augmented, in order to assure equal opportunity for all our citizens to acquire, within their means, good and well-located homes.

We think that is a fair statement of policy, and we hope that the different constituent branches of the Housing and Home Finance

a

а

Agency will carry out the President's wishes in that regard, and set up these administrative policies, and, incidentally, carry out the wishes of this committee, such as you included in the report last year.

Mr. Cole has constantly warned the building industry of the necessity of doing something about the housing needs of minorities. I would just like to call your attention to—I am not offering it for the record the latest issue of the National Association of Home Builders magazine Correlator, in which they feature a series of articles on housing for minority groups. Among these they mention the work that has been done by some pioneers in this field. There are still pioneers. The industry generally has turned its back on this question.

The Congress, however, should provide the basic legislation to strengthen their hands.

Great work has also been done by the race-relations staff of the Housing and Home Finance Agency and its constitutent agencies. This staff, we believe, should be strengthened and enlarged.

We are not giving a blanket endorsement to the bill, although I am not offering any criticism of any particular point. We did endorse the Housing Act of 1949, and it hasn't worked out the way we feel it should have, as far as we're concerned. We believe in the same principles, and so forth, and there is no doubt about it but that this bill follows somewhat in that same tradition, although it has some new ideas and new approaches to the problem.

But the question is how will it work, so far as we are concerned. That is the question we want to ask.

Senator, in conclusion, I note in this magazine House and Home that your staff member, Mr. McMurray, is planning to leave the committee. I don't know how the committee feels about him, but I know some of us who have worked on the Hill for a number of years will be very sorry to see him go.

I thank you for this opportunity to appear.

Senator Frear. Just one question: Does the organization you represent have restricted membership?

Mr. HENDERSON. They do not. Senator FREAR. As I understand it, the American Council on Human Rights is made up of six national college fraternities and sororities, as listed on your letterhead, and there is no restriction on your membership?

Mr. HENDERSON. No. The majority of our members are colored, but there are no restrictions as to members.

Senator FREAR. As to not only color, but as to religion and creed!

Mr. HENDERSON. That is right. There are no restrictions whatsoever.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for this opportunity.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. You have been very, very helpful, and we appreciate it. You have made some very constructive suggestions.

We will recess until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning, at which time we will have the Mortgage Bankers Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Wherry Housing Association, the Residence at Ease Association, and then the Lindenwood Realty Corp.

(Whereupon, at 12:10 p. m., the committee recessed, to reconvene at 10 a. m., Tuesday, March 16, 1954.)

HOUSING ACT OF 1954

TUESDAY, MARCH 16, 1954

UNITED STATES SENATE,
COMMITTEE ON BANKING AND CURRENCY,

Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to recess, in room 301, Senate Office Building, at 10:10 a. m., Senator Homer E. Capehart (chairman) presiding

Present: Senators Capehart, Bricker, Ives, Bennett, Beall, Goldwater, Maybank, Fulbright, Robertson, Frear, and Douglas.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.

The first witness is Mr. Clarke of the Mortgage Bankers Association. You may proceed in your own way. Would you like to read your statement or talk from it?

Mr. CLARKE. I thought I would read it.
The CHAIRMAN. You may proceed in your own way.

STATEMENT OF WILLIAM A. CLARKE, PRESIDENT, ACCOMPANIED

BY SAMUEL NEAL, GENERAL COUNSEL; MAURICE R. MASSEY, JR., PHILADELPHIA; AND JAMES W. ROUSE, BALTIMORE, MD., ALL OF MORTGAGE BANKERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

Mr. CLARKE. My name is William A. Clarke. My home is in Media, Pa. I am the principal owner and operating head of a mortgage company bearing my name in Philadelphia. I am appearing today on behalf of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America of which I have the honor of being the president.

Although the Mortgage Bankers Association has in its membership of over 2,000 representation of all types of mortgage lending institutions, the largest part consists of organizations the primary function of which is the development of mortgage business and the origination and servicing of loans for the account of other institutions, mainly banks and life-insurance companies.

Mortgage bankers must have close relations with, and intimate knowledge of, every element and aspect of home-building and homefinancing activity. There can be no advantage to them that is not an advantage to this great activity as a whole. For only when mortgage money is available at attractive terms, when builders are able to find a good market for their houses, when buyers are both satisfied with their houses and capable of meeting their mortgage obligationswhen, in short, the country is prosperous and the economy expanding, can the mortgage-banking industry live and grow. There is no way in which mortgage bankers can prosper unless all with whom they deal are prospering.

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »