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Distribution of monthly rentals of dwelling units in sec. 608 Veterans' Emergency Housing projects covered by commitments issued January
to June 1949, United States total, and selected insuring offices
1 Insurance office jurisdiction covers more than just the city named. For example, the Washington office covers the Washington metropolitan area, New York and Houston about 45 of their respective States. The Philadelphia office covers eastern Pennsylvania and all of Delaware. The Chicago, Detroit, and San Francisco offices have jurisdiction over about half of their respective States while the Atlanta, Greensboro, Topeka, and Denver offices embrace all of their respective States.
2 In general monthly rentals cover shelter rent, cooking and refrigerator equipment, space heat, hot and cold water, janitor services, grounds maintenance, and in some cases gas
3 Totals do not always add to 100 percent because of rounding.
Mr. FOLEY. I would be glad to have questions at this time, or if the committee prefers to have Mr. Richards proceed with his statement at this time, he is prepared to do so, I believe.
Mr. PATMAN. Mr. Foley, do you have any statistics on the number of homes in the United States, single homes, and not apartments, just the number of single homes !
Mr. FOLEY. I am quite sure we do have, although I don't have the figures in mind. I will ask my statistical people if we have the material here. I will have them in a moment.
Mr. PATMAN. And also the number of residential units regardless of size.
Mr. FOLEY. We have that.
Mr. FOLEY. That will be in the figures which will be submitted for the record.
Mr. PATMAN. You mentioned in your statement, which is a very fine statement, it is very comprehensive, in fact, it answered practically every question I had in mind—I don't know any questions to ask about the particular bills that you have not covered fully, but you mentioned in this statement that we have been on these programs now for the past 15 years, and I would just like to know how we are getting along. The Government has been furnishing many incentives to guarantee home loans and to make home building attractive, and I would just like to know what progress has been made by the people in that direction, how the number of home owners now compare with the number of home owners 15 years ago.
Mr. FOLEY. You mean the number of home owners in the country as compared
Mr. PATMAN. Yes.
Mr. FOLEY. I don't have it in mind but my impression is that it has increased.
Mr. PATMAN. It has increased?
Mr. FOLEY. That is my impression, but I will be glad to furnish the figures.
(The matter referred to above is as follows:) As the accompanying table indicates, the 15-year period 1935—49 saw an increasingly larger production of one-family structures, a type which, traditionally is nearly all owner-occupied. While final data for 1949 are not yet available, . preliminary data make it appear that approximately 780,000 of the nearly 984,000 nonfarm units started in 1949 will be one-family homes. These 15 years encompass part of the depression years of the mid-thirties, the war years with their restrictions on home building, and the postwar reconversion era in which, in 1949, a new all-time record production of homes was established.
As the table shows, in the relatively normal prewar years of 1938—41 approximately 31 percent of all privately financed units were started with Federal Housing Administration commitments to insure. This percentage has been rur slightly higher in the past 2 years, indicating that at a time when private home building is at record peaks FHA aid for privately financed homes is playing an even more important part than it did in the prewar years. In addition, in the postwar years there has been an important volume of units started under the Veterans' Administration home-loan guaranty program. Taken together, in the past 3 years, approximately 45 percent of all units started have been either Veterans' Administration or Federal Housing Administration aided.
In April 1947, according to Bureau of the Census estimates, there were 41,625,000 dwelling places both farm and nonfarm in the United States ranging all the way from one-room mansions to one-room shacks. Reflecting a continuation of a trend away from the farms the 34,133,000 nonfarm dwellings in 1947 represented the highest proportion on nonfarm units in our history.
Reflecting in part the large proportion of new homes built for owner occupancy during the past 15 years, Census estimates now show a reversal in the trend away from home ownership. Thus, in April 1947, nearly 55 percent of the 39,016,000 occupied homes in the United States were owner-occupied. This represents the highest proportion of owned homes for which published census data are available.
Privately financed permanent nonfarm dwelling units started, annually, 1935–49
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Housing Administration, and Veierans' Administration (Jan. 30, 1950).
Mr. Patman. We know, generally, the number of people owning their homes in the city and the number of farmers owning their farms in the country have greatly increased the past 15 years due to the Government's encouragement,
Mr. FOLEY. The number has increased. My answer was related to the proportion which I think, also, has increased.
Mr. PATMAN. It occurs to me that such an increase in home ownership is a complete answer to any charge that might be made that the administration is going in the direction of socialism and communism. In a totalitarian state, whether it is Communist or Fascist, they certainly do not encourage home ownership, they encourage just the opposite by taking over the homes and the lands and the buildings and the businesses and things like that, but here in this country we are encouraging people by the use of the Government's credit, to own their own homes and their own farms which I think is the best answer to any totalitarian argument that might be made. I believe that a country, where the people own their own homes and their own farms has the greatest bulwark against these foreign isms that any country in the world can have. I think our country is going every day, as this bill here indicates, just in the opposite direction to a totalitarian form of government or socialism or communism.
Mr. FOLEY. I quite agree and I think the Congress, itself, has recently stated that exactly to be its objective when it passed the Housing Act of 1949 with its declaration of national housing policy.
Mr. PATMAN. Do you have that declaration of policy there with you?
Mr. FOLEY. I have a copy of the bill.
Mr. Patman. Of course, when the people pay for these housing projects, if they still belong to the State, that would be bad, but under the measures we are considering they would belong to the people. Even the public
housing projects, when they are paid for, don't belong to the Federal Government, do they?
Mr. FOLEY. The public low-rent projects belong in all cases to the
not the Federal Government.
Mr. FOLEY. The only exception to that is Ohio, because of a peculiar
Mr. TALLE. Will you yield to me at that point ?
Mr. TALLE. In any locality where there is no local agency and there
Mr. FOLEY. I am sorry, I didn't get the first of that.
Mr. TALLE. Take such a place as Long Beach, Calif., there is no local housing authority, there but there is a Federal housing establishment. Shouldn't you revise your recent statement in a situation of that sort !
Mr. FOLEY. You are referring, in the public housing there, Congressman, to war housing or possibly veteran's reuse housing, built since the war. That is under an entirely different set-up and if you recall it was built under the Lanham Act and was not intended to be permanently held by the Federal Government but to be disposed of. It is one of the problems that we are laboring with, the disposition of that. We are making progress. There is before Congress legislative proposals which would simplify our task in that direction, but that is distinguished from the low-rent public housing to which Congressman Patman was referring and which is owned, when built, by local housing authorities. The act requires the procedure to be local in initiation and handling.
Mr. TALLE. I understand.
Mr. PaTMAN. The Government does not have a policy that would cause the land to ever be owned by the Government but the policy is to make it possible and easy for the individual to own his own home or his own farm.
Mr. FOLEY. In connection with all of the home ownership provisions
Mr. PATMAN. The Government is not trying to acquire anything.
Mr. PATMAN. Suppose you read that? It sets forth the policy of the Government ?
Mr. FOLEY. It takes a full page. I might read the first part of it and just call attention to the rest.
The Congress hereby declares that the general welfare and security of the Nation and the health and living standards of its people require housing production and related community development sufficient to remedy the serious housing shortage, the elimination of substandard, and other inadequate housing through the clearance of slums and blighted areas, and the realization as soon as feasible of the goal of a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family, thus contributing to the development and redevelopment of communities and to the advancement of the growth, wealth, and security of the Nation. The Congress further declares that such production is necessary 10 enable the housing industry to make its full contribution toward an economy of maximum employment, production, and purchasing power. The policy to be followed in attaining the national housing objective hereby established shall be: (1) private enterprise shall be encouraged to serve as large a part of the total need as it can; (2) governmental assistance shall be utilized where feasible to enable private enterprise to serve more of the total need; (3) appropriate local public bodies shall be encouraged and assisted to undertake positive programs of encouraging and assisting the development of well-planned, integrated residential neighborhoods, the development and redevelopment of communities, and the production, at lower costs, of housing of sound standards of design, construction, livability, and size for adequate family life; (4) governmental assistance to eliminate substandard and other inadequate housing through the clearance of slums and blighted areas, to facilitate community development and redevelopment, and to provide adequate housing for urban and rural nonfarm families with incomes so low that they are not being decently housed in new or existing housing shall be extended to those localities which estimate their own needs and demonstrate that these needs are not being met through reliance solely upon private enterprise, and without such aid; and (5) governmental assistance for decent, safe, and sanitary farm dwellings and related facilities shall be extended where the farm owner demonstrates that he lacks sufficient resources to provide such housing on his own account and is unable to secure necessary credit for such housing. *
Further detail is given, but I submit, Congressman, since the situation has arisen, that the bill before you is designed very definitely to further advance the achievement of the objective through the means that have been set forth here as the policy.
Mr. PATMAN. And that is through the private enterprise system insofar as it is possible and there is not anything in that declaration of policy that would indicate that the Government is trying to get hold of any land, or any farm, or any homes, but, on the other hand, is trying to make it just as easy as possible for people to buy and own their own homes and their own farms.
Mr. FOLEY. The very sequence of the items in the statement of policy by which the objective is to be achieved, I think, emphasizes what you said.
Mr. PATMAN. Yes, sir.
Mr. DEANE. I understand, Mr. Patman, you are going to ask Mr. Foley to submit for the record a statement of progress!
Mr. PATMAN. That is right.
that statement now! Mr. FOLEY. I think it would be better if I prepare it and put it in the record, if you don't mind.
Mr. DEANE. Incidentally will that statement include the over-all program including private builders?
Mr. FOLEY. What I understood Congressman Patman to want were statistics which would show the development of home ownership, numerically and relatively as against 15 years ago and now. If there is something further you would wish us to add to it, Congressman, I would be glad to do so.
Mr. DEANE. It seems to me it should be a comprehensive statement.