Lapas attēli

Mr. SLUSSER. That is right.
Senator MAYBANK. There has been none of that?
Mr. COLE. No delinquency.

The Advisory Committee also made a number of further recommendations for the improvement of the low-rent housing program and for the elimination of certain weaknesses. These recommendations relate to such matters as the rehabilitation, where feasible, of existing sound structures for low-rent use; the development of public housing projects at lower densities with less crowding of project sites; the provision of smaller projects with great use of scattered sites; and greater conformity to local dwelling patterns and construction practices.

These recommendations have real merit, and are heartily concurred in by Mr. Slusser, the new Public Housing Commissioner, who is here

with me.

Mr. Slusser is already demonstrated a keen ability to manage the affairs of his agency in a businesslike manner. He has inspired wellmerited confidence that he will take the necessary administrative steps to improve the operations of the PHA along the lines recommended by the committee. He advises me that no legislative changes are needed in this connection.

That finishes our statement.

Senator BENNETT. Are there any questions with respect to this part of the statement?

Senator SPARKMAN. May I ask just a couple of brief questions? You say the veterans preference is carried on. Is that a continuation of the present veterans preference!

Mr. SLUSSER. Yes, sir.

Senator SPARKMAN. It just continues over the life of this legislation?

Mr. SLUSSER. That is right, sir.

Senator SPARKMAN. Now, with reference to the payment of the indebtedness on these buildings, I assume that in the bookkeeping, there is a depreciation charge allowed each year?

Mr. SLUSSER. Yes. I am certain there is, sir.

Senator SPARKMAN. I assumed there was. It seems to me it is important in connection with this particular provision to make certain that the properties are going to be kept in good shape or that funds will be there for putting them in good shape at all times.

Mr. Slusser. There are funds available, set aside in a reserve fund for operation purposes, maintenance, repair and upkeep of the properties.

Senator MAYBANK. That is all.
Senator BENNETT. Senator Douglas.

Senator Douglas. May I ask how many families and persons have been displaced by slum clearance projects?

Mr. COLE. Senator, I think we would have to supply that for you. We will be glad to supply it for the record.

Senator DOUGLAS. Thank you very much.

(The information requested follows:) of the projects which had reached the final planning stage or the redevelopment stage as of December 31, 1953, it is estimated that more than 71,000 families may be displaced in title I project areas. Approximately 40,000 families, or 55 percent of the total number of families that may be displaced, are eligible for low-rent public housing. Of the title I projects which as of December 31, 1953, have been approved for loan or capital grant allocations, it is estimated that over 36,000 families in the title I project areas will be displaced, of which more than 19,000 families, or 53 percent of the total families that may be displaced, are eligible for low-rent public housing.

The provisions relating to relocation in title I are not to be changed under S. 2938. The enactment of S. 2938, however, will extend the relocation requirements to the broader urban renewal area so as to encompass the relocation of families displaced not only through slum clearance operations but also through, rehabilitation and conservation measures such as the displacement resulting from the elimination of overoccupancy. The provision pertaining to relocation is section 105 (c) which reads as follows:

"Sec. 105. Contracts for financial aid * * * shall require that * * * (c) there be a feasible method for the temporary relocation of families displaced from the project area, and that there are or are being provided, in the project area or in other areas not generally less desirable in regard to public utilities and public and commercial facilities and at rents or prices within the financial means of the families displaced from the project area, decent, safe, and sanitary dwellings equal in nuniber to the number of and available to such displaced families and reasonably accessible to their places of employment *

In order to carry out this provision of the law, the Dirision of Slum Clearance and Urban Redevelopment requires that the local public agency in its initial application for surveying and planning funds give assurance that it can fulfill the relocation requirements. Before the execution of a loan and grant contract, the local public agency must submit for approval a workable plan for the relocation of site occupants. Generally, it is necessary for the local public agency to establish an administrative organization to render relocation services for the benefit of the families that are to be displaced by the clearance operations. The local public agency must survey the needs of the families to be displaced and the availability of housing accommodations; it must establish standards for decent, safe, and sanitary bousing needed for relocation purposes and prescribe policies and procedures for assisting site occupants in locating appropriate accommodations. Families that are to be displaced must be given reasonable notice of the program of relocation and must be afforded reasonable help. In general, the relocation program is operating fairly satisfactorily.

Senator DOUGLAS. May I ask you if you have a rough estimate as to what proportion of those who have been displaced have been rehoused in public housing? These are very crucial issues, I may say.

Mr. COLE. We don't have that. We will furnish it for the record.

(The information requested follows:) Table showing extent of relocation in 1010-rent public housing of families

displaced by reason of title I clearance operations

[blocks in formation]

Senator Douglas. May I ask how many of the slum clearance projects

Mr. COLF. Senator, may I amend that? Mr. Follin, Director of the Slum Clearance and Redevelopment Division, suggests that a rough figure is about 50 percent.

Senator DOUGLAS. Fifty percent of those who need to be rehoused, or 50 percent of those who are displaced ?

Mr. Follix. Fifty percent of those displaced are found to be eligible for public housing.

Senator Douglas. How many have actually been rehoused?

Mr. Follin. I doubt if there is enough experience, Senator, to give you a figure which would stand up over the long run.

Senator Douglas. This is a very crucial question. What is happening is you are clearing areas and this creates a public obligation which we recognized in the Housing Act of 1949. To see that these people are offered an opportunity, if their incomes were not sufficient or if they were forced, because of rates, to be adequately accommodated in public housing. If that is not being done, slum clearance while removing an esthetic blot upon the community—some health blights, and so forth—is working an injustice upon the most helpless groups of all.

Mr. FOLLIN. If you will permit, we would be glad to file a statement and give the information to date.

Senator DoUGLAS. I would like to pursue the question further: Have any of the slum clearances or urban redevelopment sites been made available for public housing?

Mr. FOLLIN. In a few instances.
Senator DOUGLAS. How many instances?
Mr. FOLLIN. Probably 3 or 4.
Senator DOUGLAS. Out of how many?
Mr. Follin. How many out of how many projects ?
Senator DOUGLAS. Yes.

Mr. FOLLIN. There are 52 projects that are under contract.

Senator Douglas. Almost all the projects have been cleared and then have been used either for business or for residences for upper income groups, but the people who were displaced from these areas are not rehoused in the areas themselves?

Mr. Follin. Only to some extent. Senator DOUGLAS. To a very slight extent. Mr. FOLLIN. Yes, sir. (The information requested follows:) Data from local public agencies covering 85 of the projects involving a residential reuse indicate that 51,000 new dwellings may be built on the land designated for residential reuse under the proposed density standards. It is expected that at least 93 percent of the new housing units will be built by private redevelopers, with about 5 rental units contemplated for every 2 sales units. Much of this privately built housing is intended for low-income and middle-income families. Public housing will be the predominant use in only 2 of the projects but some public housing is to be provided in 8 other project areas. Thus, some public housing will be built in 10 out of the 85 projects.

It should be noted that the determination as to whether the project area shall or shall not be used for public housing is made locally by the local public officials. It is a matter of local choice as to whether any part of a title I project area shall be used for low-rent public housing. The Division of Slum Clearance and Urban Redevelopment has not rejected redevelopment plans providing for the use of the cleared land for public housing purposes. The predominant reuse of the areas for housing built by private enterprise is consistent with the declaration of national housing policy contained in section 2 of the Housing Act of 1949 and also with section 105 of such act which provides that contracts for financial aid shall require that the governing body of the locality make a finding, among others, that the redevelopment plans for the redevelopment areas in the locality will afford maximum opportunity, consistent with the sound needs of the locality as a whole, for the redevelopment of such areas by private enterprise.

The declaration of national housing policy states that "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. * * *"

In certain localities, such as Chicago and New York (which incidentally have extensive public-housing programs), local officials have not utilized any title I project area for the construction of public housing. Apparently, such local officials have concluded that the title I project areas can best be utilized for purposes other than public housing. New York City, it is my understanding, attempts to get the highest return from the project land by making residential land available solely to private enterprise. In such cities as Philadelphia, Norfolk, and Jersey City the local officials have concluded that the use of portions of certain title I project areas for public housing is consistent with their local planning objectives and needs.

Senator Douglas. Therefore, if they are rehoused at all, they must be rehoused where, on the periphery of the city?

Mr. Follin. Not necessarily, sir, because many of them are rehoused in public housing projects and they may be anywhere in the city.

Senator DOUGLAS. What, in effect, you are saying in this recommendation of lower density, et cetera, is that the public housing should be conducted on outskirts of cities. In other words, the rings around the central business district, which are the blighted areas, shall not be lived in by the people who now live there, but shall be either used for business purposes or for higher residential groups?

Mr. COLE. No, Senator, we don't say that.
Senator Douglas. You don't say it, but that is the inference.

Mr. COLE. We don't mean to even infer that. That is not the program at all, sir. The statement as to lower density to which you

[ocr errors]

referred was intended to suggest that we should not permit public housing projects, wherever built, to make too intensive use of the land-not so many dwellings per acre, and so forth. There are cities, of course, where you cannot possibly move the people out to the periphery, and that the whole program of slum clearance, urban redevelopment, the program which we are presenting here, will, in our judgment, to the greatest degree possible, tie in the needs of the people—the needs of the people in the low incomes, needs of the people who have higher incomes and by reason of certain restrictions are unable to secure housing. It will take into consideration all of those needs and the need to house right in the very neighborhood, right on the very site those people who have been removed by reason of clearance.

Senator DOUGLAS. All I am saying is, if out of 52 sites which have been cleared, there are only 3 instances in which you have erected public housing to take care of the people displaced from those sites, it is obvious that the new uses which you are developing for these areas not to house low-income groups, but to house those in upper-income groups, or higher-income groups, and for business purposes, the public housing, therefore, of necessity, must be located elsewhere.

I would like to ask why you have come to that decision.
Mr. COLE. We have not come to that decision.

Senator DOUGLAS. That is what has happened. I realize you have been in office only a year and what I am taxing you with—and I am not really taxing you—it has been a policy development of the previous administration, as well as by yours. So I don't want you to think that I am being personally critical of you, but certainly when we got the original bill through Congress, it was the intent that a considerable proportion of those displaced were to be rehoused in the areas which were cleared and the debate, itself, was very clear on that point. I can remember Senator Cain, of Washington, taking me to task on the matter. I got a written statement from the then administrator that these areas were to be used and it was on that promise in large part that we got the bill through.

Mr. COLE. I would agree with you heartily, sir, that much of the discussion with respect to slum clearance was tied in with the need for public housing, and a great deal of the acceptance of public housing was based upon the need of those people who were displaced by reason of slum clearance in urban redevelopment.

Now, may I comment on that? I certainly feel that by reason of the fact that we do have a slum clearance and urban redevelopment and rehabilitation program, people will be displaced from those areas. I feel that it is the responsibility of the Federal Government to see to it that the people who are displaced are rehoused in decent housing. We would all like to see that they are rehoused in the area, if possiblebut not all of that is possible, sir. In part, it is by reason of limitations which are placed on public housing. In part, it is by reason of some of the redevolpment plans which are proposed by the locality, but having in mind all of the program, and the well-integrated part of the program which is serving the needs of the people, serving the objective of the law, which is to develop good housing, for all of the people, then we certainly intend to, and will carry out to the best of

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »