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These nationwide conditions, when translated to Philadelphia, pose a thorny qnestion. In 1953 Philadelphia added 8,900 dwelling units, exclusive of public housing, to its supply; 5,255 of these units were in new construction (see table 2). The supply of privately created dwelling units is hardly sufficient to keep up with the need as measured by the formation of new households and homes destroyed in Philadelphia. (It is estimated that the city's in-migration and outmigration cancel each other.) Except for public housing, therefore, we have not been able to reduce the unfilled needs of families having substandard shelter. The proposed Housing Act of 1954 offers us little encouragement in that regard, The present legislation fails completely to recognize that we must produce housing within the financial capability of our low- and middle-income groups.

According to the United States census, 75.7 percent of Philadelphia families had incomes below $5,000 per year as of 1949. Even if a generous 25-percent upward adjustment is made, at least 65 percent of these families still fall below the $5,000 level. The cheapest of the new homes selling in Philadelphia js $10,000. An estimate by realtors of the average price of existing homes sold in Philadelphia last year was $8,400. The rentals for newly constructed dwelling units tend to run $85 per inonth and upward. A survey conducted last September in Philadelphia revealed that the vacancy ratio in rental units based on a sample study was less than 2 percent. For all intents and purposes, therefore, existing units at low rentals are not available.

The President's Advisory Committee found that in most cities rent, heat, and utilities fell below 20 percent of the total budget cost. If one takes the median family income for Philadelphia, $2,069, as reported by the United States census for 1949, makes a 25-percent upward adjustment to bring it in line with the present, and then applies the 20-percent formula suggested by the President's Coinmittee, the average family in Philadelphia would not be in a position to spend niore than $60 a month for its housing costs. If a house, which costs as little as $7,000 requires a monthly housing expense of $62.92, half of Philadelphia's families have no real housing market to speak of and can only turn to the oldest existing homes when they are put up for sale.

The almost hopeless impossibility of this condition is more clearly seen when one looks at the incomes of families who live in Philadelphia's blighted areas. A special study made at our request reveals that even with the 25-percent upward adjustment of the 1949 census figures, the median family group is in the $2.000 to $2,500 category (table No. 3). To meet this difficult situation, the proposed legislation has come up with only a stopgap suggestion which will undoubtedly prove impractical for cities like Philadelphia. The proposed new section 221 to the National Housing Act, providing for FHA 100-percent insurance on a $7,000 home with a mortgage term of 40 years, will have little significance for us. It is difficult to foresee how any builder can construct a home in Philadelphia at this price. Furthermore, the monthly housing cost of $62.92, as listed in the report of the President's Advisory Committee, places it out of the price range of the families who are in greatest need of housing. It is questionable, in the first place, whether mortgage money would be made available to finance such construction.

Little reliance can be placed on the amendments to section 203 of the National Housing Act insuring up to 95 percent of the value of existing homes for mortgage periods up to 30 years. Aside from the prevailing high prices, even for other than new dwellings, there is no assurance that either FHA or private lending facilities will provide the maximum terms for such housing, particularly for older homes whose prices are lower.

What is needed is a fresh approach, and perhaps the extension of existing approaches far beyond their present limits in order to find the answers for housing for low- and middle-income families. The entire field of incentives and subsidies has to be explored. Perhaps more can be done in reducing downpayments by encouraging direct loans to home purchasers. Builders might be given better terms on construction loans through Government guarantees. More aggressive mortgage market facilities might stimulate an increased flot of funds and bring the interest rate down. More might be done to provide greater

Pareantage Vacancy of Habitable Dwelling Units in Philadelphia, September 15, 1953. Government Consulting Service, Institute of Local and State Government, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

o Op. cit., appendix 2. Subcommittee on Housing for Low-Income Families; Exhibit 4. Estimated Cost To Maintain Families at a Level of Adequate Living.

• Op. cit., appendix 1. Subcommittee on FHA-VA Programs; Exhibit 8, Estimated Monthir Mortgage Payment and Housing Expense on Typical Mortgages Insured Under Proposed Section 221.

incentives for mortgage loans, which result in carrying charges in line with the resources of the $3,000 to $5,000 per year income group. Since large-scale building has brought about some reduction in construction costs, encouragement might be given to home builders to pool their resources and to engage in extensive development projects. Building standards and building practices should be continually reviewed in order to eliminate unnecessary expensive procedures. More encouragement could be given to cooperatives. A continuing research program might be able to uncover new building techniques, which would also result in lower costs.

III. PUBLIC HOUSING With all this, however, the housing needs for families with annual incomes of $2,500 or less can only be met by large-scale low-rent public housing. I understand that this matter has been referred to another congressional committee. It is difficult, if not impossible, to consider housing legislation without taking into account the total picture. Much of the proposed legislation, particularly as it pertains to urban renewal, cannot be productive unless it is accompanied by an extensive public-housing program. As the Philadelphia income study of families of blighted areas shows (table 3), more than half the families in slum neighborhords are eligible for public housing.

The cooperative agreement between the Philadelphia Housing Association and the Federal Government calls for 10,000 dwelling units under the Housing Act of 1949. Thus far, only 4,509 have been constructed or are under construction. Philadelphia could undoubtedly use 70,000 low-rent public-housing units, based on the income study to which reference was previously made. At the very least therefore, it is hoped that Congress would return to authorizing 135,000 public housing units a year, instead of the 35,000 recommended by the President.



No housing legislation like the proposed act before this committee can accomplish its objective without providing opportunity for shelter to all groups in our society regardless of race, creed, or color. The inability of minority groups to obtain decent shelter is a condition which is not unique to Philadelphia. A recent study of Philadelphia's Negro population' points up the problem sharply for our city. Of the 72,113 dwelling units classed as substandard in 1950, 46 percent, or 33,471, are occupied by nonwhites. Almost one-half of all nonwhite families live in areas certified for redevelopment compared with less than oneeighth of the white families.

The only possible approach to meeting this confining situation that one can see in the proposed act is the authority to be given to the rechartered Federal National Mortgage Association. The special type of assistance which FNMA can provide is not specified, but one assumes that the President can determine that a program to make available housing for minority groups would be in the public interest and eligible for aid under the proposed amendment to section 301 of the National Housing Act. In that case, however, it will be competing for limited funds with special housing programs, such as veterans, co-ops, defense, housing for the aged, housing for displaced persons, and others.

We cannot lick the slum-housing problem in Philadelphia unless special attention is given to this situation. It would seem desirable, therefore, to have FHA give high priority to meeting this need. The Federal Government could use its influence through FHA in seeing to it that mortgage money is made available in much greater amounts, on a nondiscriminatory basis. To ignore this aspect of our slum problems could only produce an unrealistic shelter program.

From the point of view of the means of the city of Philadelphia, the Housing Act of 1954 is not a sufficient answer. We welcome a number of its constructive features. The test as to whether it will contribute to better housing depends upon :

(1) Appropriating sufficient moneys to carry out all aspects of the program, particularly urban renewal.

(2) New and fresh approaches to providing housing at prices within th means of low- and middle-income families.

(3) A substantial low-rent public-housing program.

(4) An opportunity for housing, with at least minimum standards, for all groups in our society.

Philadelphia's Negro Population. Facts on Housing, prepared by the Philadelphia Housing Association for the Commission on Human Relations, October 1953.

44750—54-pt. 1-59

We believe that these requirements are not only Philadelphia's, but most of the large cities in the country. We hope that your committee will take the necessary steps to amend the legislation along the lines suggested.

TABLE 1.-Comparison of arrests based on residence in blighted versus non

blighted areas, city of Philadelphia, 1953

[blocks in formation]

1 Areas declared blighted by the city planning commission of the city of Philadelphia fall in the police districts here cited. Since there is no exact correlation between boundaries of the police districts and the boundaries of certified blighted areas, allowance was made for overlapping into fringe areis. It should also be noted that 2 areas were completely omitted: The Aramingo area, which is principally an industrial community, and the Rittenhouse-(termantown area, which constitutes only a small part of several census tracts, which are not generally blighted.

TABLE 2.-Dwelling units added 1950-53, by year of permit

(All dwelling units according to the U. S. Census 1950, 599,495)


Private construc


Public construc


Total construc


net gain



Net gain

1950.1951. 1952. 1953.

12, 310
6, 399
5, 815
5, 255

1, 347
2, 224

12, 310
6, 614
7, 162
7, 479

4, 203
3, 950



16, 232 10, 563 10, 586 10,073

Total 1950-53..

29, 779

3, 786

33, 565




Estimated total dwelling units in Philadelphia, Jan. 1, 1954 (including those under construction).- 647, 649

I of these 761 were razed as result of permits issued to the housing and redevelopment authorities.

TABLE 3.Total income received during 1949 by families and unrelated indi.

viduals in certified redevelopment areas and Philadelphia

[blocks in formation]

1 Two areas were completely omitted: the Aramingo area, which is principally an industrial community, and the Rittenhouse-Germantown area, which constitutes only a small portion of several census tracts, which are not generally blighted. The boundaries of redeveloped areas are close to but do not coincide exactly with those of census tracts.

Source: Philadelphia City Planning Commission, Mar. 15, 1954.

The CHAIRMAN. Our next witness is Mr. John H. Moore, executive director of the United Community Defense Services, Inc.

Mr. Moore, you have a statement. Do you want to read it, or do you want to place it in the record and just talk extemporaneously from it?



Mr. MOORE. Since the statement is rather short, I thought perhaps that would be as quick as anything, to read it, and comment some as I go along. The CHAIRMAN. Whatever your pleasure is. You may read it. You have an exhibit here, don't you? Mr. MOORE. Yes, sir. I would like to place that in the record. The CHAIRMAN. It will be placed in the record. (The document referred to follows:)


Washington 25, D. C., January 19, 1954. Mr. John H. MOORE, Executive Director United Community Defense Services Room 207, International Center,

345 East 46th Street, New York 17, N. Y. DEAR MR. MOORE: This is in response to your letter of December 11 in which you express the interest of your organization in learning the extent to which Atomic Energy Commission contractors are encouraged or permitted to include within their contracts the cost of services to their employees and families in such areas as health, welfare, counseling, recreation, and housing.

It is the policy of the Commission at its various installations to rely upon Federal grants, loans, and guaranties available to local bodies and private enterprise under national legislation such as the Defense Housing and Community Facilities and Services Act of 1951 and Public Laws 81.5 and 874 to relieve school, housing, and other community facility deficiencies which are attributable to the construction and operation of the atomic energy plant. The Commission's policy is in accord with that of the administration; namely to assure the availability of housing and related community services and facilities for its employees through reliance on programs of Federal assistance which are uniform as to national policy and which are administered by agencies of prime technical competence.

The policies outlined above apply to all AEC installations except the communities of Oak Ridge, Tenn., Richland, Wash., and Los Alamos, N. Mex., which the Commission now owns and operates. It is the Commission's intent to dispose of these three communities when and as quickly as practical circumstances permit, after which the policies outlined above will apply.

To the extent that services may be required in the other fields about which you inquire and for which there is no legislation or designated agency of responsibility, it is the policy of the Commission to permit its contractors to follow their usual personnel practices within reasonable limits established by the Commission.

In any case where the circumstances warrant, the AEC will consider using its existing authority to meet the needs of its employees when local bodies or other Federal agencies are unable for any reason to supply such assistance. Sincerely yours,


Deputy General Manager, The CHAIRMAN. You may proceed.

Mr. MOORE. I am John H. Moore, and I am executive director of the United Community Defense Services, Inc.

The CHAIRMAN. United Community Defense Services, what is that?

Mr. MOORE. We are a federation of national volunteer agencies extending aid and service to communities affected by a heavy concentration of defense activities. We are financed entirely by voluntary contributions. We direct our efforts very largely to facilitate and encourage the local community adjustment to defense-created conditions. Our funds come largely from inclusion in the 700 community chests in the country.

The CHAIRMAN. So, your organization is to help housing situations where there is a concentration of defense activity or military activity?

Mr. MOORE. We are not specifically in the business of assisting communities on housing, except to help them make a study of their housing needs. We help them with the community programs and things of that sort.

The CHAIRMAN. All right. You may proceed in your own way.

Mr. MOORE. We wish to take this opportunity to express for the record our concern regarding the continuing acute situation of many communities affected by a concentration of defense activities and their need for special measures to assist them in meeting the housing and related requirements of a rapidly expanding population. Specifically, we wish to express support for certain features of Senate bill 2398, but also to request that it be amended to extend the provisions of title IXDefense Housing Act—of the National Housing Act, and title III of the Defense Community Facilities and Services Act of 1951.

The United Community Defense Services is a federation of national voluntary agencies extending aid and service to communities affected by a heavy concentration of defense activities. Our own activities are financed entirely by voluntary contributions and are directed largely to facilitating local community adjustment to defense-created conditions. As a result of the work of our own UCDS field representatives and those of our affiliate organizations in over 100 such commu'ities, however, we have had an excellent opportunity to observe the local

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