« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
impact of Federal decisions and policies and the extent to which Federal aid is necessary in their solution.
In titles VIII and IX of the National Housing Act and in the Defense Community Facilities and Services Act of 1951, the Congress recognized the responsibility of the Federal Government to aid defense. communities in providing the necessary housing and related facilities, such as water supply and sewage-disposal facilities, without which community expansion is impossible.
This has been a necessary aspect of defense policy, since expansion of the Military Establishment and defense production could not move forward without an adequate labor supply, and labor supply in a free society, and especially in peacetime, cannot be attracted to the centers of defense production without the basic necessities of family living.
Fundamental among these basic necessities is a decent place to live, within reasonable distance of the place of employment, at a nonexploitive rent, and supplied with community services which are a normal and accepted part of the American standard of living. Repeatedly in our work we have seen examples of sitations where defense activity was delayed, rendered more costly by reason of heavy labor turnover, or reduced in efficiency by the necessity to utilize labor less skilled than the job properly required because acute housing shortages made it impossible to attract or retain the needed labor supply.
I am sorry Senator Maybank isn't here. I think he has placed in the record in the past a number of excellent statements on the Savannah River projects. I think the difficulties in the atomic area in Paducah are well known in this regard, the labor situation particularly. I might mention, also, just in passing, the problems in Oak Ridge, where persons who live closer than 45 miles from the site can't even get listed for consideration for housing inside the town.
It is obvious from the President's messages to the Congress and from the continuing tension in the world situation that the defense program must continue to utilize a considerable share of our productive capacity. The President's budget message shows 68 cents of every Federal budget dollar going into our national security programs.
Moreover, it is clear from this same message that considerable readjustment in the specific implementation of defense policy must be anticipated as a result of the basic strategic decision to rely more heavily on airpower and nuclear weapons than in the past. The very development of those weapons in itself involves continuing readjustment in military installations and in plant location and expansion.
The Atomic Energy Commission, in its 14th semiannual report, stated that its monthly construction costs would reach "a peak of about $130 million during the early part of 1954. They will then approximate 5 percent of total estimated United States new construction expenditures."
The importance of this to the present discussion is indicated in a recent reply to a UCDS inquiry in which the Atomic Energy Commission stated its policy of relying on nearby communities, aided by such Federal measures as those whose extension we now urge, to meet the housing and related needs of these workers.
I would like to read one sentence from the letter, if I might:
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 815 and 874 to relieve school, housing, and other community facility deficiencies which are attributable to the construction and operation of the atomic-energy plant.
So we have them saying that they are relying on the act, and we have no recommendation either in the advisory committee's report or in the bill which is introduced for continuation of the act.
Our own field representative, working in the vicinity of Pike County, Ohio, a relatively new atomic-energy installation, sends us one example of continuing need when he reports that defense housing construction is now virtually complete, that there are virtually no vacancies in the area, and nearly 10,000 workers still to come.
Another type of continuing dislocation resulting from changes in our military strategy is reported by one of our agencies in terms of an acute situation in the vicinity of Camp Carson, Colo., which has recently been obliged to absorb the personnel of Camp Atterbury, Ind., as a result of the so-called New Look in defense policy. This type of military relocation-and I am not informed as to the reasons for its relocation; I think it is the second time Camp Atterbury has been closed down, and will probably open up again-with its accompanying changes in defense production requirements, is certain to create a continuing pattern of population shift and community dislocation.
In view of these facts, it would seem extremely shortsighted to permit these two basic legislative authorities to expire on June 30, 1954. In view of the difficulty of predicting the exact and detailed nature of defense housing needs in the future or the capacity of private enterprise to meet such unpredictable needs when they arise, it would appear to us to be the better part of wisdom to continue these two authorities-at the very least on a standby basis-as was recommended by the President's Advisory Committee on Government Housing Policies and Programs in respect to Wherry Act military housing under title VIII. It is basic to the very nature of a defense program to be prepared in advance against all possible contingencies.
I might say I have read the testimony of the Department of Defense, and I think everything that is said there is applicable to what I am saying here with respect to housing the families and military personnel.
On the broader front, we recognize that it is fundamental to meeting the special housing needs created by defense adjustments that there should exist sufficient total supply of housing, credit arrangements favorable to adequate and flexible private housing construction or renovation, aids to communities in carrying out their own planning responsibilities, and, where necessary, provision for public housing to meet the otherwise unmet housing needs of low-income groups. To the extent that the President's housing program and the Housing Act of 1954 carry out these objectives, we wish to express our support.
We should like to comment particularly on the value of title VII, providing grants to State, metropolitan, or regional area agencies for metropolitan or regional planning, and to State planning bodies to assist municipalities under 25,000 population in urban planning. It is our own observation that this is one of the most urgent needs of small communities in adjusting to rapid expansion due to defense or other Federal activity.
In one instance of extreme urgency-the Savannah River area-we, ourselves, financed a physical planning survey, but our resources are not adequate for such a function except on a demonstration basis.
In another locality of rapid industrial expansion-Bucks County, Pa. we have had an opportunity to observe the value of Statefinanced planning services.
Problems of incorporation, of zoning, of taxing and property assessment, of districting for various types of services, of physical planning in the extension of roads, water, sewage, and other facilities of related economic and social adjustment are all basic to the orderly development of defense-affected communities. In the long run, a relatively small investment of Federal funds in this type of service will pay large dividends, not cnly in social wellbeing but in the efficiency of the labor supply on which our whole defense program depends.
We should like to urge also that authority be restored to the Housing and Home Finance Agency to conduct research in this matter of community needs and adjustments. Such studies in the past have proved most useful in assisting both communities and Federal defense agencies to make a smooth transition.
Our experience in UCDS has brought home to us very forcibly one characteristic of contemporary American life which bears directly on all aspects of economic, social, and governmental policy, that is, its extreme fluidity. Not only is a high degree of adaptability demanded of our productive machinery in order to maintain our economic health and meet changing needs, including our defense needs, but a high degree of mobility is demanded of our people. Census figures are most revealing on this latter score. For example, it is reported that in the past 3 years 15 million people have changed residence as a result of defense activities. Two-thirds of all adults in most American cities were born somewhere else. About one-third of all adults living in a typical city can be expected to move within the next 10 years.
A logical concomitant of this extensive migration is the rapid change in population distribution with rates of community growth which in some instances reach fantastic proportions. For example, Augusta, Ga., which had 71,500 people in 1950, doubled its population in 1 year; Moses Lake, Wash., doubled in 2 years; Richmond, Calif., has five times as many people as in 1940.
This tremendous mobility of population-and there is every indication that it is going to continue-much of it is caused directly or indirectly by Federal defense policy and activity, and it spotlights three basic points which we should like to make in conclusion with respect to Federal housing policy in general and the pending bill, in particular.
1. It is essential to the national welfare and to the success of the defense effort that the Federal Government assume a positive leadership in aiding both private enterprise and local communities to meet the housing and related needs of this shifting population.
2. It is essential that such a program, while facilitating homeownership for those families whose situation makes this desirable, also recognize that an adequate supply of rental housing is important as a facilitating and equalizing factor in this highly fluid situation.
We are very much in favor of homeownership, but I think we have to face the facts that if you have millions of people moving in any
one year, that a supply of rental housing has to be the answer for them.
3. It is likewise essential to recognize that in some situations where speedy action is essential, or where the particular housing need is temporary-as in the case of construction projects, where the construction force is very large but the permanent force, once the project is completed, is very much smaller-the regular processes of private enterprise and Government may not be adequate to meet the specific need at hand. In view of the unpredictability of future defense developments, the basic importance to their success of a mobile labor supply, and the Federal stake in the successful solution of this problem, we strongly urge the continuation beyond June 30, 1954, of both title IX of the National Housing Act and title III of the Defense Community Facilities and Services Act of 1951.
I should like to say a couple of things in conclusion. While I feel that the best way to deal with the situation in the year ahead is at least to keep the basic statutory authority on a standby basis, even if there are no appropriations, I think we know far too little about the needs of this mobile population, the construction force, and our military people, particularly for temporary housing, and that we ought to take some steps to find out more about it.
The CHAIRMAN. It is on a standby basis, temporary basis, now, isn't it?
Mr. MOORE. I am referring to temporary housing, as differentiated from permanent houses. The fact that you have 26,000 construction workers in Pike County, Ohio, they have to be housed in temporary housing. It is not financially feasible for private enterprise to provide it. People have to have a place to live, or they won't come to work, and you have problems.
I should also like to say that we have a good bit of knowledge of the Territory of Alaska, and while I don't want to say that the specific methods of meeting their housing needs, actual and potential, because of the defense installations up there, is through any one method such as continuing the extension of the special act for Alaska, I think that there should be provision, either through continuation of the Defense Housing Act and the special act. But, our field reports
The CHAIRMAN. We are going to find out why the Housing Administration didn't recommend that.
(The information requested follows:)
CONSIDERATIONS AS TO THE CONTINUED NEED BEYOND JUNE 30, 1954, FOR THE AUTHORITIES IN PUBLIC LAW 139, WITH RESPECT TO DEFENSE HOUSING AND COMMUNITY FACILITIES
I. LIMITED NEED FOR AND USE OF THESE AUTHORITIES DURING FISCAL YEAR 1954 1. Critical defense housing areas.-The provisions of Public Law 139, 81st Congress, in regard to defense housing and community facilities and services can only be applied in localities determined to be critical defense housing areas in accordance with the criteria set forth in this law. In order for an area to be determined to be a critical defense housing area, it must be found that (a) a new defense plant or installation has been or is to be provided, or an existing defense plant or installation has been or is to be reactivated or its operation substantially expanded, (b) a substantial immigration of defense personnel is required to carry on the activity and (c) a substantial shortage of housing exists or impends which impedes or threatens to impede the activity. During fiscal year 1954, only 3 new areas have met these qualifications and been designated critical defense housing areas, as compared with the 229 areas that had
been so designated prior to the beginning of fiscal 1954. Since June 30, 1953, the defense activities in about 10 of these areas have been or are scheduled to be deactivated. In a number of other areas, the number of uniformed personnel and defense workers has been substantially decreased. Thus, a good many of the 232 critical defense housing areas that have been so designated in all probability no longer meet the criteria set forth in the law. At present, it appears that not more than 1 or 2 more areas might qualify for such designation prior to June 30, 1954.
2. Title II of Public Law 139-FHA title IX mortgage insurance for private defense housing.-There have been only 10 private defense housing programs issued under the terms of Public Law 139 since June 30, 1953. These programs total 1,686 housing units. This compares with the total of 95,630 private defense housing units which had been programed under Public Law 139 and were still outstanding as of March 29, 1954.
Since the enactment of Public Law 139 in September 1951 through February 1954 a gross total of 110,908 units have been programed for private construction, and 15,278 units have been canceled out of the programs, leaving a total of 95,630 units still in the private defense-housing programs as of February 28, 1954. About 6,200 units have been canceled since July 1, 1953, and further cancellations of several thousand units are expected to be made before the end of the fiscal year by reason of declining defense-housing needs.
3. Title III of Public Law 139-Government-owned temporary defense housing.-Eleven programs amounting to 1,567 units of public temporary housing have heen issued during fiscal 1954. This compares with a total of 18,971 units which had been programed under title III since the enactment of Public Law 139 in 1951, and 4,533 units which have been canceled or terminated leaving 14,438 public temporary units active as of December 31, 1953. On June 30, 1953, there was a total of 14,199 public temporary units active in the program. During the first 6 months of fiscal 1954, a total of 1,328 units were canceled or terminated, resulting in an increase in the total number of public temporary units active in the program of only 239.
4. Community facilities and services.—As previously indicated, community facilities and services can be provided under the terms of Public Law 139 only in areas that have been determined to be critical defense-housing areas, and only three areas have been so determined since July 1, 1953. It is probable that very little activity in regard to community facilities and services would take place under present conditions. In this regard, when Public Law 139 was extended in 1953, no additional appropriation was made for community facilities and services and the activity that arose during fiscal 1954 has been covered by the small balance remaining from previous appropriations.
II. FUTURE NEED
1. General outlook for defense needs.-Barring unforeseen events, all signs point to a continued gradual decline in new defense installations or other activities which would require new housing or community facilities. The number in the Armed Forces has dropped from about 3,700,000 to less than 3,500,000, and indications are for further decline. A number of Army installations have already been deactivated (e. g., Camp McCoy, Wis., and Camp Roberts, Calif.), and others are in process of deactivation (e. g., Camp Pickett, Va., and Camp Polk, La.).
The presently planned level of industrial defense production is assured without obstacle of labor or housing shortages. There are no longer any areas of acute labor shortage. Housing and labor surpluses exist to a degree in most defense areas, including many which previously had shortages. Most defense minerals have been removed from the "critical" list and no longer warrant special defense production aids. There are probably no areas where defense production is, or is likely to be, impeded by reason of lack of housing.
It is true that adjustments will continue to take place in the Armed Forces which will call for the expansion of some facilities and even activation of new facilities (especially in the Air Forces). It is the view of the Housing Agency that housing requirements in connection with these limited and spotty situations can to a considerable degree be satisfied under the provisions of title VIII of the National Housing Act plus the assistance of other FHA mortgage insurance (title II) and VA guaranties. The authorizations in S. 2938 for increasing mortgage terms under title II of the National Housing Act would make mortgage insurance under that title more favorable to meeting defense needs. Also, the