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Mr. STEWART. It makes a quarter percent difference for it. That is what it makes.
Senator CAPEHART. What would be wrong with writing into this bill that the Government make direct loans at 2.75, or are they guaranteeing loans at 2.75 ?
Mr. STEWART. I think if you did, it would spread the market privately and we would be able to borrow privately at 2.75.
Senator CAPEHART. You might even get more money, if you were going to give direct appropriations.
Mr. STEWART. That is right.
Senator CAPEHART. My observation is that if the committee authorized that the appropriations Senator FULBRIGHT. Let me see if I understand
you saying if the Federal Government guarantees this bond of a State institution which would be tax exempt that then that would make it more desirable? Is that what
mean? Mr. STEWART. I don't think this is of such great advantage to the State institutions, and some of us—and here I am speaking as an individual, not representing the Land-Grant Colleges Association, because you men know that we in the educational field disagree like sin over what money we ought to take from the Federal Government.
I don't feel that the States—if the States really want to go ahead, they have the need—it has been done for so long and can be done elsewhere, can borrow money tax exempt and meet the best terms from the Federal Government; and we are demonstrating it in Indiana, until we come to a 40-year bond. The market privately has not become accustomed to a 40-year obligation, and when I try to sell something beyond 30 years, the answer from the bank is no utility goes longer than 30 years, how can we go longer with you. And so it is the length of time that we need.
Now for the private school—and I am a trustee of a private school, Senator, Hanover College—we can't issue and borrow tax-exempt money, you see.
Now this kind of a bill is extremely important to a school like that, and yet with its history of 125–130 years, we know that is going to continue another hundred years if we have an America.
Now a guarantee at this rate of interest for them would probably do what the State does for us, you see. I think that there is an area in there which the staff should explore.
Senator CAPEHART. Well, I was only asking about the possibility of getting the money quicker and getting the job faster because I think you can do it on guaranties if it will work if you can get the money and sell the bonds as you can on direct appropriation.
Mr. STEWART. That is right. The only way you could would be to get such provision, but I wouldn't make it a provision that you couldn't get these loans direct by loan financing.
Senator CAPEHART. If they can't sell them, then make the direct loans. If they can, make them guarantee them.
Mr. STEWART. That is right, but keep your interest rate not more than 3 percent total cost of the school. That is my judgment as of today.
Senator FULBRIGHT. Thank you very much.
Senator FULBRIGHT. The next witness is Eleanor M. Hadley, American Association of Social Workers.
Pardon me. Mr. Stewart, did you read your full statement into the record or not?
Mr. STEWART. Yes. I think you have a copy.
Senator FULBRIGHT. Miss Hadley, we are very pleased to have you. Would you proceed in your own way.
Slum clearance and urban renewal
STATEMENT OF MISS ELEANOR M. HADLEY, ON BEHALF OF
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS
Miss HADLEY. Thank you.
I am Eleanor M. Hadley, Washington representative of the American Association of Social Workers, and would like to discuss with you three of the bills before your committee, S. 1800 and S. 1412, and S. 1642, which is a change of subject matter from the preceding witnesses this morning.
There are four problems that we of the American Association of Social Workers would particularly like to call to the attention of this committee: housing for low-income groups, for minority groups, for the aged, and for migrant agricultural workers.
The statement that every American family is entitled to a decent home has been mouthed so many times that it has rather lost its meaning. We fail to realize what its attainment would imply. The President in his housing message last year stated a decent home for every American family was his goal. But, frankly, we see very little being done to bring about this state of affairs.
We would like to call to your attention that 30 percent of American families have incomes under $3,000 a year, that is to say, 15 million families. Additionally, large numbers of families are in the minority group.
When we look at the Administration's program for dealing with low-income and minority housing, we note that it centers on slum clearance and urban renewal, on low-cost ownership housing and on voluntary mortgage credit.
We have looked with particular interest and hope to see favorable results from this program, and it would give us very great pleasure if we could come here today and report that we have been able to see some perceptible progress, but frankly we haven't seen any progress at all, and it is our feeling, our impression from direct observations, which is borne out by the statistical record which I cite at the bottom of page 3 of my testimony that very little has happened for low income families or families among minority groups. There have only been 20 programs under the slum clearance and urban renewal; only 142 units in 2 projects under public housing have gone under loan and annular contribution contract under the 1954 act, that with respect to rehabilitation of existing dwellings there have been but 7 applications and no loans, that on low-cost ownership housing not a single application has been made. The President in his message last year said that "the successful development of this program will afford a much greater proportion of our lower income families
an opportunity to own or rent a suitable home.” We note further that with respect to the voluntary home mortgage credit association that there have been but 85 loans under it.
I think that if this committee were to send interrogators around and ask persons living in the slum areas of the United States whether or not they have been able to perceive a difference in the programs of the Government this past year toward more adequate housing for all families, the question would be astounding to them.
The Chicago chapter of our association has sent in material to our Washington office with the comment that
In our opinion as social workers dealing with many of the problems arising from poor housing the Government, city, and State programs offer practically nothing. Private housing concerns have built private dwellings which do not meet the need of most low wage earners. The average wage earner cannot qualify for public housing and he lives in substandard housing as a rule. There is then a tendency to use public housing for those people who are practically or actually indigent.
When one is outside a program and without the responsibility of it, it is easy to sit and criticize, and if we felt that the Housing Act of 1954 with the very restricted amendments which are being made before this committee and embodied in S. 1800 were even trending in the direction that we want to go, we wouldn't speak out. But frankly we don't think that the amendments contained in S. 1800 are any more than the mildest of amelioratory amendments and are not in the least likely to bring about that which the President has enunciated as the housing goal of this country. Public housing
It is not because we are unalterably wedded to public housing that we ask this committee to give serious consideration to a greatly enlarged public housing program. It is because to date, so far as we have been able to perceive, this is the one way of bringing housing to the lowest income families of the United States, and we would like this committee to consider recommending a program of 400,000 units of public housing a year or minimally, certainly, at least 200,000, which in 1949, Senator Taft was willing to cosponsor.
We would like this committee to do some very real thinking on how housing can be provided minority groups. We are impressed with the trend to suburbia the country over, that suburbia is white, and that while we are making an effort to get under way renewal programs in the core of our cities, that when these areas do get renewed the persons who occupy the renewed portions are for the most part persons of white skin.
We would like to comment on the two bills on housing for older persons before the committee, Senator Magnuson's and Senator Sparkman's. Housing for elderly and single persons
We commend both Senator Magnuson and Senator Sparkman for avoiding segregating older people off into separate, individual projects. We doubt whether Senator Magnuson's bill will provide much housing, however, inasmuch as he puts in the qualification that older people will not displace eligible families. In view of the waiting lines in most cities of the country for public housing projects we doubt that very many older persons would get housed in this circumstance.
With respect to Senator Sparkman's bill, we like his naming a unit figure. Fifty thousand is good as a start for units to be built for persons over 60. But we naturally feel that in selecting the figure of 50,000 that Senator Sparkman certainly has in mind recommending an increase in the number of units which would be available for all other families in public housing for certainly 50,000 for older persons and 35,000 for all other American families would be a disproportionate relationship there.
We would like to call to the attention of the members of this committee a survey done in Nevada which we think might be of interest in connection with the two bills on housing for older persons. The survey is entitled "A survey to determine the housing needs of old age assistance recipients in Nevada," and is dated in December 1952.
I would like to quote from a member of our association in Nevada on the problem of housing for older persons there. She comments ;
The need for adequate low-cost housing for aged persons is particularly acute in Reno and Las Vegas. We are concerned particularly about recipients of old-age assistance in Las Vegas where the going rental for a single apartment is at least $80 a month. This is out of reach of the average recipient in view of the maximum old-age payment of $65 a month.
Senator FULBRIGHT. Why did you happen to pick Las Vegas? Is that a typical community of this country?
Miss HADLEY. No, Senator. We were not doing a comprehensive survey of the country, but simply taking one of our Western States and Las Vegas is one of the centers of that State where a member had written into the Washington office on the problems that they were meeting there.
Senator FULBRIGHT. Normally, you would use a community that is an average community to illustrate a point. I wondered why you took Las Vegas. I have never been to Las Vegas, but I have heard about it.
Miss HADLEY. Simply because the members of our association are finding this a particularly severe problem there.
Senator FULBRIGHT. Wouldn't you expect to find rents in Las Vegas very much higher than any place else in that whole area? You wouldn't take Palm Beach, would you, to use as an illustration where à poor man might live if he came on the east coast? I just wondered. It seemed to me ridiculous to use Las Vegas as an example for the need of low-income housing. Doesn't that strike you as unusual or do you know Las Vegas! ?
Miss HADLEY. I am not intimately acquainted. But, as I say, we don't bring it to you as a representative example of the United States. We simply bring it to you as a problem of some of the members of our association who are in that State and are finding it particularly difficult.
Senator FULBRIGHT. Well, it has problems, but not housing problems, I imagine.
Miss HADLEY. We would also like to urge that this committee consider including in a housing bill a recommendation for the home-base housing of migrant agricultural workers who have long been desperately in need of some sort of housing program and are continually pushed to the side.
In view of the reservations which we have with respect to S. 1800, it is the hope of the American Association of Social Workers that this committee will make a reexamination of the housing situation and propose a program which is much more likely to meet the housing needs of this country.
I wonder, Senator, if I may have the statement put in following my remarks?
Senator FULBRIGHT. Yes, indeed. Miss HADLEY. Thank you. Senator FULBRIGHT. Thank you very much, Miss Hadley. (The prepared statement of Miss Hadley follows:) Decent housing for all American families is a phrase which has been parroted so many times since passage of that landmark in housing legislation, the Housing Act of 1949, that it has lost the nobility of original expression. When we say it, we do not pause to think what a new world it would bring into being for the 30 percent of the families of the United States whose income is under $3,000 a year. A small proportion of such families are adequately housed, but the great majority are not. In our largest urban areas, they live, like as not, packed into walk-up apartments jammed one against the other with clotheslines strung from window to window and the kids in the streets. I am sure every member of this committee has within the last few years taken the suburban Westchester train from Grand Central Station in New York. I cannot take that train and look at the housing through which one first passes on one's way to Scarsdale without thinking of the shame that we do not make greater effort to help such citizens to live in decent housing. With the magnificent abundance of this economy, it is not that we are incapable of producing decent housing. It is that we do not care enough about how some 15 millions of American families live to do anything about it. The wretched housing that is all too evident in ity after city across this country-Boston, New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles—is a testament to the indifference of past and present administrations and Congresses on how the less-advantaged members of our Nation live.
The reason we say it is testimony to the indifference of past and present Administrations and Congresses is that it has long been evident, due to various peculiarities of the housing market, that the forces of the market of their own accord do not produce housing for all income groups. This is in sharp contrast to other sectors of the American economy which are distinctive throughout the world for their ability to produce for all income groups. It is one of the wonderful things about our clothing industry, for example, that it serves—and with great imagination—all American families. Everyone has the opportunity to be well dressed. But not all families have the opportunity to be well housed : The “products” of the housing industry are sharply skewed to upper-income families. It is not the function of the social work profession to spell out the why of the housing market peculiarities. This belongs to economists and representatives of the trade. The role of the social work profession is to call your attention to the existing situation, to remind you that millions of Americans are not enjoying the opportunities which a year ago the President in his housing message said should be theirs, and to report that we can see no evidence in current Federal housing programs that good housing is “a major objective of national policy.”
In the light of the past year, we find it astonishing that the Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency can term the Housing Act of 1954 "sound and constructive” and hold that all that is necessary to get the ball rolling are a few amendatory provisions of items overly restrictive. We would like to know what has become of the President's noble and inspiring goals enunciated January 25, 1954? As social workers we are eager to see the President's words translated into action; we are eager to see them be something other than decorative language.
Let's take a quick look at certain tough parts of the housing picturehousing for low- and lower-middle-income families and housing for minority groups. In submitting its legislative proposals last year, the administration clearly saw both these problems to be “problems.” What were its legislative proposals ? Slum clearance and urban renewal were the programs it chose to emphasize in an effort to provide decent housing for all American families. A new program of low-cost