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Senator SPARKMAN. Yes, indeed.
Senator CAPEHART. Is Mayor Mead here?
Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir; he is here.

Gentlemen, it's a great privilege to be able to appear before your committee on a matter which the mayors of our larger urban areas consider to be of very great importance indeed. With your permission I should like to file a formal statement which

a I am making on behalf of the American Municipal Association, of which I am currently vice president, and in the interests of conserving time for the committee I will attempt to summarize it more briefly.

Senator SPARKMAN. We should be very glad to include the statement in full in the record.

Mr. CLARK. Thank you very much, sir. (The material referred to follows:)



My name is Joseph S. Clark, Jr., and I am here today in a dual capacityas a representative of the American Municipal Association and as the mayor of Philadelphia.

I should like to speak first for the AMA, of which I am currently vice president. The association officially represents 12,000 municipalities in the United States. It is the national federation of 44 State leagues of municipalities, covering 80 to 90 percent of the Nation's urban population.

At its December 1954 meeting the AMA expressed, in resolution form, its basic concern with three broad phases of this urgent problem of urban housing. I should like permission to file that resolution as part of this record. (The resolution is attached.) Mayor Meade, of Syracuse, will express our views on the pressing need of cities for Federal aid in clearing and redeveloping slums. The association also called on Congress “to adopt legislation in the coming session authorizing the construction of 200,000 low-rent public housing units, the maximum permitted under the 1949 act," and urged that “legislative steps be taken by Congress to encourage construction of new homes to meet the needs of families in the middle-income brackets ($3,000-$5,000 per year), providing, if necessary, Government aid to reduce the financing costs of the home purchaser.”

Clearly decent shelter for low- and middle-income families represents the key unmet housing need which we face today. We have been fortunate, in this country of ours, in that the postwar years have brought a steady, and singularly rapid, upswing in the income of our people. Figures recently released by the United States Department of Commerce reveal the extent of this rise, and the remarkable fact that average nonfarm family income is now estimated preliminary to be above the $6,000 level. This is indeed a tribute to the country's capacity for growth. But it must not obscure the hard fact implicit in the figures: 15 percent of our nonfarm families still earn less than $3,000 each year and another 31 percent earn less than $5,000—and generally cannot, therefore, pay the going prices for adequate sales or rental housing. This means that a potential of 16 million American families and 8 million more individuals in search of adequate shelter are presently without the means of obtaining it.

Back in 1949, we extended, to each of these families as well as their more prosperous neighbors, the hope of decent housing-homes commensurate with the American standard of living. We stated it to be our national policy that the Government would, within reason, help those who wished to buy homes to do so; that it would help, within reason, make good, new apartments available to those who preferred to rent; that, for those whose income was too meager even with reasonable Government help to secure adequate shelter on the private market, subsidized housing at low rents within their means would be provided. But these were mainly small dwellings, soon to become inadequate for the needs of growing families. And, by the end of 1950, the new homes being built were already beginning to be once more of a kind beyond the price range possible for this group—a situation which has remained unaltered to this day. In the field of rental housing, we did succeed in getting some construction—but few were the cities where the new apartments were not in the luxury class, also beyond the scope of the families with the greatest need. As for low-rent public housing, the record speaks for itself. The considered judgment of Congress in 1949 was. that we would need at least 135,000 such units a year and that it might be necessary to raise that figure to 200,000. It has been 6 years since that date. We should now have a minimum of 810,000 low-rent dwellings built under the 1949 act. Only 350,000 have even been authorized, let alone built.

That's what the Congress said in 1949. And how has this promise been executed? Well, for a brief while, the combined efforts of the Government and the construction industry did bring new homes within the reach of middleincome families and a number of them attained the proud status of homeowner.

1 Income Distribution in the United States, by Size, 1950-53, Office of Business Economics, U. S. Department of Commerce, Washington, 1955.

That, then, is what we have accomplished in 6 years. I wish I could feel that the slums had made as little progress! But houses go on deteriorating, families go on living in crowded, inadequate conditions, juvenile delinquency and crime go on increasing—and American youngsters grow up, marry, and start their own families without ever learning what a good home is like.

The long list of municipal difficulties which hinge on bad housing has been frequently detailed. Until this underlying problem has been solved, the municipalities the country over cannot hope to remedy these difficulties and create the healthy communities for which American standards call and to which each of our citizens is entitled. I cannot urge too strongly that serious consideration be given to both these AMA recommendations. Every available Federal tool should be used in the effort to bring good housing within the range of middle-income families, and, as far behind schedule as we are, a full 200,000 low-rent public housing units a year would be none too much.


PHIA, 31ST AMERICAN MUNICIPAL CONGRESS, NOVEMBER 28, 1954 Whereas the need for decent homes in suitable living environments is far from being met for American families; and

Whereas each year more dwellings are being added to the 10 million nonfarm units found substandard by the 1950 census; and

Whereas the private construction industry is still unable to provide decent shelter for low-income groups and a significant portion of our middle-income families; and

Whereas as recognized by President Eisenhower's Advisory Committee on Government Housing Policies and Programs, local governments which function under limited taxing powers are not in a position to provide the fiscal aid necessary; and

Whereas the Housing Act of 1954 ignored the Federal Government's responsibility for low-rent public housing and increased slum clearance in line with the 1949 act; and

Whereas only 350,000 of the 810,000 (only 43 percent) low-rent public housing units have been authorized in the 6 years stipulated in the act of 1949: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That Congress be petitioned by the American Municipal Association to adopt legislation in the coming season authorizing the construction of 200,000 low-rent public housing units, the maximum permitted under the 1949 act; and be it further

Resolved, That increased Federal financial aid be given to municipalities for slum clearance and redevelopment, particularly in those areas where the maximum has already been allotted under the original $500 million appropriation in the 1949 act; and be it further

Resolved, That legislative steps be taken by Congress to encourage construction of new homes to meet the needs of families in the middle-income brackets ($3,000-$5,000 per year), providing, if necessary, Government aid to reduce the financing costs of the home purchaser; and be it further

Resolved, That the American Municipal Association call upon State governments to supplement Federal aid in the above fields.

Mr. CLARK. The American Municipal Association officially represents 12,000 municipalities in the United States, and is the federation of 44 leagues of municipalities. We believe that our association covers between 80 to 90 percent of the Nation's urban population.

We have been very much concerned in the association for a number of years with respect to the problem of urban shelter in general, and there have been many discussions in committee meetings dealing with that problem ever since I have had any connection with the association, and before that.

As a result of a rather extensive discussion of the problem at the annual convention last December, which was held in Philadelphia, a resolution was adopted which appears on the last 2 pages of my statement here, which I should like to summarize quite briefly.

It recites the appalling need for decent homes in suitable living environments for so many American families, and points out that as far back as 1950 there were 10 million nonfarm units which were found substandard. We don't know how many more there are now but we do know there are more because urban blight is proceeding faster practically everywhere and we haven't been able to check it.

We point out the private construction industry is unable to provide decent shelter for low-income and middle-income families. We define, sir, the middle-income family as being one that has an income of between $3.000 and $5,000 a year.

We refer to the report of the President's Committee and point out that from that Committee it was fairly clear the municipalities of the country could not from their own tax resources possibly solve this problem without having substantial aid from the Federal Government and perhaps from States; that of the public housing units authorized under the Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill, the Housing Act of 1949, only 350,000 have been authorized, and a substantially lower number built. We urge upon the Congress the substitution of a limit of 200,000 public housing units a year authorization for the 35,000 limit which is contained in the Housing Act of 1954, and for the 70,000 at the rate of 35,000 a year, which is proposed in the amendments of the Housing Act now pending before your committee.

We also urge there should be another $500 million appropriated for urban renewal, and Mayor Mead will speak with respect to that point.

We feel that the key to the shelter problem in our cities in the country today is, you take care of about 16 percent of our American families, 24 million families, if you think in terms of family income of $5,000 or less a year, another 6 million families if we think in terms of $6,000 a year or less, who are at the moment quite incapable of finding appropriate shelter through houses which they can buy or rent on the private market, even with the assistance of substantially liberal mortgage and financing aids which are provided by existing Federal legislation.

We would like to point out that back in 1949 the Congress, in the Housing Act of that year, gave the municipalities reason to hope that this problem was on the way to solution, but whether it was the Korean war or change in the position of the Congress, or whatever the reason may be, those hopes have not been realized, and the homes which began to be built before 1950, which might have taken up, through the help of private industry, a large part of this new need, are now being built beyond the price range of that 46 percent of American families which need it most.

So in conclusion, with respect to the part of my testimony on behalf of the American Municipal Association, we would like to urge a rein

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statement of an authorization of 200,000 units a year for public housing, and that measures should be taken in other lines, which I will discuss in detail with the Philadelphia problem, for the need of 46 percent of American families who have incomes of $5,000 a year

I think it's of some significance to recall to your committee, which I am sure you do know, that with the Federal Government taking almost 75 cents of our local tax dollar, the State governments taking nearly 12 cents more, we just don't have, out of the remaining 13.6 cents which is available to local governments, the funds to do more than to make the type of contribution toward the solution of the urban problem which we are now called upon to make in connection with the urban-redevelopment problem where we put up $1 for every $3, and in connection with the public-housing problem where we are required to give up our taxes to make our contribution in terms of utilities and to take back' a payment, not based on a tax basis, which is usually somewhat smaller.

I would like to yield at this moment to Mayor Mead, who will make a further presentation on behalf of the American Muncipal Association.

Senator LEHMAN. May I say how pleased I am to welcome Mayor Mead to this hearing. Mayor Mead is the head of one of our great cities in New York State.

Mr. Mead. Thank you, very much, Senator. It's a great privilege to be here.

Senator SPARKMAN. Mayor Mead, before you start I want to comment on just one thing Mayor Clark brought out. You referred to the public-housing provision in the Housing Act of 1949. We established at that time a 6-year program contemplating within that time 810,000 units. Do you know how many of those 810,000 have been obtained ?

Mr. CLARK. 350,000 have been authorized. I am not sure how many have been built.

Senator SPARKMAN. As a matter of fact, I am of the opinion it's less than that. I was under the impression it was about 200,000.

Mr. CLARK. My guess, Senator, is that is correct. That is what we have actually got. There are some more authorized but not yet built.

Senator SPARKMAN. All right, Mayor Mead. Slum clearance and urban renewal.




Mr. MEAD. I am Donald H. Mead, mayor of the city of Syracuse, N. Y., and a member of the executive committee of the American Municipal Association, which represents 12,000 municipalities across the Nation. I am speaking to you today in behalf of thai association. I am accompanied by my executive secretary, Mr. Richard F. Torrey, and by Mr. Sergei Grimm, executive director of the Syracuse Planning Commission and secretary of our redevelopment committee.

Last year, I had the honor of representing the American Municipal Association in testimony on the Housing Act of 1954. Even at that

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time, with only a few months service as mayor, I could appreciate the importance of urban renewal legislation. Now, a year later, I am in a position to discuss urban renewal on the basis of some actual experience and with much greater feeling. I hasten to admit, however, that I do not even now consider myself an expert in the field.

Those of us who are operating city officials recognize the immensity of the problem of blighted areas and slums in our communities—as I am sure you do, also. We have inherited the fruits of decades of neglect. We are trying now to reverse the trend.

We appreciate the help of the Federal Government. But to be perfectly honest we need more of it. Municipal finances are stretched to a breaking point. We are still trying to catch up from the war years in new schools and public improvements.

It has been said, you know, that all governments are fishing in the same taxpayers' pond—the Federal Government fishes with a net; the State governments with a hook and line, and the municipal governments with a bent pin.

Be that as it may, the job of clearing slums and redeveloping the land is expensive.

Let's look at the report of the President's Advisory Committee on Public Housing which was released in December 1953. The committee in its investigations and deliberations learned that there are at least 5 million dwelling units which should be demolished in the slum areas of our Nation's cities.

Indications were, the committee said, that the cost of eliminating each unit would be about $3,000—the Federal share of that being $2.000.

Now, with 5 million units to be cleared—and assuming that our communities are able to hold the line against the spread of slum areas—the total cost of clearance would be about $15 billion. At the present ratio, that would mean a Federal share of $10 billion.

Under the present law, with an authorization of $100 million a year, it would take our cities 100 years to wipe out slums.

So you can see why the American Municipal Association is strongly in favor of increasing the amount of authorized Federal grants-inaid from $100 million to $200 million per year as proposed by the administration.

Even with the doubled authorization, it would take an estimated 50 years to do the job and-again assuming we are able to hold the line against the spread of slums—we would have to look forward to the year 2005 to complete the job.

This being the case it would be very important to retain the provision in existing law for authorization of an additional $100 million to be used by the Urban Renewal Administration at the discretion of the President.

I might also mention that the President's Advisory Committee said that 15 million dwelling units are in need of rehabilitation at an average cost of $600 each to accomplish the task. This means that $9 billion must be spent to develop our conservation areas and to prevent the growth of our blighted-housing areas.

Perhaps you should know how our people feel about slum clearance. Recently we tried to get State legislation which would have made it easier for us to carry out a large-scale urban renewal program. We appealed to municipal officials and citizens' groups throughout the

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