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A comprehensive suggestion for providing a remedy was submitted to Raymond Foley, Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency on January 11, 1952. Mr. Foley and his aides took the suggestions under advisement. Nothing was done to correct the problem.

When the new Administrator took office, our organization met with him on March 15, 1953, to discuss the problem and to make recommendations for correction. During that year, we had additional meetings with the Administrator on May 7 and July 22. It is significant that in the July 22 meeting seven major national organizations also urged the Administrator to act on this problem.

When the President sent his housing message to Congress on January 25, 1954, it contained a reference to the problem of minorities in the housing field as well as a promise that something would be done about it. Questions on what would be done have been raised with the President from time to time by various organizations, including the NAACP.

On April 7, 1954, Miss Ethel Payne, Washington correspondent of the Chicago Defender, asked the President in his press conference what was being done to implement the promise of his January 25 message. At that time, he said he would look into the matter. On May 5, 1954, the same reporter asked what had been learned when he “looked into the matter," and the President suggested that she check with the housing agencies for her answer.

The New York Times of August 5, 1954, carried this version of what the President said at his press conference on the previous day when he was asked about minority housing policies :

"He had tried as hard as he knew how to have accepted this idea, that where Federal funds and Federal authority were involved, that there should be no discrimination based on any reason that was not recognized by our Constitution. He would continue to do that."

On August 11, 1954, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers asked President Eisenhower to instruct Government housing agencies to revise their policies so that Government assisted housing would be open to all qualified persons without regard to race.

As is usually the case, when Government agencies are confronted with mounting displeasure from people who are the victims of an injustice, the Housing and Home Finance Agency has chiefly relied upon high-sounding conferences to sidetrack efforts to obtain basic correction.

One such conference was held by the Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency on December 9 and 10, 1954. More than 40 leading organizations of the country were represented at that conference. The overwhelming majority of those present subscribed to these recommendations which were proposed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The role of Government in the national economy is to maintain a free and competitive market. To fulfill this function in the field of housing, the Government must require that builders, lenders, and any others who receive Federal aid of any kind for housing programs agree that renters or buyers will not be denied such housing on the basis of race. This condition must apply to all Federal housing activities. This policy will require the following:

1. All public housing must be open to tenants without regard to race. There will be no more white and colored projects. Tenant selection will be made on the basis of need for housing rather than on the basis of race.

2. There will be a contractural requirement that all housing and other facilities such as parks, playgrounds or hospitals erected or developed on land assembled through loans or grants under the slum clearance and urban redevelopment program and the urban renewal program would be open to all renters, buyers, or users without regard to race.

3. On all housing on which there is FHA insurance or VA guaranty or a commitment for such insurance or guaranty, there shall be a contractual agreement binding on those who own the property or control the sale or rental of such property that there shall be no discrimination against persons seeking to lease, rent or purchase such property on account of race, creed, color or national origin.

We believe that the above position is the only honorable and legal position that the Federal Government can take in this matter. It is also in line with President Eisenhower's policy of not permitting Federal funds to be used to promote racial discrimination.

At that time, the HHFA promised that in the near future there would be some action on the problem. To date, the chief action taken by HHFA is to endorse and support a program of segregated housing sponsored by the National

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Association of Home Builders. The home builders have announced that they would attempt to set aside 10 percent of their new housing for minority group occupancy. In the fine print, however, the National Association of Home Builders has made it clear that this 10 percent will be built on suitable sites. In other words, this housing will not only be segregated, but it will also be built on land that nobody else wants. This usually means that it will be close to a rendering plant, the city dump, or an abandoned graveyard.

The Housing and Home Finance Agency has given a great deal of publicity to the so-called voluntary home mortgage credit program. Members of this committee will remember that in the 83d Congress this same problem was presented as it had been in previous Congresses. At that time, the Administrator of HHFA quite properly went on record as opposing any program which would give any special treatment to colored people, but he also clearly indicated that the HHFA would wink at the special mistreatment accorded the colored homeseeker. He pledged that if voluntary efforts to solve the housing problem of colored people failed to produce results his Agency would explore other means of making funds available for minority group housing. He did not promise that he would require lenders, builders, and others who benefit from the Federal program to open new housing to all without regard to race.

This is a very late date in the history of the human race to have a great Nation such as ours set up special programs for one group of citizens. If the suggestions recommended at the December 9 and 10 conference were now in effect, the greatest part of the housing problem would be behind us.

The trouble with HHFA is that it does not want a proper solution to the problem. The real purpose of calling conferences such as that held in December and the forthcoming meeting of lenders and real-estate men is to try to get some endorsement of a program for segregated housing.

We believe that legislation which will provide additional public housing units which will help to clear the slums and which will make housing available to the thousands of people who need it should be passed by Congress. But we also believe that this legislation should contain proper safeguards so that not one penny of Federal money will be used for housing that will be segregated on the basis of race.

We point out that blame for failure to include this proposal cannot be laid at the door of the South. On the full committee are two Senators from New York, one from Illinois, one from Delaware, one from Oregon, one from Indiana, one from Connecticut, one from Ohio, one from Utah, one from Maryland, and one from Maine. Thus, on this 15-man committee, 11 members come from the North.

Therefore, we urge that the following amendment be incorporated in whatever bill is reported out by this committee:

"The aids and powers made available under the several titles of this act are not to be conditioned or limited in any way on account of race, religion, or national origin of builders, lenders, renters, buyers, or families to be benefited.”

Senator SPARK MAN. Next we have the National Conference of Catholic Charities, the Right Reverend Monsignor John O'Grady. Monsignor O'Grady, we used to have you with us rather often. It has been some time since I have seen you in these parts. We welcome

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Public housing



Monsignor O’GRADY. It gives me great pleasure to have the opportunity to appear once more before this committee and tell you some of my old stories. One of the things I hoped for in the 1954 amendments was that we might be brought face to face with the housing realities in various cities of the United States and that we could come to see clearly that without more housing and without more public housing, and without more middle-income housing it would be im


possible for us to go ahead with all of these vast public improvements that were envisaged in the amendments to title I; and that that would really wreck our cities.

That was what would probably happen. It would wreck a city like Chicago, or Detroit, or Pittsburgh, or any one of the other large cities in which I have had an opportunity of operating, not simply on a theoretical basis but on a local neighborhood basis.

I hoped and contended and made a statement, which was published in Detroit in the newspapers there, and was in controversy immediately with the mayor and officials of the city of Detroit. I had claimed what they were doing in the city of Detroit in the way of public improvements was spreading more and more blight. I still make that same statement about Detroit. I must say in deference to the administration and to Mr. Cole and his subalterns that he held up Detroit for a considerable period of time in this last year because we kept on pointing and saying, “here is an area where blight has been spread by these public improvements.” It was a question of facts and we had the facts with regard to those cities, although it is very difficult to get them.

For instance, in one city I made a statement about what was happening in Pittsburgh. Some of the newspaper boys said, "we are sorry, we cannot publish your statement in its entirety. There is too much of an investment in this program and in these public improvements, so we cannot publish that statement. We would like to publish it. We agree with you, but we have all of these public improvements and people are very jittery about them. There is a large capital investment.”

That is one element of the many elements that are making this program confusing. I am appalled by the confusion and our inability to clarify it and clear up the issues locally. Planners are going ahead with these vast programs. Forward-looking city administrations are going ahead with them without reckoning with the fact that they are not meeting the housing problem.

Our good friend Congressman Wolcott said—and I will say in all clue deference to him that I respect him in many ways-we had just about made an end to public housing in a short time. If that is what we have done then we ought to be able to face the need. How will we provide these improvements and provide housing! There is not a hope of providing it. If you eliminate that there is not a hope of providing any housing for the minority groups he talks about and in which We are all interested.

As a student of African affairs I am naturally interested in racial relations in the United States also. I have worked in local neighborhoods in Chicago in order to try to struggle for integrated neighborhoods, but I see what is happening. They are pushed more and more into these crowded areas. That is what is happening all over the country, I am afraid, in all these redevelopment programs. I do not know whether there is any hope.

I had hoped that those who were advocating and promoting these programs might stop, look, and listen to see what was happening to the housing supply. I have seen in city after city that they have a constantly bad situation on the supply of houses. They give me overall figures. Overall figures do not prove anything to me about this


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neighborhood in Chicago, or this one here out of which 1,200 families will be cleared immediately. It does not tell me a thing.

They tell me about all of these housing units which have been built in that city but they are entirely in the upper income groups. The houses I have seen under construction and those which are finished in the past year, have been designed for middle-income groups.

I spent almost 2 days with the President's Committee on Housing and discussed city after city with them, and discussed what they are going to substitute for public housing. I said I would be glad to endorse any constructive substitute. That is what I have been saying since I have been associated with the beginning of this movement. Many times, I think the late Senator Taft said the same thing and I said it to him many times.

I said I would be willing to abandon my indorsement of public housing if anybody can provide a substitute. Here they come along with all of these reckless statements about its relationship to delinquency. I have certainly given as much atention to delinquency locally as probably almost anybody because I have been in these turbulent neighborhoods.

I do not see how any person who has a constructive point of view and believes we should proceed in a democracy on the basis of careful analysis, can believe that by citing a few figures in regard to Houston, Tex., that that is an argument for their contention that public housing is contributing to the spread of delinquency in the United States. I have been in as many public housing projects as anybody else. Here and there some of them are poorly administered. I will have to say that.

Of course, we have been pushed more and more by the talks on the floor of the United States Senate into the position of taking care of the very lowest-income families. I never thought we would get to the point of taking care of very low-income families. But even with that I do not believe one can establish a case for the statement made by the representative of the real estate boards that public housing is contributing and is an important factor in juvenile delinquency in the United States,

That is a careless and reckless and an irresponsible statement in my judgment. I do hope that this committee can face the facts in regard to public housing. It is practically gone at the present time. I think contracts have been signed for 242 units, as I remember it, last year. And before the authorization expires on July 1, I believe they are hoping against hope they may get 10,000 or 12,000 or 15,000 units, and may get agreements in respect to annual contributions and loans.

It is possible they may be able to get a number for New York City and from Puerto Rico, but I do not see much hope of getting any further contracts throughout the country that will have any large influence on this whole housing program. Even if this proposed amendment is adopted and we get 70,000 units for the next 2 vears and then we make a gesture toward not limiting it to those whose houses are being torn down, you see, before they can find admission to public housing, it does make a slight improvement. These present amendments of yours make a slight improvement in that, but not very much.

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Senator SPARKMAN. I think you will agree with this: What they do is to remove those restrictions that prevented anything from being done during the present year, and make it possible to have the 70,000 plus the carryover for this year carried out during the next 2 years. Monsignor OʻGRADY. I think it is an improvement.

Senator SPARKMAN. But what you mean is it does not actually attack the problem in the manner in which it was contemplated in the act of 1949 when it was passed ?

Monsignor OʻGRADY. That is right. In other words, with this displacement in these various cities. For instance, you have this project in Hyde Park in Chicago of 1,200 families which are to be moved out very soon. I have seen that in city after city. And where do these families go? Of course, they keep on telling me, some of the public-housing people keep on confusing me and saying that we have an adequate housing supply. I suppose they might have for another year because they have some of the old projects on which they are still working. I think you will find in some cities you have these older projects. I agree with you, Senator. It is an improvement. I have been asso

, ciated with the National Housing Conference since its foundation and happen to be one of its founders, and I agree with its policy that we ought to return to the 1949 act, if we are going to meet the need for families that are living in slums. My own experience is that the slum conditions are much worse than they have been. Overcrowding is great and the fire hazards are very great. I know many of the cities in which if all the fires that occurred were reported, that would amount to a public scandal.

But nobody seems to be interested. You cannot raise too many questions in these cities. They say, “You will destroy our great public improvement programs here." But I have to keep on asking, "What are you going to do about housing and what are you going to do about housing programs?” In the northern cities today public housing is regarded as minority housing. I am not too much concerned about that. I want to say that these folks have the same right to be housed as any of us have. No matter what the olor of a man's skin I still think he is a man for all that. I regard him as my equal anyhow and I think he has the same rights I have to be properly housed, and I will certainly work for that objective.

Of course, sections 220 and 221 have never gotten off the ground. I am afraid that FHA, due to your studies last year and the long inquiry you made into section 608 and the fabulous fortunes that were made on section 608, has become more conservative. I had been hoping they might be able to give some higher values and would be able to get these sections 220 and 221 under way. I felt possibly that was a hope. But now I am not so sure, with the present mentality of FHA and with their very low values, which is a reaction against their behavior in the past. I do not know how we are going to get any middle-income housing here.

In cooperative housing I supported the original bill on that which this committee also supported. I am still in favor of it and am still in favor of these long-term loans. I am in favor of every effort made by the CIO and A. F. of L., and everybody else to get some middleincome housing. I think we are inevitably going to have serious

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