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word, but it is the only one I can think of at the moment-all the necessary items which would go to make a house livable. It has a bathroom and has a sink in the kitchen and has a stove and refrigera

a tor, in many instances, but there are other little thing that a housewife likes to put into her home, and she just would like to have this opportunity, I am sure, to be able to do that and not wait 6 months to do it.

Senator SPARKMAN. Mr. Nichols, I wonder if I might suggest to you that the rest of your statement be placed in the record. I realize a lot of your time has been taken up with questions.

Mr. NICHOLS. I have just a few paragraphs.
Senator SPARKMAN. All right, go ahead.

Mr. NICHOLS. I would like very much to. It is a very big industry I am representing. I would just like to have my full 15 minutes, if I

Senator SPARKMAN. Here is our situation
Mr. NICHOLS. I understand, sir.

Senator SPARKMAN. We must close these hearings at 12 o'clock, and this ends the hearings on housing.

Mr. NICHOLS. One of the witnesses this morning had 30 minutes.

Senator SPARKMAN. I should have explained that there were two witnesses, according to our list, and you notice the second one placed his statement in the record. That was agreed to. But you go ahead.

Mr. NICHOLS. My statement will answer the Senator's last question.

Senator SPARKMAN. I realize there has been a great deal of questioning

Mr. NICHOLS. I just want to say that the adoption of the 6 months' occupancy clause in the National Housing Act of 1954 has played into the hands of the unscrupulous contractor. Particularly it has helped the “bait” advertiser, and he is the guy who makes an alluring offer to sell something which he does not actually intend to sell, tries not to sell, or deliberately avoids selling. This “bait” advertiser has re

" placed the “dynamiter,” which is the word that was bandied around a year ago about this time in the Capehart investigation.

He has no trouble getting financing. He turns to the private bank plans in the metropolitan centers where he mostly operates. His bank has no requirement that a new owner occupy the home 6 months before installing or applying an improvement. His bank does not require that a homeowner must file a completion slip before payment is made him. His bank does not require him to wait 6 days after completion of a job to collect his money, as a protection to the homeowner. His bank is not subject to any of the splendid regulations established by FHA since the investigation.

Only if the homeowner deals with a user of FHA title I loans can he be sure of ample protection.

Now, the sad part about the poor homeowner is that he is paying more charges for the opportunity of an ethical "bait" advertiser to cheat him. The private bank plans which will serve this type contractor have discount rates, never less than 6 percent and up to 8 percent. They can afford to take a chance on this type of fellow, and only the elimination of the 6 months' requirement on loans, so these homeowners can utilize the 5 percent FHA rate, will afford opportunity to the homeowner to keep out of the clutches of these leeches on society.

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Please remember your small-income constitutents when considering this 6 months' occupancy clause.

In closing, Mr. Chairman, I wish to call your special attention to a statement made by FHA Commissioner Mason to the American public on April 13, 1955. In my prepared statement I have indicated some special quotations from it. I do hope you will read every word of Mr. Mason's statement. They will answer a great many of the questions that were asked me this morning, and some of the doubts that might be in the mind of your committee as to whether some of the points that I have made are good or bad.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, in one last plea I again urge that Congress consider and adopt the suggestions we have made. Every one of them

. has been approved by the FHA lenders advisory committee. What better evidence do you need? Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity of appearing before you.

Senator SPARKMAN. Thank you, Mr. Nichols. I wish we had time to ask some other questions.

Mr. NICHOLS. I would be very glad to stay over until Monday and answer any questions the members of this committee wish to ask me.

Senator SPARKMAN. I am sorry, but the hearings close today.

We will next hear from Mr. Dowd, representing the Bangor Chamber of Commerce. Will you come around, please, Mr. Dowd?

Senator PAYNE. Mr. Chairman, if I might mention this, Mr. Dowd has written to me. He is a very outstanding representative of a very outstanding group of people in Bangor, Maine, and is executive secretary of the Bangor Chamber of Commerce. Through my colleague, the senior Senator, Margaret Chase Smith, we have joined in requesting the chairman to include as a part of the record the statement that Mr. Dowd has submitted to us. I can assure you that Mr. Dowd knows the problems up there very accurately, because he has been at work on this military housing in connection with Dow Air Force Base.

Senator SPARKMAN. We are glad to have you with us. Military housing

STATEMENT OF NORBERT X. DOWD, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY,

BANGOR, MAINE, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Mr. Dowd. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will get you back on schedule because I will be very brief.

Senator SPARKMAN. We are not too badly off.

Mr. Down. I am not going to go into the matter of the S. 1501, because I think you are very well acquainted with it, naturally, and I think that your good judgment will direct you in the proper channels with respect to that particular bill. However, I do want to point out just a few little items in connection with Dow Field, which I believe is quite prevalent in all air installations throughout the country, from the information I have obtained. I know that the same situation exists in too many places now.

We have definitely in Bangor a total deficiency of 696 housing units to take care of the military who are assigned to that base and their families. We have a number of officers and airmen who are now living in what we will term “inadequate housing,” because they are forced to find shelter.

: The reenlistment rate is rather poor, I think, too, in connection with the matter of housing. During the year 1954 at Dow Field there were 752 men eligible for reenlistment. Only 196 reenlisted. The service lost 556 men, and I think it is not necessary to point out that that cost the Air Force $20,000 on an average per person.

Senator SPARKMAN. Did you see General LeMay's statement yesterday?

Mr. Down. No, I did not, sir.

Senator SPARKMAN. You might be interested in reading that as to what this has amounted to in the Strategic Air Command. Senator PAYNE. I put that in the Congressional Record yesterday,

I Mr. Chairman.

Senator SPARKMAN. I am just telling Mr. Dowd because he gives it with reference to that one area. General LeMay gave it for the overall, and there are some rather staggering figures.

Mr. Dowd. That is right. It is a costly operation.

Senator SPARKMAN. As I recall, there are about 118,000 men a year that are lost, and then he gave the dollar loss that that represented to the Government. Mr. Dowd. I think there is one other item I would ask

you

to consider. In the judgment of Congress, you have appropriated some $30 billion, I believe, for defense. At Dow Field there is $16 million appropriate and set up for expansion of that base this year and over a period of 3 or 4 years. I think no one questions the fact that we must provide the machinery and the equipment and the buildings and the airstrips, and so forth, to give us an adequate defense. But I think that unless we can provide housing for those people who are assigned to handle that machinery we are really hurting ourselves, because the individual is only going to work with the tools that he has, and he is going to work best when he is happy: He cannot under any circumstances be happy and have good family relations when they are living in inadequate housing or living in places that no Member of Congress would even think to look at. I think that we do not expect them to have frosted type housing, but I think they must have something that is adequate. I am thinking in terms of these young fellows and their wives.

We are all thinking and very conscious of defense and what might be termed necessity for preparation and all those items. Nevertheless, we are missing the boat when we are not giving those youngsters the morale that they can and should have through good housing.

I would ask you gentlemen to report this bill very favorably and do it quickly and get back into that field where our reenlistment rate will be increased tremendously, where we will make our young men whom we are asking to go into service happy with what they have.

Senator MONRONEY. You are familiar with title IX which expired ? Mr. Down. Yes, sir.

Senator MONRONEY. Do you not feel that in addition to the Wherry housing, onbase housing, that almost every one of these airbases needs some title IX housing that can be built within the neighborhood of these bases by private enterprise, and suitable not only for those that are not eligible for quarters allowances under permanent law but also for the civilians that are attracted in to serve these airbases ?

Mr. Dowd. Sir, we have title IX housing in Bangor right now. We have 350 units, but there are 150 units that are not used. The

reason for that, of course, is that the three-bedroom houses, so-called, are renting there for $90 a month, and the average utility cost in that area per month is $28. For a two-bedroom house of that type it is $80 a month, with the same average cost for utilities. Now, that figure can be handled by the officer personnel, and probably the mastersergeant type of fellow, too. But when we get down into the airman type, the young fellow, who is serving just as much as the officers, he cannot under any circumstances reach that rental figure. In our particular case, there is a lack of storage facilities to meet the requirements of these young people. Title IX housing is good housing, but it is beyond the reach of the boys and the people who are supposedly to take them over. That is why I think that S. 1501, insofar as I can see from a quick look at it, is the better answer to the problem.

I may say, as long as we have title IX let's complete the decalogue and get the tenth one in there.

Senator MONRONEY. Would you like to see title IX some places in the South, like in my own State, where the costs of building are a great deal 'less and the rents can be down to where these airmen can pay

for it? Mr. Down. That is right, sir, but I think that the differences in housing requirements in the South and in the North are such that the cost of construction is greater.

Senator MONRONEY. I am not proposing tixtle IX as a substitute for the other. I am proposing it as a supplement, and incidentally to meet the immediate shortage which is faced in many airbases throughout the Southwest.

Mr. Down. While we are on the subject, as far as Dow Field is concerned there have been 500 Wherry housing units authorized for Dow Field. Money for 300 was appropriated. That was done last November, and we still have no sign of Wherry housing there. And the base has been declared a permanent base as of last November also. So that there has been apparently a holdup some place. That is neither here nor there in this hearing but just to bring you up to date on that particular phase of it.

I think that neither title IX nor this Wherry housing, for whatever reason it is being held up, is the answer to it, and this thing here I think will do a better job if it is handled quickly and expeditiously. Then I think we can come to a solution to our particular problem.

Senator SPARKMAN. Mr. Dowd, I think I can assure you that this committee is very strongly, first, aware of the problem; and, second, eager to do something about it. You endorse S. 1501. The question in our mind has been as to whether or not the provisions of S. 1501 as now written are what we want. For instance, are you aware that this requires FHA to write 100 percent insurance on the property that it has nothing to do with as far as selecting the site or planning or design? As a businessman, you would not endorse that kind of a provision, would you?

Mr. Dowd. Is there a possibility that this is going to be redrafted and that a few of these items might possibly be taken care of?

Senator SPARKMAN. I wanted to be certain now that you were endorsing the principle rather than the explicit provision.

Mr. Dowd. That is right. In other words, the thing that I am interested in is housing.

a

Senator PAYNE. You want the mechanics so as to get the job done. Mr. Dowd. That is right.

Senator SPARKMAN. In other words, it is a problem that you recognize, and your appeal to us is to do something to take care of the problem?

Mr. Down. That is right; and do it quickly.

Senator SPARKMAN. The objective of S. 1501 you endorse, but not necessarily the exact means.

Mr. Dowd. That is right.
Senator SPARKMAN. Senator Douglas?
Senator DOUGLAS. No questions.
Senator SPARKMAN. Any further questions?
Thank you, Mr. Dowd.
(Mr. Dowd's prepared statement follows:)

STATEMENT OF NORBERT X. DowD, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, BANGOR MAINE CHAMBER

OF COMMERCE

The Bangor Maine Chamber of Commerce has officially gone on record as being unanimously in favor of Senate bill 1501. Our immediate interest in this bill stems from the presence of Dow Air Base installation which is located within our city limits and which was designated a permanent airbase in late 1954.

We believe that the method and means incorporated in this bill for the construction of housing units for military personnel is sound and economical and is the most complete solution for the ever-increasing problem of providing adequate housing for the military.

In this statement we do not propose to point out the detailed facts that the provisions of S. 1501 will provide the same type of unit now constructed from appropriated funds; that financially the national debt will not be affected; that the provisions are more acceptable than those of so-called title 8; that the housing will be completely amortized in 25 years, and that the mortgagee can expect a fair return on his investment. These items we believe are self evident and need no support.

However, we do want this committee to have in its possession specific information on our local housing situation as it affects Dow Air Base, which when added to information you must have from other communities in similar circumstances, should complete the disheartening picture of inadequate housing for military personnel.

Founded on the present base strength at Dow Air Base and on the future strength through September 1955, the following figures are significant: Total officer housing requirements-

392 Total housing available--

150

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Total deficiency.

696 In addition to this total deficiency the officers and airmen now living on base and in offbase housing are in too many instances quartered in inadequate units. It is no wonder then that the morale of the men and families assigned to Dow Air Base is at a rather dangerous low level. Neither is it any wonder that the reenlistment figures at Dow Air Base are at a low level. In 1954 these figures read : Eligible to reenlist..

752 Total reenlisted ---

196

556

Total lost to the service_-Percentage of reenlistment rateNational planned average

(percent) 26. 06 (percent) 31

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