Page images
PDF
EPUB

for States, Territories, and municipalities under titles I and II of the bill.

The proposed new section 508 would restore to the National Capital Housing Authority its power to acquire sites for low-rent public housing projects, thereby enabling the Authority to participate in the title II program on the same basis as other local housing authorities.

The proposed new section 509 would permit the District of Columbia to obtain the benefits of Federal aid for slum clearance, under title I of this bill, on the same basis as provided in this bill for other cities throughout the country. The present District of Columbia Redevelopment Act would remain in full force and effect, but the amendment would provide an alternative method of financing slum-clearance and redevelopment operations in the District of Columbia by vesting in the Redevelopment Agency (subject to the approval of the Commissioners of the District of Columbia) the power to accept financial assistance authorized under title I of this bill. The proposed new section would also authorize the Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency to allow credit for local grants-in-aid in connection with projects undertaken with the District of Columbia, under title I of this bill. to the same extent as local grants-in-aid are approvable forother ci ties and States. It would provide that in the event such local grants-in-aid are not sufficient to meet the local grants-in-aid requirements, the District Commissioners would be authorized to enter into agreements with the District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency to make cash payments of such deficiencies from the funds of the District of Columbia. Appropriations to the District Commissioners would be authorized for such purpose where necessary.

OTHER PROVISIONS Other provisions of this title of the bill provide for the appointment by the Housing and Home Finance Administrator of advisory committees which would serve to further cooperation between the Government and private persons and groups interested in housing from the viewpoints of the consumer, industry, finance, and labor; the appointment of and compensation for a Deputy Housing and Home Finance Administrator to assist the Administrator and to act in his absence; the inclusion of the Secretary of Labor, or his designee, and the Federal Security Administrator, or his designee, as members of the National Housing Council in the Housing and Home Finance Agency, in recognition of the interest of these agencies in problems related to the Federal Government's housing program; the conversion of certain State-aided low-rent or veterans' housing projects, under appropriate conditions, to low-rent housing assisted under the United States Housing Act of 1937; and the usual terms as to separability and the act being controlling in the event of inconsistency with any other acto X. MAXIMUM RATES OF FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS UNDER H. R. 4009

[blocks in formation]

1 May be increased, within total authorization, at any time or times by the President by additional amounts aggregating not more than $250,000,000.

: This amount added to existing authorization of $800,000,000 and the total authorization placed on a revolving-fund basis. * Subject to annual determination by the Congress within these limits.

May be increased, within total authorization, at any time or times by the President by not to exceed additional amounts aggregating not more than $100,000,000.

3 May be increased, within total authorization, at any time or times by the President by not to exceed additional amounts aggregating not more than $80,000,000.

• The annual contributions authorized for low-rent public housing may be paid over a 40-year period. The $100,000,000 is the maximum amount which may be paid in any 1 year. Since the inception of the original program, the annual contributions actually paid have amounted to 58.5 percent of the maximum amounts which could be paid. 1 The contributions authorized for farm housing may be paid over a 10-year period. 'Any subsequent year.

XI. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS OF H. R. 4009, AS AMENDED

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE

This section provides a short and convenient form of citation.

SECTION 2. DECLARATION OF NATIONAL HOUSING POLICY This section sets forth the national housing objectives as established by the Congress and the basic principles to be followed in attaining these objectives. In so doing it stresses the Nation's interest in housing production and related community development because of the basic contribution they can make both (1) toward improving the health and living standards of the people and (2) toward an economy of maximum employment, production, and purchasing power. Thus, the section establishes as specific objectives a volume of housing production and related community development sufficient to remedy the serious housing shortage, to eliminate slum and blighted areas, to realize as soon as feasible the goal of a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family, to redevelop communities so as to advance the growth and wealth of the Nation, and to enable the housing industry to make its full contribution toward an economy of maximum employment, production, and purchasing power.

The keystone of the national housing policy established by the Congress in this section to facilitate the attainment of these objectives is that private enterprise shall be encouraged to serve as large a part of the total need as it can, and that governmental assistance shall be utilized where feasible to enable private enterprise to serve still more of the total need, and that appropriate local public bodies shall be encouraged and assisted to undertake positive programs of assisting the development of well-planned, integrated residential neighborhoods, the development and redevelopment of communities, and the production, at lower costs, of housing of sound standards of design, construction, livability, and size for adequate family life. As a complementary policy, the section states that governmental aid to clear slums and provide adequate housing for urban and rural nonfarm families whose incomes are so low that they are not being decently housed in new or existing housing shall be extended to those localities which estimate their own needs and demonstrate that these needs are not being met by reliance solely upon private enterprise, and without such aid, and that governmental assistance for decent, safe, and sanitary farm dwellings and related facilities shall be extended only where the farm owner demonstrates that he lacks sufficient resources to provide such housing on his own account and is unable to secure necessary credit for such housing from other sources on terms and conditions which he could reasonably be expected to fulfill.

To assure that all housing activities of the Federal Government will be administered in accord with the objectives and policies thus established by the Congress, there is included a specific congressional directive to the administrative agencies which have functions, powers, and duties with respect to housing to so exercise them as to encourage and assist (1) the production of housing of sound standards of design, construction, livability, and size for adequate family life; (2) the reduction of the costs of housing without sacrifice of such sound standards; (3) the use of new designs, materials, techniques, and methods in residential construction, the use of standardized dimensions and methods of assembly of home-building materials and equipment, and the increase of efficiency in residential construction and maintenance; (4) the development of well-planned, integrated residential neighborhoods and the development and redevelopment of communities; and (5) the stabilization of the housing industry at & high annual volume of residential construction.

TITLE I-SLUM CLEARANCE AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

AND REDEVELOPMENT

GENERAL SUMMARY

This title provides for Federal aid to local communities for the clearance of their slums and blighted areas, so as to make such areas and other areas needed for residential construction available for development or redevelopment, with the active participation of private enterprise. Two types of assistance are authorized:

1. Loans, both temporary and long-term (but not in excess of 40 years in the case of long-term definitive loans), where needed to finance necessary project costs, at an interest rate designed to return to the Government the cost to it of the funds it obtains to make the loans; and

2. A capital-grant subsidy where necessary to enable the land in the project areas to be made available for use at prices consistent with proper and sound land use and planning.

The administration of the program would be under the jurisdiction of the Housing and Home Finance Administrator. In the administration of the program adherence to the following principles is required:

1. That any project assisted be related to the improvement of housing conditions in the locality.

2. That every project assisted be a local undertaking, locally planned, locally approved, locally managed, and designed to serve local needs.

3. That the redevelopment plans for the redevelopment areas in the locality afford maximum opportunity, consistent with the sound needs of the locality as a whole, for the redevelopment of such areas by private enterprise.

4. That there shall be local financial participation in an amount equal to at least one-third of the difference between the aggregate costs of all projects of the locality and the new reuse values of the land comprising the project areas.

5. That there be adequate provision for the rehousing of the families displaced by the clearance of the area.

SECTION 101. RESPONSIBILITIES

This section provides that in extending financial assistance under this title, the Housing and Home Finance Administrator shall give consideration to the extent to which the locality has undertaken positive programs for (1) encouraging housing cost reductions and efficiency in construction through the adoption and improvement of building and related codes, and (2) preventing the spread or recurrence, in such community, of slums and blighted areas through the adoption, improvement, and modernization of local codes and regulations relating to land use and adequate standards of health, sanitation, and safety for dwelling accommodations. It also requires the Administrator, in extending financial assistance under this title, to encourage the operations of such local public agencies as are established on a State, or regional (within a State), or unified metropolitan basis, or as are established on such other basis as permits such agencies to contribute effectively toward the solution of community development or redevelopment problems on a State, or regional (within a State), or unified metropolitan basis.

SECTION 102. LOANS

This section, together with section 103, sets forth the forms and extent of Federal financial assistance. Section 102 provides for assistance in the form of loans which (whether temporary or definitive) must bear interest at not less than the rate specified in the most recently issued bonds of the Federal Government having a maturity of 10 years or more at the date the contract for the loan is made. Any long-term definitive loans made pursuant to this title must mature within a period not exceeding 40 years from the date of the bonds evidencing such loans.

In connection with any project on land which is open or predominantly open, temporary loans may be made (pursuant to subscction (b) of section 102) to municipalities or other public bodies for the provision of school and other public buildings or facilities necessary to serve or support the new uses of land in the project area. This is necessary, particularly in the case of outlying projects which can facilitate the clearance of central slum areas, where difficulties may arise due to the lack of certain public facilities, especially schools. For example, the school district for such an outlying area might not have a tax base sufficient to permit the issuance of bonds for building a new school until the project area is actually developed. In such a case, a temporary loan could be made to the school district itself, or alternatively a loan could be made to the local public agency undertaking the project so that this agency could construct the school and lease it to the school district pending the ability of the district to take the building over through the issuance of its own bonds. Such temporary loans must be repaid in not to exceed 10 years.

While providing for Federal assistance in the form of loans where necessary, the section also contains provisions to facilitate financing by private capital. It contains a provision to enable the local public agency to obtain loan funds from sources other than the Federal Government to the fullest extent practicable, and to substitute such funds for borrowing from the Government.

The section also provides that the Administrator may make advances of funds to local public agencies for surveys and plans in preparation of projects which may be assisted under this title, and that the contracts for such advances of funds may be made upon the condition that such advances of funds shall be repaid, with interest at not less than the applicable going Federal rate, out of any moneys which become available to such agency for the undertaking of the project or projects involved.

To provide the funds necessary to make the loans, the Administrator is authorized, with the approval of the President, to issue and have outstanding at any one time notes or other obligations for purchase by the Secretary of the Treasury aggregating not more than $1,000,000,000. This loan authorization becomes available over a 5-year period at the following rate: $25,000,000 on and after July 1, 1949, increased by $225,000,000 on and after July 1, 1950, and by $250,000,000 on and after July 1 in each of the years 1951, 1952, and 1953, respectively.

The section also permits the initial loan authorization, and any of the authorized increases therein becoming available in any year to be increased (subject to the total loan authorization of $1,000,000,000), at any time or times, by not to exceed additional amounts aggregating not more than $250,000,000 upon a determination by the President, after receiving advice from the Council of Economic Advisers as to the general effect of such increase upon the conditions in the building industry and upon the national economy, that such action is in the public interest.

SECTION 103. CAPITAL GRANTS This section provides for Federal subsidy, in the form of capital grants, in those cases where such assistance is necessary if the land in the project area is to be available for proper use in accordance

« PreviousContinue »