Page images
PDF
EPUB

with an approved plan for the project area and at prices consistent with such use. The capital grants would be limited in amount to two-thirds of the net cost of the projects assisted in the locality. This has the effect of providing that the net loss or write-down involved in making the land in project areas available for appropriate redevelopment (i. e., the difference between the total costs of the projects and the proceeds received from the disposition of the land) will be shared on a 2 to 1 basis, the Federal capital grants being available for not to exceed two-thirds of such loss and the local grants-in-aid being available for at least one-third of such loss.

The Federal capital grants with respect to all projects of a local public agency on which contracts for capital grants have been made under this title cannot exceed two-thirds of the net loss on such projects. With respect to any individual project, the Federal capital grant cannot exceed the difference between the net loss on such project and the local grants-in-aid actually made with respect to that project. Thus, if a project cost $1,000,000 (including $150,000 in site improvements and public facilities paid for by the municipality as local grants-in-aid) and if the proceeds from disposition were $700,000, resulting in a loss (or net project cost) of $300,000, the Federal grant would then be limited to $150,000 (being the difference between the loss of $300,000 and the local grants-in-aid of $150,000) rather than $200,000 (being two-thirds of the loss of $300,000). In the event that local grants-in-aid were sufficient to cover the entire loss, no Federal grant would be made for the project.

Although Federal loan assistance for the acquisition and preparation of open land for residential use is provided for, it does not appear that Federal subsidy assistance for such cases would at this time be justified. Accordingly, no Federal capital grants may be made in connection with such a project and, correspondingly, no local grantsin-aid are required. Such projects would be excluded from the computation of aggregate project costs, local grants-in-aid, and net losses used as the basis for the sharing of Federal and local grants for all other projects in the locality.

The Administrator is authorized to contract to make capital grants aggregating not more than $500,000,000. This capital grant authorization becomes available over a 5-year period at the following rate: $100,000,000 on and after July 1 in each of the years 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, and 1953, respectively. The section also permits the initial capital grant authorization, and any of the authorized increases therein becoming available in any year to be increased (subject to the total capital grant authorization of $500,000,000), at any time or times, by not to exceed additional amounts aggregating not more than $100. 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 104. REQUIREMENTS FOR LOCAL GRANTS-IN-AID

This section requires the locality to share the net losses of any project assisted by Federal capital grants under this title and to caii upon the Federal Government for aid only to the extent necessary. It provides that the local community must itself participate financially to the extent of at least one-third of the net project cost, as defined in this title. Such local assistance may be in the form of (1) cash grants, (2) donations of land, demolition or removal work, or site improvements in the project area, or (3) the provision of parks, playgrounds and public buildings or facilities which are of direct or substantial benefit to the project. Where a locality undertakes more than one project on which Federal capital grants are to be made, this requirements relates to such projects considered in the aggregate.

The definition of local grants-in-aid in section 110 (d) makes it clear that the local community may not count as local grants-in-aid (1) the value of any land in streets, alleys, and other public rights-ofway which may be vacated in connection with the project, (2) any low-rent public housing, or (3) any demolition or removal work, improvement, or facility for which any grant or subsidy has been or is to be made by the United States or any agency or instrumentality thereof. If any of the public improvements or facilities provided are charged to specific property owners by way of special assessments, the portion of the amount so charged would not be eligible for inclusion as a local grant-in-aid. Local public buildings or facilities, otherwise eligible as local grants-in-aid, remain eligible in the event they should be assisted by temporary loans under section 102 (b).

SECTION 105. LOCAL DETERMINATIONS

This section assures that aid to projects under this title will be based upon local determination of need and maximum reliance upon private enterprise. It provides that any contracts for financial aid under the title may be made (1) only with a duly authorized local public agency, and (2) only if the redevelopment plan is approved by the governing body of the locality. Moreover, such approval must include findings that the Federal financial aid to be provided in the contract is necessary to enable the land in the project area to be developed or redeveloped; that the redevelopment plans for the redevelopment areas in the locality will afford maximum opportunity, consistent with the sound needs of the locality as a whole, for the development or redevelopment of such areas by private enterprise; and that the redevelopment plan conforms to a general plan for the development of the locality as a whole.

This section also assures that all projects assisted will conform to the locally approved redevelopment plan. It provides that as & condition to Federal assistance, the local public agency must agree to obligate those to whom it sells or leases the land in the project area to devote the land to the uses specified in the redevelopment plan and to begin the building of their improvements within a reasonable time.

The section also requires that there be a feasible method for both the temporary and permanent relocation of the families who have been living in the area and who are displaced as a result of the clearance of the area. The provisions of this section that contracts shall require that there are or are being provided, in reasonably suitable locations, permanent dwellings for families to be displaced, are not intended to be rigid specifications. Obviously, slum clearance projects cannot go forward without some difficulties for the families to be displaced. Provisions are therefore included to afford reasonable protection for such families. The provisions of this section are genera) in nature, in effect requiring that decent, safe, and sanitary housing be available for the displaced families in areas which have generally satisfactory public and commercial facilities, and which are reasonably accessible to their places of employment.

In view of the present acute housing shortage, this section would prevent the demolition of residential structures in connection with this program prior to July 1, 1951, if the governing body of the locality determines that such demolition would reasonably be expected to create undue housing hardship in the community.

SECTION 106. GENERAL PROVISIONS

This section gives the Administrator the technical powers necessary for the performance of his duties under this title. In so doing, it provides for the appointment of a director to administer the provisions of this title under the direction and supervision of the Housing and Home Finance Administrator.

SECTION 107. PAYMENT FOR LAND USED FOR LOW-RENT PUBLIC HOUSING

This section assures that the financial assistance under this title will not result in a double subsidy to federally assisted low-rent public housing, by providing that any land in the project area made available for such low-rent public housing must be paid for by the public housing agency undertaking such low-rent public housing project.

SECTION 108. SURPLUS FEDERAL REAL PROPERTY

This section authorizes the transfer to the Administrator of any Federal real property surplus to the needs of the Government and within the area of a land assembly project. When such land is sold to the local public agency by the Administrator, it shall be sold at a price equal to its fair market value, and the proceeds from any such sales would be deposited in the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts.

SECTION 109. PROTECTION OF LABOR STANDARDS

This section designed for the protection of labor standards, requires that not less than prevailing wages be paid to those employed in the development of any project assisted under this title, makes the “kickback” statute applicable to all such projects, and requires monthly reports by all contractors used on the project to the Secretary of Labor as to the number of persons employed by them, the aggregate amount of their pay rolls, the total man-hours worked, and expenditures for materials. Demolition or removal work or site-improvement work paid for by the State, city, or other public body (other than the local public agency undertaking the project) are not included within the scope of this section due to the obvious difficulties which would result where the city or other public body is making its local grantin-aid in the form of project work. For example, the city (as a part of its local grants-in-aid) may install streets in the project area as part of a general city paving contract which also covers street work in areas other than the project area. Or the city may perform demolition or removal work with salaried personnel in its engineering department.

H. Repts., 81-1, vol. 375

SECTION 110. DEFINITIONS

This section sets forth the definitions of the basic terms used in the title. Through these definitions, the section provides that no project area would qualify for Federal aid unless it involves either a slum area or a deteriorated or deteriorating area which is predominantly residential in character; or any other deteriorated or deteriorating area which is to be developed or redeveloped for predominantly residential uses; or land which is predominantly open and which because of obsolete platting, diversity of ownership, deterioration of structures or of site improvements, or otherwise substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of the community and which is to be developed for predominantly residential uses; or open land necessary for sound community growth which is to be developed for predominantly residential uses. (In the last case the project thereon, as provided in sec. 103 (a), is not eligible for any capital grant.) Through these definitions also, the section limits Federal assistance to the furtherance of such purposes as (1) the acquisition of the land in the area requiring development or redevelopment; (2) the removal of existing structures and improvements; (3) the provision of streets, utilities, and other site improvements essential for the new land uses contemplated; and (4) the making of the land available for development or redevelopment at prices consistent with its proposed new uses. Aid under this title to assist the construction of any of the buildings contemplated by the redevelopment plan is expressly barred, except in the case of the temporary loans authorized by section 102 (b) for the provision of school or other public buildings or facilities necessary to serve or support the new uses of land in projects on land which is open or predominantly open.

TITLE II-LOW-RENT PUBLIC HOUSING

This title provides for an extension of the low-rent public-housing program to serve urban and rural nonfarm families whose incomes are so low that they are not being adequately housed in new or existing private housing. This program will be administered by the Public Housing Administration, a constituent of the Housing and Home Finance Agency, under the terms of the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended, including the amendments made by this bill

. This title contains provisions to assure complete consistency with the basic objectives of primary reliance upon private enterprise to do as much of the total housing job as possible; increasing emphasis on local responsibility and initiative; special preferences to meet the needs of veterans of low income and their families; enlistment of private capital to finance substantially all of the capital cost of lowrent public housing projects; and an adaptation to current needs with respect to the amount and period of Federal annual subsidy to achieve low rents. The title also contains a miscellany of technical and perfecting amendments to the United States Housing Act of 1937 that the 11 years of operations under it have indicated to be necessary and desirable.

SECTION 201. LOCAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND DETERMINATIONS; TENANCY

ONLY BY LOW-INCOME FAMILIES

This section provides that no contract for a preliminary loan for surveys and planning for low-rent housing projects shall be made with a local public-housing agency unless (1) the governing body of the locality has approved the application for said loan, and (2) the local public housing agency has satisfied the Public Housing Administration that there is a need for low-rent housing in that locality which is not being met by private enterprise. It is also made clear that preliminary loans made under the lending powers of the PHA are to be repaid out of the development funds of the projects for which financial assistance contracts are subsequently entered into. Some losses in connection with preliminary loans may be incurred by the PHA in the event that projects do not proceed, but these losses should be infrequent and of a relatively minor nature.

Before any contract on a project initiated after March 1, 1949, is made for loans (other than preliminary loans) or for annual contributions, the governing body of the locality must have entered into an agreement with the local public housing agency to provide the local cooperation and assistance which is required by the PHA pursuant to this act. Moreover, the local public housing agency must have demonstrated to the satisfaction of the PHA that a gap of at least 20 percent has been left between the upper rental limits for admission to the proposed project and the lowest rents at which private enterprise unaided by public subsidy is providing (through new construction and available existing structures) a substantial supply of decent, safe, and sanitary housing toward meeting the need of an adequate volume thereof. This section thus establishes as basic national policy that even with respect to the segment of housing need which the regular operations of private enterprise are not now serving, every opportunity is to be given to it to extend its servicing capacity downward in the income scale.

This section also provides that every annual contributions contract for a project initiated after March i, 1949, shall require the local public housing agency to fix, subject to approval by the PHA, maximum income limits for admission and for continued occupancy in the project. Such limits must be revised by the local public housing agency if required by PHA because of changed conditions. Such contract shall also require reports showing that, as indicated by actual investigation, every family admitted to the project had at the time of admission an income not in excess of the established maximum limit, and that every such family came from an unsafe, insanitary, or overcrowded dwelling, or was to be displaced by another low-rent housing project or by a public slum-clearance or redevelopment project, or was (without fault of its own) either without housing or was about to be without housing pursuant to a court order of eviction. For a period of 5 years, however, these requirements as to previous housing conditions do not apply to World War II veterans or servicemen of low income. In the selection of tenants for low-rent housing, it is also required that there be no discrimination against families otherwise eligible on the

« PreviousContinue »