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Federal Laws Authorizing Assistance to Urban Renewal
Title I, Housing Act of 1949, as amended
Title I of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended, Public Law 171, 81st Congress, approved July 15, 1949, is the principal Federal law authorizing Federal assistance to słum clearance and urban renewal. i As originally enacted, title I authorized Federal aid to the clearance and redevelopment of slums. The Housing Act of 1954, Public Law 560, 83d Congress, approved August 2, 1954, broadened the provisions of title I to authorize Federal assistance to the prevention of the spread of slums and urban blight through the rehabilitation and conservation of blighted and deteriorating areas, in addition to the clearance and redevelopment of slums. The Housing Act of 1954 also provided (section 312) that communities carrying out slum clearance and urban redevelopment projects prior to enactment of the 1954 Act would be permitted to complete such projects under the provisions of title I of the Housing Act of 1929 as in effect prior to the enactment of the 1954 Act. Section 312 is set forth in this compilation.
The Housing Act of 1956, Public Law 1020, 84th Congress, approved August 7, 1956, again liberalized title I of the Housing Act of 1949 in several respects. These included, among others, the addition of provisions to title I authorizing relocation payments to individuals, families and business concerns for moving expenses and losses of property resulting from their displacement by an urban renewal project, and the making of Federal advances for the preparation of "General Neighborhood Renewal Plans". The Housing Act of 1957, Public Law 104, 85th Congress, approved July 12, 1957, amended title I to increase the capital grant authorization and to provide a new alternative capital grant formula. Several miscellaneous amendments were also made in title I by the Housing Act of 1957.
The Housing Act of 1959, Public Law 86–372, approved September 23, 1959, again increased the authorization in title I of the Housing Act of 1949 for Federal financial assistance to urban renewal and enacted new provisions for Federal grants to “Community Renewal Programs”. The limits on the amounts of relocation payments were increased and relocation payments were authorized to be made when displacement from an urban renewal area results from acquisition of real property by the urban renewal agency or any other public body in an urban renewal area, from code enforcement in connection with an urban renewal project, or programs of voluntary repair and rehabilitation in accordance with an urban renewal plan. A number of other changes were made in the law by the 1959 Act.
Title I was again amended by the Housing Act of 1961, Public Law 87–70, approved June 30, 1961, to increase the authorization for Federal grants by $2 billion, and to increase from two-thirds to three-fourths the Federal contribution to urban renewal where the municipality has a population of 50,000 or less (150,000 or less for a municipality in an economically distressed area). Among other amendments to title I made by the 1961 Act, local urban renewal agencies were authorized to pool their surplus local grant-in-aid credits bet ween projects on the two-thirds basis and projects on a three-fourths basis. The local urban renewal agencies were also authorized to carry out rehabilitation demonstrations in urban renewal areas. In addition, the Small Business Administration was authorized by the Housing Act of 1961 to make loans on special terms to displaced small business concerns.
Title I of the Housing Act of 1949 is set forth in this compilation as amended through June 30, 1961. The footnotes give a complete history of the amendments that have been made in the law since its original enactment in 1949.
Housing Act of 1954
In addition to section 312 of the Housing Act of 1954, provisions of the Housing Act of 1954 which (1) authorize Federal grants to communities to assist in developing, testing, and demonstrating activities for urban renewal, (2) authorize Federal grants to urban planning, and (3) relate to urban renewal are included in this compilation, together with such amendments thereto as have subsequently been enacted. National Housing Act
Excerpts from the National Housing Act, as amended, Public Law 479, 73d Congress, are included in this compilation. These provisions authorize special Federal Housing Administration loan and mortgage insurance programs (sections 220 and 221) to assist in financing the construction and rehabilitation of housing in urban renewal areas and for families displaced by urban renewal activities or other governmental action. Other provisions of the National Housing Act may provide assistance to urban renewal but are not included in this compilation because they are available for all areas whether part of an urban renewal program or not. These include FHA insurance of (1) loans for the modernization and repair of homes, (2) mortgages for rehabilitation of multifamily housing under the regular rental housing provisions of section 207, (3) mortgages for the purchase of existing housing, and (4) “open end” mortgages whereby property owners may obtain additional funds for modernization or basic improvements and repay them as part of the existing mortgage without the expenso of complete refinancing.
Title III of the National Housing Act (the Federal National Mortgage Association Charter Act) is also not included in this compilation although some assistance to urban renewal is authorized by its provisions. Under title III, the Federal National Mortgage Association assists in the pro vision of credit for FHA section 220 and 221 urban renewal and relocation housing by purchasing the mortgages financing the housing from lenders and making advance commitments to make such purchases. United States Housing Act of 1937
Excerpts from the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended, Public Law 412, 75th Congress, are also set forth in this compilation. These include, among others, provisions that require preferences in the admission of families to low-rent public housing who have been displaced by urban renewal activities, and the elimination of an equal number of slum dwellings for the number of low-rent public housing units provided with Federal assistance in a community.
Administration of Federal Assistance
Most of the functions of the Housing and Home Finance Administrator with respect to Federal assistance to slum clearance and urban renewal are administered by the Urban Renewal Administration, a constituent of the Housing and Home Finance Agency. The mortgage insurance program for urban renewal housing is administered by the Federal Housing Administration, and the Federal National Mortgage Association provides a secondary market for the mortgages. These two agencies are also constituent agencies of the Housing and Home Finance Agency. The low-rent public housing program is assisted by the Public Housing Administration, another constituent agency of the Housing and Home Finance Agency, with the housing being owned and operated by local public housing agencies.
Information about any phase of urban renewal aids and applications for their use in any locality is provided through the seven regional offices of the Housing and Home Finance Agency, where the specialized field services of the Urban Renewal Administration are also centered. Information about FHA mortgage insurance or low-rent public housing can also be obtained from the field offices of the Federal Housing Administration or the Public Housing Administration.
All initial inquiries and dealings with the Federal Government on urban renewal should be directed to the Regional Administrator, Housing and Home Finance Agency, at the following addresses: Region I 346 Broadway, New York 13, N.Y.; Maine,
New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts,
Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York.
Streets, Philadelphia 7, Pa.; Pennsylvania,
Columbia, West Virginia, Virginia.
Ga.; Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina,
Chicago 3, Ill. ; Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illi-
Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska.
Fort Worth 4, Tex.; Kansas, Missouri, Arkan-
Calif.; Washington, Oregon, California,
Wyoming, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam.
Santurce 17, Puerto Rico; Puerto Rico, Virgin