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all of the public housing in the Cleveland metropolitan area is concentrated within the core of Cleveland. Mr. Bohn testified that before public housing can be constructed in a suburban community there must be an agreement between that community and the Federal Government under which the community agrees to render the usual municipal services that it performs for a private developer.142 Because the suburbs have refused to enter into such agreements, it has not been possible to use public housing as an instrument to reduce residential segregation within the metropolitan area and provide an opportunity for movement out of the ghetto.
The main effort of the Federal Government to end discrimination in federally assisted housing in the private sector has been through Executive Order 11063 issued by President Kennedy in 1962.143 The coverage of Federal regulation is only partial-it is estimated that the Executive order covers approximately 23 percent of new housing, primarily purchased with funds secured by mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration.145 This represents a miniscule portion, less than 2 percent, of the total national housing supply of 65 million units.146
Witnesses at Commission hearings alleged that Federal policy was not being effectively implemented. In the San Francisco Bay Area FHA insures mortgages on 51 percent of all new housing starts,' a more significant share of the market than elsewhere in the country. Staff investigation, however, showed that few Negroes lived in the new housing tracts and communities of the Bay Area where FHA had insured mortgages or had made commitments to insure.
Jack Tuggle, Deputy Director of the San Francisco Insuring Office, was responsible for carrying out the provisions of the Executive order in the Bay Area. He testified that when builders apply for mortgage insurance or other FHA services he "calls their attention" to the fact that they have signed a statement that they will not discriminate.148 The builders, however, are not required to attempt to reach the Negro market or to advertise that their policy is one of equal opportunity or even to make known to potential buyers that they are subject to the requirements of the Executive order.
Mr. Tuggle felt that builders doing business with FHA should not be required to pursue a vigorous equal opportunity program since their competition was not subject to such requirements. He viewed his agency primarily as a service agency to the housing industry and believed that builders subject to such requirements might be hurt financially and might cease to do business with FHA: 149
It is our job to enforce the order, of course. It is also our
job to improve housing standards and to try to create as
It was Mr. Tuggle's feeling that "anything that would tend to cause us [the FHA] to lose a position in the market, and the influence that we exert in the market ... might not be as self-serving for the cause as we would like for it to be." 151
Mrs. Lucy Buchbinder, chairman of the Housing Opportunities Committee of the Council for Civic Unity of the San Francisco Bay Area, criticized FHA's failure to insist that developers of FHA insured housing advertise that they are operating under the Executive order. She explained why such a policy should be required:
[T]here is such a long history of new housing being avail-
Mrs. Buchbinder testified that she had made this suggestion to the Department of Housing and Urban Development and to FHA and had been told that "to make developers identify their tracts as being equal opportunity tracts would be discrimination against them." 183 To enforce the Executive order, FHA relies on complaints filed by victims against the offending builder, developer or landlord.154 Mrs. Buchbinder stated that her experience has convinced her "that the case-by-case approach is very slow." 155 In order to process a complaint, Mrs. Buchbinder testified, she had to "obey the rules of the game”, which included keeping a client who was "live and willing and able to buy the house." She testified also that "once the house was made available, that this was the end of the case"; no sanction was imposed on the builder who was guilty of discrimination.
What has been the impact of the Executive order in the Bay Area? According to Mrs. Buchbinder:
[T]he Executive Order has made no visible impact at all.
The failure of government to correct housing discrimination contributes to the skepticism of ghetto residents that opportunities for leaving the ghetto ever will become available. Leonard Simmons testified that he had filed four complaints alleging housing discrimination with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and that none of them
had been satisfactorily resolved.158 He stated that he "no longer possessed the energy necessary to file the complaints." 159 He believed that experiences such as his would have a "depressing" effect on the belief of Hough residents that efforts at self-improvement would enable them to escape the ghetto:
I worked very hard to make myself acceptable to the white community and to do all those things that are considered acceptable and, yet, I find that I am excluded. For those people who have not had the opportunities that I have had or are still trying to improve themselves, I'm sure that they must become extremely skeptical as to whether it is worthwhile.160
They wanted to set up an isolated elite type of community and they
Racial Isolation and Social Responsibility
As a result of racial and economic segregation, white communities are growing up in virtually complete isolation from Negroes and other persons of different racial backgrounds. In its study, Racial Isolation in the Public Schools, the Commission found that the current trend toward residential and school segregation resulting in isolation of the races is likely to increase in the future.2
M. L. Sanford is the Executive Secretary of the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association, an association of 11,000 persons living a few miles south of Oakland. At the Bay Area hearing, Mr. Sanford was asked what the feelings were in his community about the problems of Oakland's ghetto areas. He answered: "I think for the moment they feel somewhat isolated by it because they are removed physically from it, it being a bedroom community."
Rev. Dorel Londagin, a white minister whose congregation lives in San Leandro, a suburb of moderately priced homes adjacent to the Negro ghetto in Oakland, also spoke of the isolation of his congregation from Negro communities and city problems. He told the Commission: "[T]here is some concern but I don't think it's enough concern. I don't think they realize the potential danger that exists in such a situation. .
Negro leaders from central cities criticized white suburban communities for demonstrating irresponsible attitudes towards the problems of Negro ghettos. Donald McCullum, an attorney and President of the Oakland Branch of the NAACP, testified:
...San Leandro is not concerned about the hard core un
employed. Orinda is not concerned about de facto segre
gation. Lafayette is not concerned about the problems of
the ghetto. San Lorenzo is not concerned about the high
The white suburbs, which depend upon the city for many services, do not put back what they take out, according to Mr. McCullum:
[W]e have the parasitical cities around Oakland that
The Commission inquired why so little effort was being exerted by suburban communities to help resolve problems affecting Negroes who live in the central cities. In Cleveland, Robert Kruse, the Mayor of Solon, Ohio-a suburb of approximately 8,400 people was asked if he believed his community had any responsibility to contribute to the solution of Cleveland's problems. He replied:
Our first aim is to develop a community without these
Where Negroes are able to obtain employment in suburban communities, they incur extra costs because they often cannot live within a reasonable distance of their work and must commute. Yet suburban communities rarely ease this burden by adopting fair housing ordinances, facilitating construction of housing within the means of the Negro workers, or making available transportation facilities to provide access to suburban employment.
At the time of the Commission's hearing in San Francisco, there were about 1,000 Negroes among the some 5,200 employees of the General Motors plant in suburban Fremont. Yet, according to testimony by Mayor Donald Dillon, “a pretty small number" of the Negro workers moved into Fremont.10 The Mayor said that Fremont opposed construc