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The CHAIRMAN. I did not hear that statement.
Mr. BOLFISH. I say I am now from the very large city of Chicago
Mr. WOLCOTT. May I suggest that it is in the record and that you need not repeat it.
Mr. MULTER. I think if it is in the record we ought to hear what it The CHAIRMAN. If you want to withdraw it, you may do so. Mr. WOLCOTT. I was somewhat facetious because that remark has always precipitated a very violent argument.
Mr. BODFISH. I might say that Congressman Buchanan asked General Smith regarding an estimate of the people that need subsidized housing. On April 8 before this committee, Mr. Egan, the Commissioner of the Public Housing Administration said, “I think it is generally conceded that about six and a half million people need subsidized housing." I suppose he means families.
Mr. BUCHANAN. He did not mean public housing.
Mr. BODFISH. What is subsidized housing! We do not have any subsidized private housing, do we?
Mr. BUCHANAN. Yes, we do. Yes, we do. That is just where I want to ask you a few questions, if Mr. Patman will yield.
Mr. PATMAN. The chairman was asking a question.
The CHAIRMAN. How much has Britain expended in providing public housing?
Mr. BODFish. It runs up around $4,000,000,000, and their present subsidy load is about $125,000,000 a year. That is the central government.
The CHAIRMAN. Over how many years?
Mr. BODFISH. It is committed to a period of 60 years. It is just unbelievable that in this Nation, as things accumulated over a period of time, we now find that where a man owns a lot and has the means, cannot build himself a house to live in.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there many savings and loan organizations in Britain, and are they strong?
Mr. BODFISH. We call them building societies in Great Britain. As a matter of fact, our institutions sprung from them. They did about 90 percent of the home financing between World Wars I and II, have about three and a half billion dollars in assets and are finely conducted and splendid institutions. They pay one and a half to three and a quarter for their savings, most of them take deposits as well as share accounts and their money is loaned at four and four and a half.
The CHAIRMAN. What effect has public housing had upon those institutions ?
Mr. BODFISH. I think in all fairness that had no immediate or great financial effect. Since the war all their money, as far as it is not in trusts or Government sécurities, is loaned for the purpose of existing homes. The only way that they lend money now is through a tenant in a housing project, buying the house. That is the only way you can decontrol a house, by a tenant who is already in the house, buying it, or they sometimes do something generous for the tenant if he will move and find something else, and that is what their interest is mainly, the purchase of existing houses. They are not in hardships. They are deeply concerned at the whole program of small-home ownership in which they had such a prominent part. That is completely in abeyance for the moment and I think the more realistic of them feel that
it will never be resumed, because the land is going to be nationalized in Britain just as sure as can be—everything but the agricultural land.
The CHAIRMAN. What effect would the slum-clearance program have on your organization? It would not have any, would it?
Mr. BODFISH. I do not think slum clearance would have any adverse effect on our institutions. I should think it would have a good effect.
The CHAIRMAN. I should think so.
Mr. Bopfish. But my objection to public housing is that I do not want to see one million, two million, three million, four million American families living in Government houses, built by the Government, owned by the Government, managed by the Government, with part of their rent paid by the Government or by their neighbors and other citizens. I think it is going to change the political, economic, and social character of our country if we go on up, Mr. Spence, to four or five million Government-owned houses.
The CHAIRMAN. Up to this point it has had no effect, however.
Mr. BODFISH. I do not think it has had much effect. I think it has discouraged some folks from owning their own homes who could. In the projects, as you know, we have Government employees, and people making all ranges of incomes who should have taken care of their own housing needs without any assistance. I think that has been the only adverse effect to date, that there has been a taste developed for a rental accommodation at a low price.
I know of one family, where the breadwinner last year made $20,000. He is living in a public housing project in our city and he pays $37 a month rent.
Mr. MULTER. He has no desire to move to better quarters?
Mr. BUCHANAN. Would you like to furnish some of the members of the committee of that name?
Mr. BODFISH. Sure.
Mr. MULTER. Why should you hesitate in furnishing the name of a man using an accommodation, with that income, which is intended for a low-income family?
Mr. BODFISH. I will tell you why I hesitate. No one likes to point a finger at an individual.
Mr. BUCHANAN. Well, they are living there legally.
Mr. MONRONEY. Congress has told them they could live there until a certain date.
Mr. BODFISH. Certainly. I can tell you about $10,000-a-year Government officials living down here in public housing projects.
Mr. BUCHANAN. There are 41,000 such over-income families.
Mr. BODFISH. That is right. That is one of the difficult administrative problems. Because while they should not be there, they are still there.
Mr. MULTER. I think you should submit those records here so as to shame them out of those places. They should not be there.
(The information referred to above is as follows:)
[From the Chicago Daily News, Tuesday, October 12, 1948]
CHA TO EVICT $12,638 FAMILY-LIST High INCOME OF PUBLIC TENANTS
(By Frank Suidzinski)
A family with annual earnings of $12,638 tops the list of tenants ordered to move by the Chicago Housing Authority from the Government-sponsored, lowincome flats it manages.
Others that received notices October 1 to vacate their $32.50- to $60-a-month dwellings and their yearly wages include:
An automobile salesman, $7,740 ; photographic instructor, $8,290; foundry laborer, $7,459; printer, $7,345; office manager, $8,042; engineers, $7,001 and $6,959; foreman, $7.020; pipe fitter, $6,447 ; laborer, $6,807.
These facts were disclosed by CHA in a revised list of the first 200 families told to move because their total wages exceeds the limits established for tenancy in public housing.
3,003 AFFECTED There are 3,033 tenants in the 10 projects whose earnings have removed them from the public housing ceiling range of from $2,300 to $2,750, according to CHA. Many of them have two, three, or four persons working in one family.
The family with the $12,638 combined pay envelope has four wage earners: A sales engineer, clerical worker, headsetter, and telephone operator, according to ('HA, There are seven in the family, it said, and its rental is $60 a month at the Frances Cabrini Homes.
Of the 14 high-income tenants reported at ('abrini Homes, only two are given as under $6,000 a year. One, with three workers, has a total earnings of $9.217.
There are two in the next class. A GI subsistence student, a tool designer, a clerical worker, and a factory laborer have a combined income of $8,622.
One tenant who described himself as "self-employed” makes $8,132.
A painter reported an income of $7,752, while two families, each with two workers, reported $7,891 and $7,837. There were six families here with earnings from $6,000 to $7,000.
The revised list also shows another family with total yearly wages of $9,259 at the Ida B. Wells Homes. The four workers here describe their jobs as piecework, foundry, packer, and laborer.
The list showed eight families earning from $8,000 to $9,000 a year; 21 from $7,000 to $8,000; 61 from $6,000 to $7,000; and 105 from $5,000 to $6,000.
Mr. MONRONEY. One way used down in Oklahoma City is to move in real genuine low-income people. Then your over-income people do bestir themselves a little bit to get out.
Mr. MULTER. I know in my State and city they are trying to move out all those above the income bracket, fixed by the regulation. They are doing it gradually.
Mr. MONRONEY. Oh, yes. You cannot do it overnight.
Mr. Bodfish. In one or two Chicago projects, we had 60 families with over $5,000 income. And they started to move them and all they did was to hire themselves a couple of good lawyers and they are still there. It is one of those things. Once any of us, we are all that way, start getting something for nothing from our Government, we want to continue to receive it. I think this thing can hurt us a lot unless it can be controlled. We have about 750,000 units, when you consider the Permanent's, the Lanham's, and the Public Housing Administration's, and unless that can be put back into the welfare field, I cannot see any justification for it at all. If it was merely in the welfare field, then we are merely arguing about how we discharge the welfare respon
sibilities in any community. The city of Chicago spends $5,000,000 each year in welfare work, of which a million and a half is used to pay rent for families needing assistance. But public housing does not pick up any of that load.
The CHAIRMAN. Do any of these people getting into these public housing projects have those high salaries at the time!
Mr. BODFISH. I think, in all fairness, they were qualified when they went in. That is the epic of American life. The first thing you know, the family has improved its conditions, and the family is in a much better income bracket. Of course, in the war housing projects admissions were permitted at much higher incomes than in the housing projects.
Mr. Patman asked me something about Sweden. I do not know as much about Sweden as I do England. I have been there.
Mr. MULTER. Why was there so much pressure last year to prevent the House from acting when this committee passed out the bill? If the House of Representatives are doing such a tremendous job, why are your people afraid to let the House pass on the bill?
Nİr. BODFISH. I cannot pass on your House procedures.
Mr. MULTER. Well, surely you know that we passed the bill out here and it went to the Rules Committee, and it was kept in the Rules Committee.
Mr. BODFISH. You would be disappointed in some of us who have deep convictions if we did not try to persuade everybody who has anything to do with it.
Mr. MULTER. I am just remarking on your statement that you have such great faith in the House and yet opposed letting the House pass on this bill.
Mr. WOLCOTT. The Rules Committee prevented the House from passing on it.
Mr. BODFISH. I started to answer Mr. Patman's question about Sweden. In the first place, there are no slums in Sweden. No slums in the sense that you and I think of slums, that is greatly deteriorated dwellings, garbage, refuse, debris, and the like. Local administration, plus the habits of the people, just do not permit of the kind of things that we have over here.
Mr. PATMAN. Well, are not the people well housed in Sweden? Do they not have good homes and sanitary homes?
Mr. BODFISH. Well, many of them are humble homes.
Mr. PATMAN. I have been told that the people of Sweden are better housed than the people of any other country of the world, and since you have visited Sweden, I would like to have your opinion about how that is done. I understand that cooperative housing has been rather successful in Sweden.
Mr. BODFISH. The KVD, this big cooperative housing society, I think has been building about 8,000 units a year, mainly apartment units, and for rent. They are well built. They do not have anywhere near the square footage in the apartments that the American family is accustomed to, because building costs are quite high, and of course usually land in Sweden is quite expensive.
But the reason you do not have slums, Mr. Patman, is that in a German city, or a Danish city, or a Norwegian city, it is a part of local government that they just do not permit people to throw stuff around in their back yards or dump garbage out in the streets—they do not let physical conditions that lead to rats and all that sort of thing occur.
It is just a part of municipal housekeeping that never happens. Many of the houses in Sweden are old, a hundred or 200 years old, and they are kept in immaculate condition.
Mr. PATMAN. Your statement of housing policy, here, I think is a very fine statement. It is certainly thought-provoking and gives us many of the causes for slum conditions. I presume you will put this in the record.
Mr. BODFISH. I would like to have it included in the record, and I also have two or three pages of the statistics regarding the savings and loan associations, the number of GI loans they made, the number of Federal Housing Administration loans, and so forth that the committee might like to have.
The CHAIRMAN. They may be inserted.
STATEMENT OF HOUSING POLICY COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT HOUSING,
UNITED STATES SAVINGS AND LOAN LEAGUE
1. America is the best-housed nation in the world-has the most private home ownership—and the most freedom and opportunity for all people.
2. Safe, sanitary, and comfortable homes should be available to every American family.
3. Every American family has the right and responsibility to work, save, and earn enough to provide itself with such a home.
4. Every American family is entitled to community welfare and relief assistance for adequate shelter when physical or mental sickness, or economic de. pression or disaster denies the family the means to obtain such shelter solely through its own efforts.
5. The housin: cerries of American industry, labor, finance, and Government must be devoted to the above objectives.
The housing problem actually consists of two separate problems—The housing shortage and the slum dilemma. The following conclusions are presented by the committee on Government housing of the United States Savings and Loan League after careful investigation of the facts and a detailed study of proposals advanced for solving both of these problems. 1. The housing shortage
Cause.—The housing shortage exists because throughout the war and early postwar period new demand for housing substantially exceeded the new supply of housing. Housing demand was abnormally high from 1942 to 1947 because of: (1) The record number of marriages and new families; (2) the tremendous movement of workers and veterans from farm to city, and from one city to another; (3) the rapid increas in wages and incomes. Construction of new housing was abnormally low because men and materials were necessarily. diverted from home building into war industries.
Solution.--The housing shortage will be ended by reversing the above relationship--that is, bu building new homes and apartments in excess of new demand for housing. Such an excess has occurred in 1948 for the iirst time and will increase in 1919 and the years to follow. The home-building industry is now producing 1,000,000 units annually and is geared to continue this production so long as the need continues. In the period 1.949–55 new family formation is estimated at 400,000 annually, farm to city migration at 30,000 annually, and hous. ing destroyed by fire and disaster at 40,000 annually. Thus there will be a basic annual need of 470,000 units. A construction rate of 1,000,000 a year will provide an excess of 50,000 new homes per year, or 3,000,000 in the next 6 years, to