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projects and that even these could hardly be regarded as upper income. The median income of these 416 overincome families was only $2,874 per year. The average annual income of all 5,000 families in our low-rent projects (including the ineligible families) was only $1,742 as of the end of 1948. Furthermore, the average income of all the new families who moved into our low-rent public housing during the year 1948 was only $1,410 per year. I will leave it to your imagination to figure out how a family can be raised on such incomes at today's prices.

It has also been claimed that public housing is not needed in order to get rid of our slums. Slum conditions, it is said, could be eliminated if each city were to adopt an adequate set of housing standards and then see that these standards were enforced. These claims seem to have been based, to a great extent, upon our experience in Baltimore with a housing law-enforcement program. This program has attracted national attention as the Baltimore plan. As mayor of Baltimore and as the responsible head of the city government which is carrying out this law-enforcement program, I want to clear up once and for all the confusion and exaggerated claims which are being made in various parts of the country about the Baltimore plan.

We in Baltimore are justifiably proud of our law-enforcement program. It is chiefly a health and sanitation measure. It is based upon a housing code, which sets certain minimum health and sanitation standards, and upon a vigorous program of enforcement of this code. Our enforcement revolves around a specially created housing court, which I believe is the only one of its kind in the country.

The program is designed to relieve somewhat the worst slum conditions until such time as the slums can be torn down and satisfactory housing supplied. It does not do more, simply because to do more would be completely impractical in view of the dilapidated character of the present buildings. The standards set up in the housing code are as high as feasible, but even so are well below those of decent and adequate housing. For example, the code requires the installation of an inside toilet fixture but it does not require the provision of a bath because there is no space for a bath in most of our slum dwellings. Even the small amount of space needed for a toilet must come from

other room, already too small and crowded. The Baltimore plan might be compared to first aid administered in the temporary absence of a doctor, which would not be necessary if the doctor were present, to begin with, and which, in no way, eliminates the eventual need for the doctor's services.

Our law-enforcement program does not add one dwelling to our supply of low-rent houses, and at the moment our crying need is for more low-rent dwellings. In fact, a strict law-enforcement program reduces the total supply of dwellings, since some buildings must be completely demolished. Furthermore, such a program must rely upon the availability of an additional supply of low-rent dwellings if it is to be effective in curing one of the principal causes of slums— that is, the crowding of more than one family into a single dwelling unit. I strongly believe that other cities should consider adoption of the Baltimore plan as an interim method of relieving slum conditions to some extent, but do not let anybody kid you into thinking that it is, in any sense, a substitute for an adequate slum clearance, redevelopment, and public low-rent housing program.

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our low-income families. figures on this point. Las tee on Housing under Sen. ernors, all mayors of cities citizens. Here are some os

1. Practically all of the contained a substantial nu or other substandard hous

2. Nine out of ten mayo' private enterprise could these low-income families

3. On the other hand, ing low-rent public housi that they had been pro families. All said that and that conditions of 1 proved. More than five .. services in the neighbor! increased. All agreed t1 with private housing of indicated that the proje

4. Sixty-seven out of eral assistance to local housing

This last figure is, I which have been made tainly the mayors wou operate at close range. been many more mayo, than a mere 3 out of 7 could command such

I have mentioned th. housing. Let me dispo

It has been alleged families and that mai Jow-rent housing pro there were a number i continued occupancy. the war a number of pose and we 14 diversion over, th possil houfast

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half of the average city's budget spent to support them, the
subsidized housing at its worst. This fact, if repeated often
i impress the most intransigent city councilman or taxpayer,
roblem in dollars and cents and avoids the question of whether
unts of slum dwellings deserve anything better. Sticking to
roach, the average city rat causes $2 worth of damage a year,
iged infants; the average public case of tuberculosis requires
PF, and the average fire $600. What more practical reasons
11 favor of a program to eliminate the unhealthy firetraps that
bitations in slum areas?
cing a few hundred slum dwellings at a time, however, is a slow
thod of alleviating slum living conditions. What most cities
nediate program to reduce on a wide scale the most glaring
Tiety hazards in slum areas--a program that will fill in between
er future date marks the rebuilding of the last slum block.
is men and women in national housing (circles have lately been
imore plan for cleaning up slums.

Ramong large American cities, has a plan already in operation ou engulfment by slum blight. Every city has on its lawbooks Tre, and building requirements that slum dwellings obviously do ition of these requirements is a criminal offense. What Balti

launch a block-by-block enforcement drive to compel slum land

with minimum housing standards, and slum tenants to obey tary laws. he Baltimore plan has worked under ideal circumstances. What s block No. 1 in the city's clean-up drive used to be a run-clown · small houses surrounding a courtyard cut up by rickety wooden southouses, and piles of debris. The houses, 70 percent of which of major repairs, were occupied by 79 families. Sixty-six of these

inside toilets, 56 lacked bathing facilities, 35 used backyards for will, and 14 had rats as constant boarders. Leaky roofs and the iters and downpipes kept most of the houses and yards in a peri condition, giving rise to dank odors and bronchial coughs. block of houses surrounds a paved and sunny courtyard in which on swings and seesaws. All the wooden fences and outside toilets moved. Every dwelling unit, now one room larger on the average, toilet, and there are no windowless rooms. Rat infestation has been y out. Through the replacement of bad stairs and flooring, the of walls and ceilings, and the addition of gutter spouting, inside id backyard drainage, every house in the block complies with mini

ind safety standards. And the cost to the city was only the cost tion staff and court action. ises incurred by the transformation, except for the recreational equipit by a civic organization, were borne by the property owners, who

gradually through increased rent. Although forced to pay higher nants maintain that the improvements are worth it. As for the their original opposition has been tempered by the realization that tments have added protection in the forms of physical improvements Ffion in tenant turn-over. 1.1 is Baltimore's showpiece, and has impressed officials from scores I need of a cheap approach to their slum problems. But block No. 1 is ssentative of Baltimore's 10-year struggle to get its plan working

truggle awaiting any city that interferes in the operations of as ivate enterprise as the renting of slum housing. Block No. 1 rep1 product of a campaign that began on a day in 1939 when health oaxed into making an official inspection of nine houses that had no gas, and only a fire hydrant as a community source of water. t}ials reported that the block of nine houses was unfit for human

he block was leveled. After that the same officials, with considon, inspected other diseased blocks, and some more bad housing ror moral support the health department had the backing of a is of do-gooders organized as a citizens' housing association, and of

that published pictures and descriptions of slum living conditions ht months. The paper avoided emotional appeals to civic conscience zed instead the effect on the public purse when slum owners suck any of profit from their properties and then dump them on the city

Xes.

* *

An excellent description of the Baltimore plan has just been published in the May issue of the Atlantic. Let me quote a few pertinent sentences:

Anyone who believes that the Baltimore plan is an adequate substitute for tearing down the worst slum areas and building anew is hopelessly deluded. The plan does not provide much-needed minimum housing, nor does it actually rid a city of its slum areas. It does eliminate some of the more obvious sources of disease and provide children, under ideal circumstances, with off-street play space. Yet even if such results could be accurately measured, they would not add up to immense dividends.

The slums in Baltimore remain slums, with not a single new dwelling unit in all the jam-packed blocks. Some houses have been patched up, to be sure, and there is less sewage standing in backyard puddles, but the blight remains. The sense of achievement that comes with getting a particularly dilapidated house repaired is offset by the knowledge that the occupants of the house are still sleeping three and four to a bed, with all the hazards that accompany overcrowding. Also, chastening is the realization that so far fewer than 30 out of an estimated 2,000 slum blocks have been crossed off as completed in the block-by-block campaign. As on health official remarked, “We will not live to see the end of this program.”

I have a copy of the entire article here which I should like to submit for the record at this point as part of my testimony, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, that may be done. (The article referred to is as follows:)

BALTIMORE PLAN

(A New Englander and a veteran who has served for 2 years on the editorial staff of the Baltimore Sun, Elgar L. Jones, has been freshly impressed by the vigorous efforts which Baltimore has made to clean up the worst of its slums, Together with Burke Davis, who covers the housing problem for the Evening Sun, he makes the point that the Baltimore plan should be followed by other cities as the first :tep in a public-housing program.)

SLUM CLEARANCE AT A PROFIT

(By Edgar L. Jones and Burke Davis) Some people are upset by slums. They feel sick themselves when they find four or five children sharing a bed in a windowless room and realize that the tubercular cough of one youngster means the eventual infection of his bedmates. They smell the dank squalor of decaying buildings, see the one clogged toilet, without bathing facilities, that must do for 20 or 30 persons, turn their eyes from the ugly blotches on vermin-covered bodies, and declare (some of them, at least) that something must be done right away to clear out slum areas.

But righteous indignation is a poor weapon against slums. An emotional crusade is apt to lose momentum long before it has run the gamut of official surveys, public hearings, proposals and counterproposals, amendments from the floor and in committee meetings, factional fights for district support, and all the other embattled positions in the course of legislative action. Slums are deep in politics as well as in decay. There's gold in those dilapidated dwellings, and the men who yearly extract $500 to $1,000 or more in rent from property assessel as low as $300 will protect their vested interests with all the political pressure they can exercise. And they have the apathy and prejudices of the general public on their side.

A more practical approach to a sustained drive on slum conditions is an appeal to the public's selfish interests, rather than to its humanitarian instincts or civic pride. It is easy enough to prove that the high cost of slum living conditions imposes too great a burden on urban taxpayers. Slum housing, which comprises about 20 percent of this country's residential areas and contains at least a third of its population, yields only 6 percent of the real-estate tax revenue that is the mainstay of municipal governments. In return for that 6 percent, slums require, on a national average, more than half of the available medical and institutional care, half the time of the police, more than a third of the time of fire departments, and most of the welfare benefits.

With close to half of the average city's budget spent to support them, the sluns represent subsidized housing at its worst. This fact, if repeated often enough, is apt to impress the most intransigent city councilman or taxpayer, since it poses a problem in dollars and cents and avoids the question of whether or not the occupants of slum dwellings deserve anything better. Sticking to the monetary approach, the average city rat causes $2 worth of damage a year, not counting damaged infants; the average public case of tuberculosis requires $5,000 in tax money, and the average fire $600. What more practical reasons can be presented in favor of a program to eliminate the unhealthy firetraps that pass for human habitations in slum areas?

Razing and replacing a few hundred slum dwellings at a time, however, is a slow and expensive method of alleviating slum living conditions. What most cities need is an intermediate program to reduce on a wide scale the most glaring health, fire, and safety hazards in slum areas--a program that will till in between now and whatever future date marks the rebuilding of the last slum block. That is why many men and women in national housing circles have lately been studying the Baltimore plan for cleaning up slums.

Baltimore, alone among large American cities, has a plan already in operation to save itself from engulfment by slum blight. Every city has on its lawbooks certain health, fire, and building requirements that slum dwellings obviously do not meet. Violation of these requirements is a criminal offense. What Baltimore has done is launch a block-by-block enforcement drive to compel slum landlords to comply with minimum housing standards, and slum tenants to obey health and sanitary laws.

Here is how the Baltimore plan has worked under ideal circumstances. What is now known as block No. 1 in the city's clean-up drive used to be a run-down collection of 63 small houses surrounding a courtyard cut up by rickety wooden fences, sagging outhouses, and piles of debris. The houses, 70 percent of which were in need of major repairs, were occupied by 79 families. Sixty-six of these families had no inside toilets, 56 lacked bathing facilities, 35 ised backyards for garbage disposal, and 14 had rats as constant boarders. Leaky roofs and the absence of gutters and downpipes kept most of the houses and yards in a perpetually soggy condition, giving rise to dank odors and bronchial coughs.

Today that block of houses surrounds a paved and sunny courtyard in which children play on swings and seesaws. All the wooden fences and outside toilets have been removed. Every dwelling unit, now one room larger on the average, has an inside toilet, and there are no windowless rooms. Rat infestation has been entirely wiped out. Through the replacement of bad stairs and flooring, the replastering of walls and ceilings, and the addition of gutter spouting, inside plumbing, and backyard drainage, every house in the block complies with miniillum health and safety standards. And the cost to the city was only the cost of an inspection staff and court action.

The expenses incurred by the transformation, except for the recreational equipment bought by a civic organization, were borne by the property owners, who get it back gradually through increased rent. Although forced to pay higher rent, the tenants maintain that the improvements are worth it. As for the landlords, their original opposition has been tempered by the realization that their investments have added protection in the forms of physical improvements and a reduction in tenant turn-over.

Block No. 1 is Baltimore's showpiece, and has impressed officials from scores of cities in need of a cheap approach to their slum problems. But block No. 1 is hardly representative of Baltimore's 10-year struggle to get its plan working smoothly- -a struggle awaiting any city that interferes in the operations of as profitable a private enterprise as the renting of slum housing. Block No. 1 represents the end product of a campaign that began on a day in 1939 when health officials were coaxed into making an official inspection of nine houses that had no electricity, no gas, and only a fire hydrant as a community source of water.

The health officials reported that the block of nine houses was unfit for human habitation, and the block was leveled. After that the same officials, with considerable trepidation, inspected other diseased blocks, and some more bad housing came down. For moral support the health department had the backing of a militant group of do-gooders organized as a citizens' housing association, and of a newspaper that published pictures and descriptions of slum living conditions for 18 straight months. The paper avoided emotional appeals to civic conscience and publicized instead the effect on the public purse when slum owners suck the last penny of profit from their properties and then dump them on the city in default of taxes.

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