Page images
PDF
EPUB

TRANSFER OF OFF-MILITARY RESERVATION HOUSING

(See p. 973)

Mr. DIRKSEN. I wonder if you would also insert in the record a table indicating the extent of the off-reservation housing of the War and Navy Departments, so we can have a general picture of the projects, the number of units, the dollar value, and so on.

Mr. BLANDFORD. Yes.
(The information requested follows:)

TABLE V.-Public war housing projects off Army reservations and naval bases

providing housing to civilian workers on reservations and bases, July 31, 1942

Number of projects.--
Number of dwelling units in these projects.
Total development cost--

177

38, 513 $145, 833, 000

POST-WAR PLANNING

Mr. DIRKSEN. Let me ask you: Are you doing any post-war planning at the present time in your office?

Mr. BLANDFORD. No; not in terms of any staff that is exclusively occupied with that. Our entire staff is focused on the present war housing job and whatever general supervision is required over the normal activities of the three constituents.

We, of course, have had discussions of the post-war aspects of housing, but no personnel is now assigned to that work. But there is one phase of it we believe must have some consideration when we get the war housing job done. The Lanham act contemplates disposition of the war houses. And we must begin to make suggestions to the consideration of the Congress on that point.

Mr. DIRKSEN. But actually there is no concrete program now under way on that?

Mr. BLANDFORD. No; we have not had the time to do that. I think we ought to get at it.

RESTRICTIONS ON HOUSING

Mr. DIRKSEN. I wonder also if at this point it might not be well to summarize the restrictions on housing. I am sure that you can give us some information on the restrictions which the W. P. B. has put into effect as related to private and public housing, and I think it would be rather informative if you would put in the record a short statement on that.

Mr. BLANDFORD. We will be glad to do that. (The information requested follows:)

RESTRICTIONS ON HOUSING The War Production Board and the National Housing Agency have worked constantly toward improved controls to make sure that (1) only war workers get war housing (occupancy controls), (2) that war housing is built with the minimum use of critical materials (materials controls), and (3) and that only the minimum required amount of war housing is built (programming controls). These controls require numerous administrative procedures in the War Production Board and throughout the Office of the Administrator of National Hous

ing Agency and its constituent units. The basic policies and principles governing these controls are contained in the following joint policy of the War Production Board and the National Housing agency, approved December 11, 1942:

[blocks in formation]

JOINT DECLARATION OF POLICY OF THE WAR PRODUCTION BOARD AND THE NATIONAL

HOUSING AGENCY REGARDING WAR HOUSING

Increasing shortages of critical materials have required a mutual review by the National Housing Agency and the War Production Board of their policies applicable to housing for war workers. To make available such housing within the limits imposed by such shortages and to formalize certain changes already observed by these agencies in their practices, the following Declaration of Policy, modifying some previously established policies, is hereby jointly made to apply to all publicly or privately financed war housing.

I. Housing for eligible war workers

A. Occupancy shall be limited to eligible war workers as defined from time to time by the National Housing Agency in consultation with the War Production Board and the War Manpower Commission.

B. The National Housing Agency reaffirms its policy of making maximum use of existing property to house eligible war workers. This will include:

1. Securing wherever possible the use for housing accommodations of the maximum number of rooms and family accommodations in existing structures.

2. The conversion of existing space to make apartments and rooms available for housing accommodations.

3. Not approving new war housing construction in any locality except to the extent that the housing needs of the locality cannot be met by the measures described in Sections 1 and 2 above.

C. For the duration of the war emergency, the dwelling units in war housing projects, construction of which is begun hereafter, shall be rented to war workers; provided that an occupant, after four months of occupancy, may purchase the privately financed housing unit subject to such regulations as the National Housing Agency may determine from time to time.

II. Conservation of materials

A. Consumption of all critical materials and any other materials which may be specified by the War Production Board from time to time, shall in all future projects be limited in accordance with the provisions of the War Housing Construction Standards, the latest War Housing Critical List, and this Declaration of Policy. These limitations shall apply to all materials used, whether taken from stock, secured without priority assistance, secured with priority assistance, or by gift or loan.

B. Where the National Housing Agency determines that the established quota for a "Housing Critical Area" is excessive the National Housing Agency will take steps necessary to revise or cancel such quota and the War Production Board will similarly revise or cancel the authorizations and preference rating orders applicable thereto.

C. All war housing projects approved for construction shall, wherever possible, be conformed to the War Housing Construction Standards and the latest War Housing Critical List. Accordingly, wherever a project requires further formal action by the War Production Board such as authentication of purchase orders, rerating or extension of the expiration date of the applicable preference rating order, the National Housing Agency will see that steps are taken to make such changes as are practicable to effect the conservation of critical materials and conformity with the War Housing Construction Standards and the latest War Housing Critical List. The present requirement of authentication of purchase orders of builders of war housing will be vigorously enforced by the National Housing Agency acting under a delegation of authority from the War Production Board which is hereby authorized.

D. Pursuant to the principles recognized by the War Housing Construction Standards, it shall be the policy of the National Housing Agency and the War Production Board to standardize utility and equipment installations, size of units, and the like, to effect minimum consumption of critical materials.

III. Programming

A. All housing for war workers shall be programmed by the National Housing Agency, which shall be responsible for consultation with other interested agencies.

B. Within fifteen days after receipt of instructions from the War Production Board the National Housing Agency will submit to the War Production Board, iu the form specified, all requirements for the first calendar quarter of 1943 and estimates for the second and third quarters for critical materials and other ma. terials specified by the War Production Board. It shall also submit a break-down by location and number, of the units which it programs for construction in each of the following categories: permanent family housing, temporary family housing, dormitory apartments and dormitories. After a mutual consideration of the data submitted the War Production Board will take action within thirty days. Pending such action, the War Production Board, if necessary, may provide interim allocations of critical materials. This procedure shall be followed for each quarterly presentation of requirements.

C. After determination by the War Production Board as to the availability of critical materials for war housing, the Board will allocate the critical materials by quarters and the National Housing Agency will determine the division of such materials between publicly and privately financed war housing.

D. The National Housing Agency shall require that all war housing shall be so located as to be accessible to the industry it is intended to serve, giving due consideration to the necessity for conserving critical materials in construction and utility extensions.

E. The National Housing Agency will continue to provide a large proportion of its total program in the form of temporary housing, including family dwelling units, dormitory apartments, and dormitories.

IV. Administration and enforcement

A. The National Housing Agency will set up an inspection service adequate to insure that construction of all housing programmed by it conforms to the applicable rules, regulations and orders of the National Housing Agency and the War Production Board.

B. The War Production Board will enforce compliance by: 1. Revoking authorizations or preference rating orders and otherwise penalizing any builder guilty of violating any provision of any application to, or any order or regulation of, the War Production Board affecting housing.

2. Promptly investigating every charge of violation brought up by the National Housing Agency.

3. Requesting the Department of Justice, in appropriate cases, to institute civil or criminal proceedings.

4. Instructing its Compliance Division to make inspections to supplement the inspection service of the National Housing Agency.

C. In appropriate cases either agency will exercise its powers of requisition or condemnation to make available materials or real property for war housing. D. The War Production Board will promptly review and process applications.

DONALD M. NELSON, Chairman, War Production Board.

John B. BLANDFORD, Jr.

Administrator, National Housing Agency. Dated : December 11, 1942.

Particularly, the system of materials controls involves constant submission by National Housing Agency and review by War Production Board of the types and amounts of materials used by war housing projects. These reviews involve examination of both general quotas and individual project records. Some of these reviews are made in advance of material allocations; others are post audits. With the aid of these controls, the present temporary family unit, for example, uses less than a quarter as much critical materials as the pre-war family unit.

ACTIVITIES OF INSURANCE COMPANIES OF PUBLIC-HOUSING FIELD

Mr. DIRKSEN. There is just one other question that occurs to me, and that is, insurance companies are trying to get into the public-housing field, but because of the lack of necessary State legislation they are restricted in most of the States, are they not?

Mr. BLANDFORD. I understand that insurance companies can operate in only about three States.

Mr. KEYSERLING. Yes; you are correct, Congressman Dirksen, and before the war came on we tried to facilitate that by getting amendments to legislation, but not many States have done anything. There are only about three.

Mr. ĎIRKSEN. So that on loans that are out, if you want those available funds for large-scale housing, there are only about three States authorizing companies to operate.

Mr. KEYSERLING. Yes.
Mr. STARNES. What are the three States?
Mr. KEYSERLING. New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts, I believe.

Mr. DIRKSEN. But our State is somewhat restricted. That is the reason I raise the question now.

Mr. KEYSERLING. Yes; it is restricted. Even though legislation was obtained, it was not enough to enable them to go as far as they wanted to.

Mr. BLANDFORD. As a matter of fact, we have had a rather unfortunate experience with these projects which have already been launched and which we and the War Production Board had to restrict during this war period. That is true of the project in New York and in California. Now, in California, did not we have one!

Mr. KEYSERLING. In California, yes, but I believe that was the Metropolitan Life project, which is a New York organization.

REGIONAL OFFICES Mr. DIRKSEN. If the justifications do not show it, Mr. Blandford, I wonder if you will state here your organizational picture, showing the number of persons employed in each one of the regional offices, in addition to the central office?

Mr. BLANDFORD. Yes, sir.
(The statement requested follows:)
Location of regional offices and number of employees as of Jan. 13, 1943

Number of Region and location:

employees I. Boston, Mass.

16 II. New York City

34 III. Washington, D. C--

19 IV. Atlanta, Ga ---

19 V. Cleveland, Ohio.

19 VI, Chicago, Ill.

20 VII. Kansas City, Mo.

13 VIII. Dallas, Tex--

25 IX. Seattle, Wash--

14 X. San Francisco, Calif..

30 Total..

209 Mr. DIRKSEN. I think that is all.

Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. I meant to ask you about that. You apparently attach importance to your regional set-up and are asking to enlarge it, are you not?

Mr. BLANDFORD. No, sir. The trend, if it has not already taken place, will shortly be in the other direction.

When we took over we found in the office of the Coordinator a staff engaged in programming, with offices mainly in Washington. We felt the load was going to be so much larger that the job should be pushed out in the field where the staff could work more closely with the local communities, as was contemplated under the Lanham Act. The other Federal agencies with whom we have relations—W. P. B., the War Manpower Commission, and the Federal Works Agency, generally speaking, have almost the same regional pattern.

Our estimates indicate that, while today we have 10 regional offices, we are moving in the direction of 5 and in the fiscal year 1944, unless some situation develops, we anticipate that we will have about 5.

Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. Some of your constituent agencies have those regional offices as well, do they not?

Mr. BLANDFORD. Yes.

Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. Why then isn't there an opportunity for consolidation and the elimination of offices either in the constituent agencies, or in your office.

Mr. BLANDFORD. That is one of the problems we are very much interested in. We want to move up on that. We do have, by inheritance, four sets of regional offices--the Federal Home Loan Bank System, the Home Owners' Loan Corporation, the Federal Housing Administration, and the Federal Public Housing Authority. There are also the regional offices of the Office of the Administrator. Now as to four of those that existed, they are each doing a definitely different job. Our job is programming; F. H. A.'s job is to process private priorities, and to insure privately financed housing; the Federal Public Housing Authority's job is building projects. The Home Owners' Loan Corporation and the Federal Home Loan Bank System you know about. But we feel definitely that this is one of the large areas of potential economy and is a matter we ought to study.

However, we are going to need some help as we move into that area; because, as you well know, there is going to be community reaction against any suggestion of closing up regional offices. That is one of the problems we will have to face if we are able to work out consolidations and economies.

Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. As a practical matter, you want to go to this or that project that you have in mind in your program and talk with the local people about it, with a view to getting the local reaction and determining its importance? Mr. BLANDFORD. Yes,

that is true, in our programming. Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. It seems to me that ought to be able to be taken care of in some way or other in one of those four sets of offices you say you have, without having an independent set-up for yourself.

Mr. BLANDFORD. None of these agencies built up offices for the same thing. The Home Loan Bank System, with 12 districts, is quite different; the Home Owners' Loan Corporation is quite different; the F. H. A. does a mortgage insurance job, and the Federal Public Housing Authority is a construction agency. No one of them had any experience in this new job given us of programming for in migrant war workers and keeping in touch with the whole production picture. We had to set up an agency to do that, and it was important that it be

« PreviousContinue »