Page images

a separate agency which could program both public and private in a balanced manner. But our programming operation, as I have indicated, is something that is going to shrink from 10 to 5 offices. In the meanwhile, we are moving up on the long-time picture of how to get a more logical picture all around.

Mr. FITZPATRICK. Is it not a fact that the Home Owners' Loan Corporation consolidated a good many of their regional offices?

Mr. BLANDFORD. That is correct, and Mr. Fahey will explain that later. And the Federal Housing Administration, as a matter of fact, is effecting large economies in the regional set-up.

Mr. FERGUSON. Oh, yes.
Mr. BLANDFORD. I think it has closed some offices?
Mr. FERGUSON. It has closed two.


Mr. Case. Over all, is your load mounting or decreasing?

Mr. BLANDFORD. In terms of the Administrator's office, our load bas been steadily increasing in the last 8 or 9 months. I am hoping, with respect to the war part of it, that it will begin to taper off, but, as was indicated, instead of perhaps 400 communities where there was some kind of war activity last February, today we have about 700 communities that we have to watch. And you may go into a warproduction community and not recommend a single new bit of construction, but you have to be sure there is enough there, and it takes almost as much time to program no housing as it does to program 500 houses.

Mr. CASE. I notice you have an increase requested for the work of research and statistics and it was not clear to me, under the trend of the work, that an increase in that direction would be indicated.

Mr. BLANDFORD. We will check that figure.

Mr. Case. Take, for instance, on page 2 of the statement, the details of personnel services, for example. An increase is suggested there from fifty-one to fifty-eight thousand.

Mr. BLANDFORD. We are not increasing the size of that operation, sir, although we will have a very considerable work load. The reason the dollars there are different is that there were vacancies in the current year, which positions we are hoping to be able to fill during all of 1944. Therefore, they will be in for a full year's salary. That is the only difference. The number of employees is actually one-half an employee less, or a reduction.

Mr. "CASE. I know that, and then you increase by approximately one-seventh the amount of the money requested.

Mr. MOORE. The full staff was not organized at the beginning of the fiscal year. Some positions were not filled until October, November, and December.

Mr. Case. In respect to personnel, are you experiencing any difficulty from raiding by other agencies?

Mr. BLANDFORD. I think Mr. Moore might be more familiar with that.

Mr. MOORE, As far as our own immediate office is concerned, we do not find any difficulty from that.


Mr. CASE. Have you asked for deferments for your personnel?

Mr. MOORE. We have asked for a few deferments; in all, perhaps only 10 or 12 people.

Mr. Case. Do you know how many deferments have been requested for the members of constituent agencies?

Mr. BLANDFORD. It is extremely small. I think in all of the units there were only about forty.

Mr. MOORE. Only 43 in the whole agency,
Mr. BLANDFORD. Out of about 16,000 employees.


Mr. CASE. Who determines what type of housing is necessary in connection with the defense establishment-you, or the defense plant, or the Army or Navy, or whatever agency it may be?

Mr. BLANDFORD. Well, as to programming, we work with the War Manpower Commission and use their information as to whether the worker coming in is a single man, or is a man with a wife and children, or whether male or female. We consult directly with the armed gervices in determining the type of housing—whether dormitory, or apartments for two persons, or family dwelling units.

Mr. Case. You say you, in consultation with the other agency; but who determines it, who decides?

Mr. BLANDFORD. We determine it.
Mr. Case. You decide ?
Mr. BLANDFORD. Yes, sir.

Mr. Case. Regardless of what the commanding officer where the installation is to be placed says that he needs?

Mr. BLANDFORD. I do not want by answering that to imply that we are in disagreement; usually we are in agreement.

Mr. CASE. But where there is a disagreement and a difference of opinion, do you decide or the other agency?

Mr. BLANDFORD. Of necessity, we have to decide; but, as a matter of fact, there is usually as much disagreement between the operating Army or Navy establishment in the field, and their central office, as there may be between us. Usually, we are in very close agreement with the people in the field, whether it be the private manufacturer or the commandant of a base. There are occasionally differences of opinion on the topside as to whether we ought to program more dormitories, or more temporary family dwelling units; but, after all, a decision has to be made and we make that decision.


Mr. DIRKSEN. Mr. Case, may I go back for a moment relative to your question on deferments?

Mr. CASE. Yes, sir.

Mr. DIRKSEN. Í have 2 sets of figures here, but this does not include the Administrator's office only for the Federal Public Housing Agency and the Home Owners' Loan Corporation. For the Federal

SIA Agency, if

Housing Agency—that is Mr. Ferguson's agency—the figures as of
December 30 indicate a total of 1,010 annual employments between
the ages of 18 and 45, and 176 per diem employees. I am speaking
now of male employees eligible for service. Deferments were re-
quested for only 7, and only 6 deferments were granted—4 for 2
months and 2 for 6 months.
Mr. Moore. I can give you those comparable figures for the whole

you desire it.
Mr. DIRKSEN. Let me give the Home Owners' Loan figures, and
then you insert the rest, and indicate if the figures I have are correct.
For the Federal Home Loan Bank Administration, the total you had

of employees between the ages of 18 and 45 was 1,590 in all functions; 12.95 the total number of employees for whom deferment has been requested

was 10, and the total number of employees who have been deferred, whether for occupational or other reasons, is 7, of whom 4 were deferred on occupational grounds and 2 because of dependency. Four of those deferred on occupational grounds are now in active military or naval service.

Mr. STARNES. Why not let us have that for the others?

Mr. WOODRUM. Do you want that in the record, or do you want to hear them now?

Mr. STARNES. I would like to hear them, because so much goes into the record that I never see.

Mr. MOORE. The figures for the entire agency are: Number of deferments requested, 43. Of the 43 deferments requested, only 23 were granted. Of those granted, only 6 are now in a deferred status,

Mr. STARNES. That is for all of the constituent agencies?

Mr. MOORE. That is for the entire agency. ber Mr. Woodrum. Out of how many?

Mr, MOORE. Out of 16,000 employees.
Mr. WOODRUM. Of whom how many are in the draft age?
Mr. Moore. I cannot give you that figure.


[ocr errors]

Mr. Case. Now, Mr. Blandford, you made some statement to the effect that it might be necessary to come before Congress for a new program. What was that for--some additional funds under the Lanham Act?

Mr. BLANDFORD. There are two things. One is for additional war housing insurance authority under title VI, to enable F.H. A. to insure private construction for war workers.

At the time we made our request last Spring, we had in mind 200,000 priorities from the War Production Board, roughly a billion dollars' worth of construction, and our picture then was that perhaps 45 or 50 percent of it would be insured by F. H. A., and we asked for a $500,000,000 insurance authority. Increasingly private construction is asking for insurance, and it runs now about 84 percent. So we need additional authority to carry out at least that 200,000 priority program.

Mr. Ferguson. That does not require an appropriation; it is only authority to insure.


(See p. 957)

Mr. Case. Yes; I understand that. And, Mr. Blandford, you want the record to stand, as the established policy of your over-all administration, that wherever it is possible to have either private construction, or private construction insured by F. H. A., you prefer that and encourage that rather than requesting funds for building public housing?

Mr. BLANDFORD. That is right. That is on the record before the Lanham committee and before this committee too.



Mr. Case. Have you given any consideration to the possibility of meeting temporary housing needs by subsidizing transportation from nearby communities where private housing or existing housing is available?

Mr. BLANDFORD. We have talked about it, Congressman, and it is still an active subject and we shall try to work something out on it. It will require legislation.

Mr. Case. It might require legislation, but, if a saving would be indicated, over a loss that will be incurred on wartime housing, it seemed to me to be a proper subject to pursue and to pursue actively.

Mr. BLANDFORD. That is right, and that is one of the basic considerations of our whole program. We have a transportation engineer in the Administrator's office. He has a fancy title, but what he actually does is he goes out to the communities and works with the city governments, the local bus companies and trolley lines, and tries to get transportation furnished rather than building new houses. That is a current activity. Down in Tampa, Fla., for example, there is need for additional housing of a temporary type, estimated at as much as 2,000 units. We have known that for weeks, but we have held back because we are trying to solve the problem through transportation. Our man returned only a few days ago and we are trying to work out an adjustment on bridge tolls so that workers may come there from St. Petersburg, where there is private housing.

Mr. CASE. An adjustment of the bridge tolls would be helpful, but if you had the authority so that you could go in yourselves temporarily and subsidize transportation for a short period of time and avoid moving in trailers or putting up temporary housing, the tax burden would probably be a great deal less than the loss involved in some housing that has to be moved, sold, or demolished afterwards.

Mr. BLANDFORD. Yes, if it is just a matter of taking care of the workers. But at the present time there is a War Production Board priority regulation requiring not in excess of 40 cents a round trip, and when we get into that transportation situation it is complicated. I mean you run into the question of whether there are available busses, and there are the problems of tires and gasoline, and so forth.

Mr. Case. I recall recently discussing it with, I think, some member of one of your constituent agencies, if not, some member of the War Department, and it has been determined that a private passenger car that carried as many as four or five workers required less rubber to run them than the rubber required for the average bus, in proportion to the number of people carried, traveling at proper speeds.

Mr. BLANDFORD. Yes. Well, I have seen a lot of figures on that. It is an important question.

Mr. CASE. I do think you should study it and study it aggressively, and that something should be done about it instead of muddling through the whole situation until the time has passed to do anything.



Mr. STARNES. Mr. Blandford, will you state whether or not private individuals who have money to invest in housing to relieve a housing shortage in defense areas, or where war industries or cantonments are located, have to come through your agency to obtain approval before these houses can be constructed! You can answer that in the record.

(The statement requested follows:) The War Production Board, in order to distribute available materials to the many necessary parts of the war production program, oversees the right to construct housing and the use which may be made of scarce materials in construction. There are certain very limited exceptions permitting the construction of some nonwar housing in noncritical areas—but almost all housing now constructed must be war housing. National Housing Agency has the responsibility for developing a war housing program for the Nation, distributing the scarce materials as best as it can for construction in the most critical areas. Federal Housing Administration, because of the wide coverage and trained personnel of its field offices, has been designated by the War Production Board as its agent in giving information and accepting and reviewing applications of private individuals with money to invest in war housing, regardless of whether they are applying for Federal Housing Administration insurance or not. Federal Housing Administration personnel examine the application and supplemental data for conformance to the housing program as indicated by priority quotas, and for observation of war restrictions such as the site location, price, and size, and conservation of scarce materials. If the application is approved it is transmitted to the War Production Board, which retains the power of final action. A more detailed description of these requirements is contained in the War Housing Manual, issued on December 12, 1942, by the Housing Branch, Construction Bureau, War Production Board.

Mr. FITZPATRICK. Thank you very much, Mr. Blandford.

« PreviousContinue »