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has frequently been called upon to furnish data and suggestions to public and private agencies interested in housing needs.
A motion picture entitled “The Tenement in Transition", with dialogue, has been prepared for motion-picture theaters, civic, church, and other groups. A Five-Year Plan for Slum Clearance, magazine articles in technical and welfare journals, and various reports have been circulated through New Jersey and the Nation. A series of radio broadcasts was conducted from Radio Station WOR.
An exhibit entitled "The Cost of Slums” awakened many of the 110,000 persons who walked through an actual 3-room typical slum flat, an indictment of modern civilization, and then studied charts, graphs, and photographs that offered data for correcting our slums.
Intensive work has been done with 280 groups, totaling 30,000 people, as the facts and needs have been presented to many of the leading citizens of New Jersey in every county in the State. Through verbal and illustrated lectures, conferences, and correspondence there has been built up by the process of accretion a housing consciousness among Rotarians, Kiwanians, Lions, Zontas, business and professional women's clubs, women's clubs, church groups, conferences, and conventions of school teachers, college, and high-school groups, leagues of voters, industrial, and labor groups.
This broad preparation for the Wagner bill has been further advanced through the cooperation given by the Department of Institutions and Agencies, Social Workers Conference, National Association of Housing Officials, National Public Housing Conference, and the Housing Division of the Public Works Administration.
We have also anticipated the possibilities inherent in the Wagner bill through our intimate contact with the Housing School of Management, which was recently concluded in Washington, D. C. With facts, stimulation of public interest, and localized concern the public has been prepared for the fruitage of the Wagner bill.
In conclusion, we respectfully and emphatically urge favorable action on the Wagner public housing bili. We are confident that many of the residents of New Jersey share in the opinion that the most constructive efforts of the present Federal administration are those dealing with building construction.
The Federal Housing Administration is rapidly becoming an important factor in bringing about a helpful recovery in business and industry. From the economic point of view the Wagner bill is the type of legislation which will complement the Federal Housing Administration program.
In other years an unfailing barometer of economic conditions has been the amount of building construction. No other industry is capable of supplying as many varied jobs immediately as those involved in building construction. We are certain that if this bill is passed, the ultimate result will be the legitimate absorption of many of our unemployed workers.
An active housing construction program is fully justified by present economic conditions. This factor alone should merit favorable consideration of this bill. Arguments for its passage become more poignant when it is considered that in addition to creating many useful and needed jobs, the whole program will result in the gradual elimination of our slums and blighted areas. We believe that failure to report this bill favorably would result in a serious blow to any recovery program.
Our views are naturally predicated upon the assumption that, if this bill be enacted into law, the administration of its provisions will be entirely divorced from partisan considerations and carried out in the spirit of that great emancipator who believed in the inclusiveness of "for, of, and by the people.
To this end we need, as Kipling said, “The everlasting teamwork of every bloomin' soul."
Gentlemen, we in the State housing authority of New Jersey strongly urge the adoption of the Wagner public-housing bill.
TABLE I.—Real property inventory data for New Jersey
Total residential structures.
In good condition.
Rental units (including vacants).
TABLE II.-Analysis of dwelling units renting for less than $24 per month in
Bergen, Hudson, Passaic, Essex, Middlesex, Union, Atlantic, and Camden Counties and the Trenton metropolitan district, New Jersey.
7,061 37, 244 77, 246 88, 950
Total dwelling units.
7.6 36.6 42.5
Under $10 per month
72, 188 218, 616 113, 548 250, 530
5, 847 32, 888 114, 046 36, 705
8. 7 26. 5 13.7 30.3
57, 288 156, 449
2, 722 20, 729 86, 262 22, 982
100.0 83.9 16.1 51.8 27.2 74. 3 1.3 9.6 40.9 12.9
TABLE III.-Analysis of R. P. I. data to indicate markets for new construction
(a) Total structures..
Total unfit dwelling units..
Statement of income and direct erpenses of maintaining area “A” in the oity
of Atlantic City, N. J.
Atlantic County Visiting Nurse and Tuberculosis Association -
$49.7. 79 1, 908. 49
427. 54 6, 037.00
484. 00 3, 201. 97
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Dr. Johnson. Mr. Robbins, the committee will hear you.
STATEMENT OF IRA S. ROBBINS, COUNSEL OF THE NEW YORK
STATE BOARD OF HOUSING, NEW YORK CITY
The CHAIRMAN. Will you state your full name?
Mr. ROBBINS. I am counsel of the New York State Board of Housing
The CHAIRMAN. You may proceed with a brief statement.
Mr. ROBBINS. Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, Mr. Grimm gave the impression, if he did not say directly, that the limited dividend projects in New York State under the New York State Board of Housing and the Public Works Administration were unsuccessful, even though they had tax exemption.
In the first place, all of the projects under the New York State Board of Housing are successful. In the second place, some of them are successful despite the fact they have not been granted tax exemption.
I refer specifically to the Boulevard Gardens Housing Corporation which is 100 percent rented, and is assessed for the full amount, and the Hillside Housing Corporation which is 99.5 percent rented and is assessed at the full amount.
I also want to direct the attention of the committee to the fact that these projects were built under conditions where prevailing rates of wages were paid.
There have been references to the limited type of dividend corporations and the difficulties they have. There are many corporations operating under the name of limited-dividend type provided for in this bill, the most desirable type, because they are subject to restrictions of law, administration, and regulation, which insures that the rents charged will be below those that private capital can produce.
The chairman was impressed by the reference to the F. H. A. project here in Washington, as I understand.
The CHAIRMAN. In Virginia, across the Potomac River.
Mr. ROBBINS. I would like to direct your attention to the fact that type of limited-dividend corporations, which is subject only to the regulation of the F. H. A., and not to any law or anybody, as I understand, is, first, a project in which less than the prevailing rates of wages are paid, and second, in which the rents are quite high.
The CHAIRMAN. The rent is $35 for three rooms.
Mr. ROBBINS. Furthermore, that the supervision of the F. H. A. is limited in all probability to the life of the mortgage on the property and not to the life of the project itself.
The CHAIRMAN. I think that is probably true.
Mr. ROBBINS. In New York State that supervision exists from the beginning to the end of the project, and any profit in that project over 6 percent return on the money goes to the State of New York.
The CHAIRMAN. This project was exhibited for the purpose of showing-I think there are thousands of applicants for renting these apartments—the need of low-priced homes for many people. It was exhibited for the purpose of showing how private capital under Government insurance could be induced to build homes, and they point out the large number of buildings other than this project that had been built in that locality as the result of this project.
Mr. ROBBINS. That is highly desirable, and the New York State Board of Housing favors the investment by private capital as much as possible in these projects.
The CHAIRMAN. This is not the kind of project included in this bill?
Mr. ROBBINS. The necessity for limited-dividend corporations under this bill is the fact that there are no mortgage loans available for projects of this type at the present time.
We welcome and wait for the investment by private capital of money in this field, where there is a shortage of thousands of houses in New York, as Mr. Clas mentioned the other day, and that shortage can be met by means of a limited-dividend corporation with fixed regulations and they can produce housing of high standard, which cannot be accommodated by private enterprise.
It is very desirable for private enterprise, from this point of view, to have the kind of regulation where there may be more profit than that obtained under the New York State law, where the standards may not be quite so high, where the regulation ceases at the end of the mortgage period, but that, to our minds, is not a true limited profit agency, the kind that is provided in this bill, and we would like to stress, Mr. Chairman, and Senator Wagner, the necessity of keeping this provision in, so that we can take care of all classes, not only those who are not represented even by limited-dividend corporations, because we have six housing authorities in New York State, in New York City, Schenectady, Buffalo, Yonkers, and those authorities have their plans for their loans, and they also await the loans for limited-dividend corporations.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT MIFFLIN SENTMAN, NATIONAL PRESI
DENT, FEDERATION OF ARCHITECTS, ENGINEERS, CHEMISTS, AND TECHNICIANS
Mr. SENTMAN. The Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists, and Technicians is a national economic organization of technical employees with national offices at 26 East Seventeenth Street, New York City.
The Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists, and Technicians is in favor of some provisions of the bill introduced by Senator Wagner, and it is opposed to others.
(a) Those provisions which we favor and which we believe are steps forward in the campaign for adequate housing for the people of the United States are as follows:
(1) The setting up of the United States Housing Authority as an independent and permanent body to encourage low-rental housing in States and municipalities and to establish housing standards.
(2) The labor provisions covering laborers and mechanics.
(6) Those provisions which we oppose in the belief that they negate the value of those set forth under (a) are as follows:
(1) The money available to the housing authority is entirely inadequate. Only some $250,000,000 per year are available for a period of 4 years. At best, and eliminating the strong possibility of inflated