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These surveys, in most cases, indicate the number of vacancies in single-family dwellings and in apartments. As I say, the surveys are entirely disinterested, and they were taken as a rule by the Postmaster with the help of the local real-estate board.

In general, these surveys show that there is at present in the United States something more than 3 percent of urban dwelling facilities standing vacant. Now, we have, according to the last census in this country, some 13,000,000 urban dwelling units.

Senator Davis. Let me ask you whether those dwellings are habitable.

Mr. Nelson. These 13,000,000 dwelling units, you mean the vacant ones?

Senator DAVIS. Yes.

Mr. NELSON. They are of every kind, they are expensive dwelling units and inexpensive dwelling units.

Senator Davis. I mean the expensive dwellings that were built years ago that no one wants to live in now, that are readily given to you to be used as a club, or something of that kind, have you given consideration to the number of that kind of dwellings!

Mr. Nelson. There are very few of those. This survey simply covers all of the existing facilities. It would not be possible, without a great deal of expense, more than we can attempt to undertake, to classify these buildings into the different grades.

Senator Davis. It seems to me there would not be any trouble for the real-estate men in the communities to take photographs of these particular buildings.

The CHAIRMAN. Three percent of the 13,000,000 would be how many?

Mr. NELSON. About 400,000.
Senator Davis. Divided up into how many cities?
Mr. NELSOX. For all the urban communities.
Senator Davis. And you have got how many organizations here?
Mr. NELSON. Four hundred and thirty-one.

Senator Davis. You have got many organizations in every city, and it seems to me the real-estate men could give us a really good picture of what this housing program means.

Mr. Nelson. I think we could. I think it would be a costly thing. If it were desired as a prelude to a rather substantial and carefully thought out legislation, we could undertake something of that kind.

Senator Davis. My own observations are that there are so many of these houses, so many of these buildings in the business sections of the country that ought to have been razed years ago.

Mr. NELSON. Well, I can only present the facts as I have them and the facts show that there are some 400,000 urban dwelling units, both in single-family dwellings and in multiple dwellings, standing vacant today, and those are of every possible type, inexpensive, mediumpriced, and expensive. Now, that is the fact.

When some people speak of a housing shortage very often they mean a shortage of a certain type of dwelling which they regard as desirable, and it usually depends on who is speaking as to what kind of an estimate you get. Architects feel a great number of our houses should be destroyed and rebuilt. If you talk to a man who is responsible for a lot of mortgage investments, like the president of a

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savings bank, he is very apt to feel that much of the present. housing is good enough to be used for a long time, just so that he gets his money out of it. So it depends on whom you talk to as to what estimate you get as to how many houses we now have that should be replaced.

I am perfectly willing to say, from our observation, that there are a great many houses that should be replaced as soon as we can afford to do it.

Mr. Schmidt calls my attention to the fact that the largest element of vacancies is in apartments, and as a rule those are not expensive quarters, they are usually low-rental quarters.

Senator Davis. There is no way for us to get information as to where these apartments are located ?

Mr. NELSON. Yes; we can get all that information. How much of that information do you desire?

The CHAIRMAN. It is scattered all through the cities in the United States, Senator.

Senator Davis. Yes; I know, but in what sections of the cities? The CHAIRMAN. He says all sections.

Mr. Nelson. We can give you that information, if we can interpret it when we have it. We were not able to interpert it when we had it, it was so diversified.

In section 3 the bill proceeds to create a United States Housing Authority, and vests that authority with certain powers. I have here a pamphlet issued by the Government called "Services of the Federal Government to Home Owners and Tenants," and the first page of this pamphlet lists more than 40 present agencies set up by the Federal Government to deal with various questions in the housing field. Some of those are major agencies, some of them are minor agencies.

I have here also a somewhat more elaborate chart prepared by the Government itself. That lists the present set-up on major agencies. It includes the Public Works Administration, the Works Progress Administration, the Suburban Resettlement Division, and these other agencies.

Now, my purpose in presenting that pamphlet and this diagram showing the major agencies now engaged in slum clearance and in housing activity is to suggest to the committee that we already have a great many agencies that are trying to serve this field and that it should be considered whether or not it is wise to create additional vnes instead of adding to the functions of existing ones.

In the headquarters of our association we have two librarians who, together with myself, attempts to gather together and to codify the regulations issued by all these agencies governing the loans and governing all sorts of housing questions. I confess that I am not able to do it. We cannot keep up with the regulations that are issued from day to day, and it is utterly hopeless and impossible for any man who has to deal with these agencies, representing his client or the public, as the real-estate office does, to know what is going on. The picture is so confused and so complicated that even with the best of intentions and the desire to cooperate it is impossible for us to do so.

Moreover, some of these agencies are not always in accord as to the policies to be pursued, and sometimes we have seen agencies set up by the Government advocating conflicting policies in the housing field.

So that it is our feeling, Mr. Chairman, that an added agency to deal with low-cost housing and slum clearance in addition to those that already exist might not be advisable and might tend to defeat its purposes rather than using an existing agency.

The CHAIRMAN. In connection with the pamphlet you referred to, entitled "Services of the Federal Government to home owners and tenants", there may be inserted in the record of the hearing the description of these agencies and the definition of their purposes and activities set forth on pages 6, 7, 8, and the top of page 9.

(The matter referred to is as follows:) The National Resources Committee occupies an important role in local and national planning. By direct assistance to State planning boards, and through these, by encouraging county and local planning, it is rendering a service to the homeowner which, though indirect, is bound to exert a valuable influence on the development of his city, his neighborhood, and his home.

This committee is also actively concerned with the formulation of general policies for regional development. In the formulation of these policies it initiates research and makes detailed recommendations to the Administration.

A large number of cities possess zoning ordinances and many have a comprehensive city plan. An examination of both, and a reading of explanatory reports, will give the prospective home builder a more thorough understanding of his city-present and future-than he can secure in any other way. He obtains a broad picture of the future city and of the relationship of its various parts.

Zoning ordinances divide the municipal area into certain districts for singlefamily homes, two-family homes, and apartment houses. The home builder should become acquainted with the zoning map so that the location of his proposed home in relation to these several types of districts may be understood. The type of home which the purchaser expects to acquire should be considered in relation to the type of building permitted by the zoning ordinance in the neighborhood under consideration. Only by an examination of the zoning ordinances can the ultimate character of a neighborhood be known.

The city plan and zoning ordinances will be much safer guides upon such vital matters than the opinions of presumably well-informed individuals or of salesmen intent upon the disposal of their wares. Copies of the city plan and zoning ordinances can usually be examined or secured without charge from the office of the city plan commission or of the city engineer.

The demonstration program of low-rent housing undertaken by the housing division of the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works seeks to prevent the rise of new slums as well as to replace those already in existence, This necessitated carefully determined standards for all low-rent housing projects undertaken by the organization. Study determined certain standards as minima: Lowland coverage, fire-resistant construction; maximum depth of building limited to two rooms, to insure cross ventilation and adequate sunlight; maximum building height of three stories, and the proper use of open space. Others were private bath and toilet, hot and cold running water, and electric wiring.

Adaptation of these standards to low-rent housing involved research into the relationship between window areas and floor space; design of unit plans with a high use-efficiency for tenants, depending in turn on the proper relationship between room sizes, the most desirable shape for rooms, the size and prevalence of closet space, and the sound-proofing of interior partitions.

The Bureau of the Public Health Service, under the Treasury Department, also has contributed to neighborhood planning by conducting research on such subjects as lighting, ventilation, water purification, sewage disposal, sanitation, and community-health facilities. It has made the results of its research available to the public and has acted in an advisory capacity to Government agencies engaged in construction. A somewhat similar service in the field of community planning is being performed by the National Bureau of Standards, The division of codes and specifications of this Bureau carries on research. investigations and collaborates with municipal, State, and national officials in the formulation and improvement of standards of construction, building methods, materials, and codes, many of which have an important influence on planned housing developments.

Other agencies which exert considerable influence upon the planning of communities are the Federal Housing Administration and member institutions of the Federal Home Loan Bank System, which insist on definite neighborhood and community standards for the dwellings with which they deal. Through the adoption and enforcement of reasonable standards of planning, design, and development, within the limits of each home owner's capacity to pay, these agencies contribute to the improvement of living conditions.

The Federal Housing Administration demands that mortgages insured by it shall be placed only upon dwellings which are substantial and durable in structure, convenient and efficient in arrangement, attractive in appearance, and appropriate in their neighborhood setting. It intends that these dwellings shall be located in neighborhoods which possess security from those disintegrating influences, which are more certain to destroy property values than defects in the buildings themselves. By means of an underwriting staff, composed of appraisers, builders, and architects attached to the 64 insuring offices, the Federal Housing Administration is able to enforce its standards for insurable properties.

The technical division of the Federal Housing Administration reviews and makes recommendations for subdivisions or developments planned and submitted by operative builders. This administration also issues technical pamphlets outlining minimum standards and technical requirements for housing properties. These, while intended primarily to govern mortgages insured under title II of the National Housing Act, are of value to prospective home owners and builders. The rents, charges, capital structures, rates of return, and methods of operation of housing corporations and authorities become subject to regulation by the Federal Housing Administration upon the insurance of a mortgage by the Administration covering a low-cost housing project owned or held by such corporations or authorities.

There is now being prepared, under the direction of the Federal Ho Lo Bank Board, a program for a special advisory service to home owners to be rendered through the member institutions of the Federal Home Loan Bank System. This service will embrace financial and architectural advice, information as to building trends, technical information covering building methods and materials, and supervisory and appraisal services in connection with new construction and refinancing. Basic data in connection with this service will be made available to all member institutions.

The Home Owners' Loan Corporation is concerned with the value of the security on which it holds mortgages and as part of its responsibilities provides funds for and supervises reconditioning. It has issued reconditioning specifications which give minimum requirements for the repair of property on which it has made loans. Its appraisal department assists in determining the justification for expenditures on property requiring reconditioning.

The Bureau of Home Economics of the Department of Agriculture issues material in printed and mimeographed form on kitchen plans and on designs for closets and other storage facilities throughout the house. These plans incorporate modern ideas of household management, which contribute to the comfort and convenience of all members of the family. Other phases of the work of this Bureau deal with household refrigeration, laundry equipment. and the selection and care of household textiles, such as drapery fabrics, blankets, sheets, and towels. There are also projects in human nutrition, family food consumption, and standards of living on the research program. Lists of publications, most of which are free, are sent on request to the Bureau of Home Economics.

The objective of engineering in agriculture is to reduce the cost of production on farms in money, time, and labor, and to bring to the farm the same conveniences that are available in urban communities, so that the satisfaction of farm living may be increased. The Bureau of Agricultural Engineering bas carried on investigations and studies in cooperation with other bureaus of the Department of Agriculture and the various State agricultural experiment stations. The results of its studies are published in bulletins available upon request.

In the Resettlement Administration, the Suburban Resettlement Division is planning a number of large suburban communities to provide adequate housing for wage workers in the vicinity of large cities. There is a staff of town planners, architects, and engineers in the Washington office which does the planning and designing, and in turn, the plans are carried out in the field by men located on the projects. Also the Stranded Group Construction Section of the Resettlement Administration is engaged in completing four projects started by the former Division of Subsistence Homesteads of the Department of the Interior at Reedville, Tygart Valley, Westmoreland, and Cumberland.

The CHAIRMAN. You may proceed.

Mr. NELSON. Another point that should be considered in creating a new agency is the fact that even though experienced men and practical men are appointed to have charge of it, it necessarily will take them 2 or 3 years to familiarize themselves with the present field throughout the country, the national field. Even a very able and practical man would require time to familiarize himself with the variety of conditions that exist.

We have in the Government now two or three agencies that have had 2 or 3 years of background and experience, which could, if there are to be new functions established, we believe, supply the experience and background that it would require a new agency 2 or 3 years to develop.

So we suggest to the committee that it consider the possibility of amending the existing legislation and adding to the functions of existing agencies if there are to be new services undertaken by the Government.

In section 9 the act authorizes the Housing Authority to assist in the development, acquisition, and administration of low-rent housing propects, and it proceeds also later on to authorize grants and subsidies to such agencies.

Experience in England has been used as an argument frequently for such a policy in this country. I happen to have here a pamphlet prepared by Sir Francis Fremantle, who is a member of Parliament and who has for years been an outstanding authority on this whole question in England. This pamphlet summarizes the English housing policy for approximately 100 years. They have been active in this matter for more than 60 years, and this pamphlet summarizes the various acts that from time to time have been passed, beginning back in 1851. The housing policy in England has been a long, careful, and slow development.

Now, it is interesting to note that in 1933 the new English Housing Act rather abandons the idea of subsidies to housing projects and turns over the task of supplying low-cost housing to private enterprise and to private financing, although there are some guarantees in the form of insurance against loss retained in this new English Housing Act, but the Government does proceed over there even more aggressively to attack directly the problem of slums, which of course is serious in those older communities that they have.

It is our feeling that in this country there is no particular necessity to subsidize housing projects, that we have not so much a slum problem as a problem of blighted, or run-down areas where people do not like to live and where it is difficult to maintain desirable housing conditions, which lead, of course, to undesirable social results.

We have done some work on that question and have prepared a suggestion for the creation of neighborhood improvement and development districts, which Mr. Mowbray, who is chairman of our housing committee, will later on speak about.

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