digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

Sprawling public housing projects like Chicago's Cabrini–Green were one result of the Housing Act of 1949.

The American Housing Act of 1949 (Title V of P.L. 81-171) was a landmark, sweeping expansion of the federal role in mortgage insurance and issuance and the construction of public housing. It was part of President Harry Truman's program of domestic legislation, the Fair Deal.

Provisions[edit]

The main elements of the Act included:

  • providing federal financing for slum clearance programs associated with urban renewal projects in American cities (Title I),
  • increasing authorization for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance (Title II),
  • extending federal money to build more than 800,000 public housing units (Title III)
  • fund research into housing and housing techniques, and
  • permitting the FHA to provide financing for rural homeowners.

Creation of the legislation[edit]

In the State of the Union address unveiling the Fair Deal, Truman observed that "Five million families are still living in slums and firetraps. Three million families share their homes with others." He also presented a policy statement on housing:

The housing shortage continues to be acute. As an immediate step, the Congress should enact the provisions for low-rent public housing, slum clearance, farm housing, and housing research which I have repeatedly recommended. The number of lowrent public housing units provided for in the legislation should be increased to 1 million units in the next 7 years. Even this number of units will not begin to meet our need for new housing.

Most of the houses we need will have to be built by private enterprise, without public subsidy. By producing too few rental units and too large a proportion of high-priced houses, the building industry is rapidly pricing itself out of the market. Building costs must be lowered.

The Government is now engaged in a campaign to induce all segments of the building industry to concentrate on the production of lower priced housing. Additional legislation to encourage such housing will be submitted.

The authority which I have requested, to allocate materials in short supply and to impose price ceilings on such materials, could be used, if found necessary, to channel more materials into homes large enough for family life at prices which wage earners can afford.[1]

In Congress, the bill was sponsored by Republican Sen. Robert Taft.[2]

Legacy[edit]

The Act was of great importance in that it governed the way the immense financial resources of the federal government would shape the growth of American cities in the post-war era. For instance, in one survey of the top "influences on the postwar American metropolis," the FHA's mortgage financing program ranks second and urban renewal programs rank fourth.[3] The law facilitated a rise in homeownership and the building of huge public housing projects that would become fixtures in many American cities.

The legislation's legacy is mixed, particularly with regard to the success of the urban renewal and public housing elements. The government fell far short of its goal to build 810,000 units of new public housing by 1955, providing little aid to cities suffering from housing shortages. In fact, because of projects like Lincoln Center, a New York City cultural development including 4400 apartments for which 7000 apartments were torn down, the Act's urban redevelopment programs actually destroyed more housing units than they built.[4]

Meanwhile, the massive urban redevelopment efforts prompted by the Act came under fire for poor planning, failings with regard to social equity and fairness, and sometimes corruption (see, e.g., Manhattantown). Urban renewal also came under fire for discriminating against minorities, in that it often resulted in minority-heavy slums being destroyed and replaced with more expensive housing or non-residential public works that were not accommodating to the original inhabitants. The slogan adopted by critics equated "urban renewal" with "Negro removal."[5]

The federal government spent $13.5 billion on urban redevelopment and slum clearance projects between 1953 and 1986.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Truman, Harry. 1949 State of the Union address
  2. ^ http://www.mi.vt.edu/data/files/hpd%2011(2)/hpd%2011(2)_editor's%20introduction.pdf, 293
  3. ^ The interstate highway program topped the list
  4. ^ Caro, Robert. The Power Broker. Vintage: 1974, p. 1014.; [www.fanniemaefoundation.org/programs/hpd/pdf/hpd_1102_edintro.pdf]
  5. ^ Rusk, David. Inside Game Outside Game. Brookings Institution, 1999. p. 90. Clarence Thomas refers to this phrase and writes: "Urban renewal projects have long been associated with the displacement of blacks; ..." Kelo v. New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005) [1]
  6. ^ Rusk, David. Inside Game Outside Game. Brookings Institution, 1999. p. 90.

Further reading[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Housing_Act_of_1949 — Please support Wikipedia.
A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
246 videos foundNext > 

The Tragedy of Urban Renewal: The destruction and survival of a New York City neighborhood

In 1949, President Harry Truman signed the Housing Act, which gave federal, state, and local governments unprecedented power to shape residential life. One o...

Multiple Choice Answers

http://subjecttutors.blogspot.in/2013/09/multiple-choice-answers_3852.html 1. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was a Supreme Court decision that 2. Jose...

HOMES FOR VETERANS

HOMES FOR VETERANS - National Archives and Records Administration 1946 - ARC 44618, LI 252.1 - DVD Copied by Nick Stoller. Office of the Housing Expediter. (...

Federal Rural Housing Programs Update

This video is from a March 27, 2014 webinar from the National Alliance of Rural Policy and the Housing Assistance Council. This webinar will include a brief ...

Developing Responsibility 1949

TELLS STORY OF HOW FRANK ASSUMES HIS EVERYDAY RESPONSIBILITIES AT HOME, AT SCHOOL, & ON HIS PAPER ROUTE, & IS REWARDED BY BEING GIVEN A PEDIGREED DOG BY A MA...

Homes For Veterans (1946)

A municipal emergency housing council discusses the problem of housing returning veterans and methods of constructing new dwellings in spite of building mate...

Meet New Zealand - The People (1949) 4 of 4

A survey of present-day [1949] New Zealand - its people, scenery, industries, communications, sports and social services. This film is split in to four parts...

Better Housing 1935

This 1935 news flash, which typically would have circulated as an add-on to films of the day along with a cartoon or two, is the American National Housing Ac...

Welfare Reform Act: Facing up to it (1 of 4)

Newydd Housing Association tenants and staff have, together with Spectacle Theatre, created hard-hitting films to explain the changes to welfare benefits. Th...

MY LOVELY PYRRHONISM, Tim Kirby , The issue of housing in America

MY LOVELY PYRRHONISM, Tim Kirby , The issue of housing in America.

246 videos foundNext > 

4 news items

 
CounterPunch
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 01:15:00 -0700

Less than a year later the United States Congress passed the Housing Act of 1949. The Act dedicated federal funds to renewing urban neighborhoods, ensuring availability of low-income housing, and increasing the access to fair mortgages. Perhaps the ...
 
Daily Yonder
Wed, 09 Apr 2014 04:15:00 -0700

Promising “a decent home and suitable living environment for every American family,” the Housing Act of 1949 addressed rural housing issues through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The first USDA loan programs served low-income family farmers ...
 
Insurance News Net (press release)
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 04:24:27 -0700

President Truman and Senator Taft worked together on the Housing Act of 1949. Ed Brooke and Walter Mondale worked together to produce landmark housing legislation decades later. We've seen this proven again by Senators Johnson and Crapo, as well ...
 
Insurance News Net (press release)
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 04:52:55 -0700

The origin of the Single Family Housing programs is rooted in the Housing Act of 1949, and since that time more than 3.69 million rural Americans have received housing assistance totaling almost $205 billion through these USDA programs. Multiple ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Housing Act of 1949

You can talk about Housing Act of 1949 with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!