Box 22, Folder 18, Document 1

Dublin Core

Text Item Type Metadata



The Department of Housing and Urban Development

The Office of Economic Opportunity


May 23-24, 1966
Washington Hilton Hotel
Washington, D.C.

Agenda for

Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Economic Opportunity
May 23-24, 1966
Washington, D. C.

Purpose: The purpose of this Conference is to evaluate the feasibility of
providing several million additional standard housing units within the next five
years, at prices the poor can afford. We are seeking from this Conference (1) a
summary of what we do and do not know about how the poor are housed, in physical,
economic and social terms; and (2) identification of alternative programs or
combinations of programs and implementation strategies, that might make decent
housing available for the several million poor households that would otherwise
occupy substandard or overcrowded units by 1970.


Monday, May 23, 1966

9:00 a.m. Opening Remarks Sargent Shriver, Director
Office of Economic Opportunity

Robert C. Wood, Under Secretary
Dept. Housing & Urban Develop.

9:15 a.m. Conference Procedures Dr. Morton J. Schussheim
Director, Office of Program Policy
Dept. Housing & Urban Develop.

Mr. Alvin L. Schorr,
Deputy Chief, Research & Plans
Office of Economic Opportunity

9:30 a.m. Statement of Problems and Professor Charles Abrams
Its Dimensions Columbia University

(The number of units and poor people in need of better housing}
the extent to which rehabilitation and/or clearance are

required; the costs involved; present locations of substandard
units; composition of occupants by race, age, size and family
composition; the national goal.) ,

11:00 a.m. Social Issues Professor Nathan Glazer
University of California

(The questions of deghettoizing the poor and particularly
the nonwhite poor; the supplemental educational, counseling
and back-up services required; the problems of a means test
and establishing priority criteria; the attitudes of poor
and non-poor to this housing; the difficulties and oppor- ©
tunities of relocation. Should standards be reduced, e.g.

no air conditioning; room sharing; smaller room size; etc...)

1:00 p.m. LUNCH
Monday, May 23, 1966 (Cont'd)


2:30 - 5:00

Tuesday, May 24,

9:30 a.m.

Technological and Land Use Issues Richard J. Canavan
National Association

of Homebuilders

(The type of housing required and its location; the
availability of land; architectural and city planning
concerns, the technological problems and opportunities
of a large-scale building and rebuilding program; the
abilities of existing or proposed institutions to
implement the program; prospects for cost reduction.)

Economic Issues Professor Chester Rapkin
University of Pennsylvania

(Alternative means of financing the program; the a
effect on the economy of a multi-billion dollar

program; the effect on the total housing industry

and construction costs; acceptable standards of

Space and quality; the effect on the values and

condition of existing housing and neighborhoods;

efficiencies that might result from a reevaluation

of the economics of the housing industry.)


Program Issues Dr. Louis Winnick
Public Affairs Program
The Ford Foundation

(The types of programs to meet the objective;
possible expansion or redirection of existing
programs and the invention of new kinds of
programs; possible number of units to be developed;
the phasing and possible mix of programs over a
several-year period.)

List of Invited Participants
Conference on Housing for the Poor

Mr. Charles Abrams
Professor of City Planning
Columbia University

Mrs. Ruth Atkins

Community Representatives
Advisory Council

Office of Economic Opportunity

Mr. Richard J. Canavan

Staff Vice President

Builder Services Division

National Association of Homebuilders

Mr. Albert M, Cole
President, Reynolds Metals
Development Corporation

Dr. Robert Dentler
' Center for Urban Education

Mr. John Eberhardt
National Bureau of Standards

Professor Bernard Frieden
Department of City and Regional Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mr. Robert Gladstone, President
Robert Gladstone and Associates

Professor Nathan Glazer
University of California

Dr. William G. Grigsby
Institute for Environmental Studies
University of Pennsylvania

Mr. Nathaniel Keith

Dean Burnham Kelly

College of Architecture

Cornell University

Mr. Saul Klaman

Director of Research

National Association of
Mutual Savings Banks

Mr. Arthur Levin
Potomac Institute

Honorable Sherman Maisel
Board of Governors of the
Federal Reserve System

Honorable Arthur Okun, Member
Council of Economic Advisers

Professor Chester Rapkin
Institute for Environmental Studies
University of Pennsylvania

Mr. Nathaniel H. Rogg
Executive Vice President
National Association of Homebuilders

Dr. John R. Seeley
Chairman, Department of Saciology
Brandeis University

Mr. Miles Stanley
National Advisory Council
Office of Economic Opportunity

Dr. Louis Winnick
Public Affairs Program
The Ford Foundation

Housing Poor Families

. The Problem. A program to house all the nation's poor in decent
onstage at Sante ‘thay can afford contains two distinguishable elements:

1) how to improve the housing conditions of those presently living in sub-
standard quarters; and 2) how to lessen the financial burden of those who
live in standard quarters at the price of devoting an excessive burden of
chase income for housing. OEO has estimated that upwards of 4 million poor
families and poor unrelated individuals in 1964 lived in housing that was
dilapidated, lacked plumbing facilities, or was overcrowded = The number
who overpay for standard housing is harder to estimate but is large. For
example, in 1960 rent-income ratios were computed for 5.7 million tandttee
with incomes under $3,000. 4.4 million of them were paying 25 percent of
their income or more for rent. An additional .5 million were paying be-
tween 20 and 25 percent of their incomes.

In theory, housing needs of poor people should decline because of
anticipated declines in the proportion of families who are poor and because
of continued upgrading of the total housing stock. Between 1950 and 1960,
however, poor families received only 2.5 million standard units out of a
net overall increase of 19 million. That is, families representing 30 per-

cent of the total in 1950 and 20 percent in 1960 showed 13 percent of the

1/ The incidence of housing characteristics in 1960 was applied to 1964 data
about the poor population, producing a total of 4.1 million in such units in
1964. If one proceeds alternatively from the housing stock itself and the
rate at which improved housing stock reaches poor families, an estimate as
high as 5 million poor families in substandard housing would be produced.

net overall increase. Moreover, in some places and for some groups, "natural
forest! aay exacerbate the problem in the years just ahead. Low income
families present ly living in substandard housing are less mobile and have
more deviant characteristics than those who were able to take advantage of »,
the filtering process during the 1950s. And such forces as zoning and sub-
division controls are likely to ocidens ade impediments to the distribution
downward of standard housing. That the current welfare system -~- an example
of the pure income approach to housing =-- has not produced larger results ‘is
another argument for seeking substantial approach to the supply side of thd
equation. :
Obviously, some improvement will occur naturally and one must bane ;
too that cash income maintenance programs will meet increasing portions of |
family income deficits. Reasoning from 4 million families and individuals
in substandard housing in 1964 and additional millions paying more than
they can afford for standard housing, one may estimate the objective more
or less at will. OEO has estimated that the objective should be pitched
to the expectation that the median income of families who should be reached
would be $3,000 (for a family of four). From this base, one must deter~
mine an overall objective within the target date of five or six years.
Developing a Program. In approaching the development of a program
it is necessary to judge what may be built and what may be reclaimed. Such

an approach represents more than simple economy. It allows room for families

that may wish not to give up their homes and provides a pattern for continned

maintenance of the nateius supply. In the decade from 1950 to 1960, are
thing less than one-fourth of the net increase in standard dwellings rep-
resented rehabilitated units. On one hand, there has been considerable
reduction in the stock of housing that lacks plumbing facilities and is
comparatively easily rehabilitated. On the other hand, new aids are
available for rehabilitation and new effort is to be invested in it. It
is, in any event, necessary to make some assumption about the proportion
of standard housing that would be secured by rehabilitation and the pro-
portion that would be built new.

Similarly, it fs necessary to make judgments about the geographic
distribution of additional standard housing. Although substandard housing
is disproportionately distributed in rural areas, some number of the people
now using it will be seeking housing in urban areas. Finally, plans for a
substantial program should include consideration of staging a buildup of
the construction industry. For example, a net increase of 1 million units
a year might be built up to at the rate of 200,000 or 300,000 each year for
several years.

The supply of housing for low-income families can be increased either
through government incentives to the private sector or through direct con=
struction by public housing authorities. Incentives to the private sector
include subsidization of land costs and reduction in the cost of borrowing

building capital (low interest loans or subsidized interest rates). Use of

these aids provides an attractive incentive to private builders (and re-
habilitation contractors) while permitting some control over the allocation
of benefits and rentals or sales prices. However, these forms of assistance %
are not sufficient to produce housing in the $50 a month range. To do this,
poor families must also be subsidized. ‘A-program of the magnitude being

described might be. fashioned entirely out of two elements --- rental or

purchase assistance and interest and land subsidization. ‘The obverse side

of these assistances are conditions as to beneficiaries and uses.
Obviously, many variants of the two elements are possible and alterna-
tive programs may be featitonad de well. Related questions that would arise
include the uses and place of code enforcement, the type of research that
might be most productive, the special needs of rural areas, the methods of
assuring desegregation, and related needs for providing public and social


public items show