Box 22, Folder 18, Document 1

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Box 22, Folder 18, Document 1

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The Department of Housing and Urban Development
The Office of Economic Opportunity
Ma y 23-24, 1966
Wa s hington Hil ton Hotel
Washington, D.C.
Agenda for
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Economic Opportunity
May 23-24, 1966
Washington, D. C.
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 Polky
Dept. Housing & Urban Develop.
Mr. Alvin L. Schorr,
Deputy Chief, Research & Plans
Office of Economic Opportunity
9 :,30 a .m.
Statement of Problems and
Its Dimensions
Professor Charles Abrams
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
Pr o fessor 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 - t un ities of relocation . Should standards be reduced , e . g .
no air conditioning ; room sharing; smaller room size ; etc • . . )
1:00 p . m.
Monday, May 23, 1966 (Cont'd)
Technological and Land Use Issues
2:30 - 5:00
Richard J. Canavan
National Association
of Homebuilders
(The ~ype 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 rebu i lding program; the
abilities of existing or proposed institutions to
implement the program; prospects f or cost reducti on.)
Tuesday, May 24, 1966
9:30 a.m.
Economic Issues
Pro fessor Chester Rapkin
Uni versity o f Pennsylvania
(Alt e rn a tive mean s of fi nancing the pr ogr am; the
effect on the economy o f a multi-b i llion do llar
program; the effect on the total housing industry
and constr uction costs; a c ceptable standards of
space and quality; the effect on the values and
cond i t ion of e xisting housi n g a nd n ei ghborhoods;
e ff ici encies that mi ght r esult from a r eeva lu a ti on
of the e conomics of the hous ing i ndust r y.)
12 : 00
2: 00 - 4: 00
Program Issu es
Dr. Lou i s Winnick
Pub li c Affairs Program
The Ford Foundation
(The t ypes of programs to me et the objec t ive ;
possi b le expan sion or red ire ct ion of exi s t ing
programs and t he inv ention of n ew kind s of
programs; possible number of units to be dev eloped;
~he phasing and possible mix of programs over a
several-year period.)
�List of Invited Particip~nts
Conference on Housing for the Poor
Mr. Charles Abrams
Professor of City Planning
Columbia University
Mr. Nathaniel Keith
Mr~. Ruth Atkins
Community Representatives
Advisory Council
Office of Economic Opportunity
Mr. Saul
Mr. Richard J ; Canavan
Staff Vice President
Builder Services Division
National Association of Homebuilders
Honorable Sherman Maisel
Board of Governors of the
Federal Reserve System
Dr. Robert Dentler
Center f or Urban Education
Honorable Arthur Okun, Member
Council of Economic Advisers
, Mr. John Eberhardt
National Bureau of Standards
Professor Chester Rapkin
Institute for Environmental Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Professor Bernard Frieden
Departmen t of City and Regional Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mr. Nathaniel H. Rogg
Executive Vice President
National Association of Homebuilders
, Mr. Robert Gladstone, President
Robert Gladstone and Associates
Dr . William G. Grigsby
Institute for Environmental Studies
University of Pennsylvania
of Research
Association of
Savings Banks
Mr. Arthur Levin
Potomac Institute
Mr. Albert M. Cole
President, Reynolds Metals
Development Corporation
, Professor Nathan Glazer
University of California
Dean Burnham Kelly
College of Architecture
Cornell University
Dr. John R. Seeley
Chairman, Department of Sociology
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
housing at rents they can afford contains two distinguishable elements:
how to improve the housing conditions of those presently living in sub-

standard quarters; and 2) how to lessen burden of those who
live in standard quarters at the price of devoting an excessive burden of
· their income for housing.
OEO has e.stimated that upwards of 4 mi·llion poor
families and poor unrelated individuals in 1964 lived in housing that was
dilapidated, lacked ~lumbing facilities, or was overcrowded •.!:/
The number
· who overpay for standard housing is harder to estimate but is large.
example, in 1960 rent-income ratios were computed for 5.7 million families
with incomes under $3,000 .
4.4 million of them were paying 25 percent of
their income or more for rent.
An ad ditional .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
o·f continued upgrading of the total housing stock.
Between 1950 and 1960,
however, poor families received only 2.5 million standard units out of a
~t 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
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 ove_rall increase.
Moreover·, in some' places and for some groups' "natural
forces" may exacerbate the problem in the years just ahead.
families presently living in substandard housing are less mobile and have
more deviant characteristics than thoae 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 present new impediments to the distribution
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downward of _standard housing.
That . the current welfare system --- an
of the pure income approach to housing --- has not produced larger results :is
another argument for seeking substantial approach to the supply side of _theI
Obviously, some improvement will occur naturally and one must assume
too that cash income maintenance programs wi ll meet i ncreasing portions of _/
family income de ficit s.
Reasoning fr om 4 mi llion families and indiv iduals
in s ubstandard housing in 1964 and add i t i onal millions pay ing more than
the y c an affor d for st andard hous ing, one may e stimate the object ive more
or less a t wi ll .
OEO has es t imat ed that the ob ject i ve should be pi t ched
to the expec t a tion tha t the me di an i ncome of families who should be reache d
would be $3, 000 ( f or a f ami ly of fo ur ) .
From th is base, one must de t er-
mi ne an overall objective within t he target date of five or six years.
Developing a Program.
In a pproaching the developmen t of a program
it is necessary to judge what may be built and what may be reclaimed.
an approach represents.more than simple economy.
It allows room for
that may wish not to give up thei r homes and provides a pattern for contintled


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maintenance of the housing supply.
In the decade from 1950 to 1960, some-
thing less than one-fourth of the net increase in standard dwellings represented 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.
is, in any event, necessary to make some assumption about the proportion
of standard housing that would be secured by rehabilitation and the proportion that would be built new.
Similarly, it is 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 wi 11 be seeking housing i n 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 y0ar 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 construction by public housing authorities.
Incentives to the private sector
include -subsidization of land costs and reduction in the cost of bon:owing
building capital (low interest loans or subsidized interest rates).

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Use of
these aids provides an attractive incentive to private builders (and rehabilitation 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.
poor fam:1,.lies must also be subsidized.
To do this;
A program of the JJ1,B.gnitude being
described might be fashioned entirely out of two elements
rental or
purchas.e assistance and interest and land subsidization.
The obverse side
of these assistances are conditions as to beneficiaries and uses.
Obviously, Jll,S.ny variants of the two elements are possible and alternative programs may be fashioned as 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 ne.eds of rural areas, the niethods. of
assuring desegregation, and related needs for providing public and social
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