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STATEMENT ON HOMEOWNERSHIP BY THE POOR
The Task Force is convinced that the encouragement of home-
ownership by those now living in slum areas would have great value. It
is an idea solidly in the American tradition, and well worth trying as a
pilot program. |
Offering slum dwellers a chance to own a decent home of their
own might have a profound effect upon their attitudes toward society. In-.
stead of feeling like frustrated and helpless transients floating along
in the poverty and filth of the slums, they could begin developing i stake
in their community and a chance for control over their own destiny.
It should be stressed, however, that if the program is to actually
reach the poor, substantial subsidies will be required. Based on an ex-
perience in Pittsburgh, the acquisition and rehabilitation of a dwelling
cost $10,400 which required for all charges a monthly payment of $106 or
an income of $5,000 -- even with 40 year, 3 percent financing.
The justification for housing subsidies for the poor is more
than morally compelling. The federal government subsidizes middle-income
homeowners by $2.9 billion a year through tax deductions. It subsidizes
the poor by only $820 million through public housing, public assistance, and
Recommendations: The Task Force therefore recommends ¢ ) thet the following
criteria should apply:
1. The pilot program should seek to provide opportunities for
all forms of ownership among slum dwellers: single family ownership,
cooperative or condominium ownership, or evierantp by resident landlords
of multi-family dwellings. » .
2. Subsidies in the form of low interest loans, rent sup-
plements, or "ownership supplements" should be provided to reach low-
3. The program should provide opportunity for ownership
outside the slum, as well as in it.
4. The program should be based on rehabilitation of the unit
to standard condition, and prior to assumption of ownership by the slum
5. The program should be undertaken only where major efforts
are underway to upgrade the surrounding neighborhood.
6. Organizational capacity should be provided to acquire and
rehabilitate the property, prepare persons for ownership responsibility,
and provide continuing financial and other counseling.
7. The program should provide agreement to buy back the
house during a limited period in case owners cannot manage the newly