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MEETING OF TASK FORCE ON CITIES
Washington, October 28, 1966
Rough Notes taken by Paul Ylvisaker
Dr. Julian Levi
Honorable Ivan Allen
Mr. Ben Alexander
Mr. Edwin C. Berry
Mr. Stuart Chapin
Mr. Anthony Downs
Professor John Dunlop
Mr. Ezra Ehrenkrantz
Mr. Ralph Helstein
Dr. Theodore Sizer
Mr. ArDee Ames
Notes taken at meeting with Joe Califano, White House, Saturday, October 22, 1966
The Task Force is to have a short and long-range agenda with respective deadlines
being December 1 and June l. For the short-range the questions:-
(1) Should we encourage home-ownership in the slums and if so by what methods?
(2) Does the idea of an urban development corporation for rehabilitation make
(3) How can we honor the Presidential pledge to provide legal services for
tenants in the ghetto? ;
(4) How can we honor the Presidential pledge for neighborhood service centers?
(5) What about the proposed metropolitan expediter?
Task Force should proceed without constraints of costs and politics. We should
keep in mind several other task forces operating in areas close to ours. For
example, the "In-House" task force under Shriver to develop more permanent answers
to the hot summer problem. Another headed by Bill Carmichael on personnel for the
The subject of transportation is currently being thoroughly examined with a view
towards setting up a new Department of Transportation; to that extent it's not a
subject on our task force's agenda.
Two Congressional committees having the same personnel will be holding hearings
during our tenure. One chaired by Senator Muskie, exploring the proposal for a
domestic security council. The second chaired by Senator Ribicoff which will
resume in December will not call government witnesses for a while. It will con-
centrate first on non-governmental experts, beginning with the problems of data
and areal power arrangements.
Meeting with Secretary Weaver
(1) the development of national urban policy respecting migration and location of
the national population;
(2) encouraging a more positive role by the states in urban policy development;
(3) metropolitan organization.
Robert C. Wood
Department of Housing and Urban Development
HUD is now concerned with several major problems:-
(1) working at scale: for example, they now have $2 billion of urban
renewal applications with only $200 million available;
(2) building up the staffing capabilities of the Department ;
(3) general reorganization;
(4) de-centralization of HUD operations -- better information systems are
needed if de-centralization is to be carried out.
The new programs occupying HUD's attention of late: "model" cities; new
communities; expediter; metropolitan desks; metropolitan planning.
HUD has been proceeding on the strategy of open options; the expansion of free
choice for the individual; model for neighborhood facilities; home ownership
& jobs in the ghetto; provide counterparts for the public sector.
Wood's advice to the Task Force:-
(1) Address ourselves to thoughts about cities; not only response to them
and their needs.
(2) Concentrate on the infra-structure in research & training. Real constraint
has been manpower.
M. Carter McFarland
Assistant Commissioner for Programs
Has been working closely with Henry Schechter since they were assigned to
check out the idea of indigenous ownership of slum property. They have begun
with as sympathetic an outlook as possible. At the very least they are con-
vinced there is no single panacea; I detected more of a grain of cynicism than
he tried to allow in his discussions.
They start from a few basic statistics: . 9 million sub-standard dwelling units
nationwide; of which 48% are owner-occupied and 52% rented. However, a great
variance between central city and suburb. In the slums: 21% owner-occupied
and 79% rented -- in the suburbs: 52% owner-occupied and 48% rented.
It is their impression that absentee owners are less responsive to maintenance
etforts than owners who occupy. Also that absentee ownership is increasing
and getting "less desirable."
They feel that ownership hasn't been stressed as part of urban renewal and
Some proposals: (1) tie in any program with the model cities program which
offers supporting services;
(2) use the urban development corporation if legislated;
(3) allow for several forms of ownership ranging from
individual ownership to cooperative.
Task Force questions included: -
(1) Are there other and more effective techniques for getting the desired
results other than encouraging ownership?
(2) Can you use old and new techniques for driving down the costs of property
in the slum areas? These costs are now being sustained by present govern-
(3) What can we say about the possibility of "steady state" maintenance?
(4) Aren't we trying to eliminate slums and how does slum ownership fit
into that objective?
William D. Carey
Bureau of the Budget
So far no comprehensive strategy has been arrived at in the federal government
replying to varying proposals for the neighborhood information service centers.
During the summer several agencies produced "talking documents" for the Cabinet
Committee. Then the President's Syracuse speech "overtook" the Task Force with
a "get cracking" order. There emerged a service group for the facilities approach
of HUD, the latter focusing on recreation, etc. They were then talking about
$50 million drawn from "pooled" program monies.
Presently they are thinking of experiments in 14 cities of 3 classes -- the sponsor-
-ing coalition would be OEO, HUD, Labor and HEW. ‘The purpose would be to provide
one-stop social services to use 3 different models. Physical facilities would
not be the primary emphasis. The key would be to bring together all services and
clients and evaluate the experiments.
Assistant Secretary for Demonstrations and Intergovernmental Relations
If model cities program is to succeed, need a rehabilitation industry of a scale
that hasn't yet emerged. Industry, large contractors and labor are shittish.
The proposed UDC approach using low interest rates and much volume as levers,
hopefully might break through. The question remains whether the UDC would have
1ts own K&D or let industry do this according to performance standards that UDC
would set. Major questions have to do with the market. Another question has
to do with local mechanisms. Indigenous cooperatives might be one answer. |
As for the proposed expediter -- it's now being called a representative. It
should not be confused with the idea of the metropolitan coordinator which is
dead. The representative is to be the federal "presence" -- housed in HUD but
available to all agencies. It would be a source of information on federal |
programs; clearing house;.liaison; feedback; facilitator. HUD is ready to
go in six experimental cities not necessarily the model cities and concentrating
on state capitals.
Office of Legal Counsel
Department of Justice
The Attorney General's work with landlord-tenant relations has taken its marching
orders from the Syracuse speech. It will be calling a conference in early
December. They will be apparently concerned with tax incentives, though they are
not dealing directly with the question of reducing local property taxation.
Comments from Task Force
Naturally and necessarily is concerned with immediate problems especially the
need for public housing and the problems of race and minorities.
Agrees that the most pressing problem is that of the ghetto.
‘Disagrees with Secretary Wirtz if it means forgetting the immediate problems
of the ghetto and race.
Especially concerned with three subjects: a
(1) Impact on living patterns of the shorter work week.
(2) Emerging urban form; concentrating on the inner-city and regional arrangements
necessary to get linear development.
(3) The dynamite of the central city -- wondering if there isn't a General Gavin
idea of enclaves of development.
Two matters on his mind: (1) urban development corporation
(2) developing the data systems and inventory we need
on an accumulating basis.
Impressed with the fundamental outline of the urban problem. We have neither
a theory on which to operate nor criteria by which to measure purpose.