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Bousing coordination

1* *•

This isemor&ndus Is in response to joist request of yesterday afternoon for & specific proposal with regard to a bousing coordinating body that you sight incorporate in yorcr report to the
President,
When I r«»erked on Thursday evening, apropos of the pro**
posed pies of financing subsidised slum-clearance projects, that as
& matter of practical policy the Secretary of the Interior , the
Federal Housing Msinistr&tor, and the Chairman of the RFC could not
have a veto p&wer over one another, I of course folly realised that
this was not intended. £y purpose in calling attention to the point
f>
wee simply to illustrate the need of & coordinating body with its
authority clearly defined fey Congress,
The seed of such a coordinating body w&s fully recognized
by the President1 e Cosnalttee on Housing, which was appointed ear3y
in If54 to 9Mke reeo»ae®datioB» for a housing prograat. la m re|>ort
to the President on Hareh 19f 19549 the Committee proposed the draft*
ing of •necessary legislation (1) for correlating all present Federal
fcctiYities having as iaportant bearing on futiare housing develop^ats
1 B & single rngmept f2^ for coordinating with this agency other




Federal ftmetio&gf and (5) for Inauguration of no* Federal
activities not new covered la this field*.*
The w a @ matter vas dealt with in an II© Beaorandutt of
Sagr 3, ltS4f outlining *the Hatlonal Houslsg Program M I reeoisfieade
fe^ the fetiomi Efe*rg«&€gr Cornell,* purswuit to tbm proposal© of
C@m&lt%m ®m Housing* S#f«irriag to ^'feh® principal @t@ps i» tlw prothe mtmor&ad^i out lined the first of these steps as follows*
*T$m •stttbllsluMmtt % direction of %M fremMmmt, of
m Fetaral Soiagiiig Co@rilisi.tioa B o m M , with a 8Wife@rsliip drawa
ftpoa the princip&l gov^ronemtal departments aud agencies nm
vlth oae or aaothor aspect of t&e honsiag problsa*
fteetloBL of this Bo»i€ is to est&bllsli a nor® eaherentt
and effective attitude on the part of the Feder*!
tovmrd the hoxisiug paroble* '«s a whola. For the i».&
mediete future the Board will undertsk© to coordinate the
present poXieles of the Federal Oaimraaent with regard to
housing &w& to prepare reeoaimeBimtioss, for subMlssioa to the
next Congressf looking to & more coaplete &sd sore
uaifieatloa of g®mrti®mt»l itetivities in the
In more reeeat discussions of a eooardlsatlng body. &s for
in the repeated criticisms of the Matiotm.1 istoei&tioB of
Estate Boards* there is evident a failure to discern the difference




coordination «ad consolidation* flic? fomer tens la

indiscriminately fcy persons who advocate a consolidation of govern
»enti*l agencies having to do isith housing, though in aost c&sea the
agencies which tl^e critics would consolidate are In fact engaged in
unrel&ted aciiviti&A*
Tkm coordination of these various activities, homemr, i*
a quite different setter, and one e&turelly to be desired in order to
avoid actual duplication, overlapping, or conflict, and to bring abo«t
real unity of policy &«i effort i& the Adadnistr&tion * s housing progr*m« The term housingp &» used here, is reetrictcd to urban dwelliogs,
or at &I3J rate to dwellings in residential coasaunities && distinguished
from duellings located cm fana»| and the housing coordinating body, I
would suggeet, should bo similarly restricted in tfe© scop© of its
operations*
As the principal iaoediat* concerns have to do *ith fiscal
policy and with large-scale operations in elua clearance and in the
construction of nem housing for families of small or moderate incomes,
I would suggest that the Federal Housing Coordination Board be cosposed of the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of the Interior,
the Ch&irms of the Federal Hoae Loan Bank Board, the Federal Housing
Administrator, &»d the Chairman of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, «li ©ervisf &a sieabers ex-offieio, with authority to be represented \& and to aet throtjgh alternates or liaison officers designated
ty thea for this specific




At the outset the Board could \m given full authority (&)
to elect its orsm ch&ira»B$ (b) to correlate Federal activities ia
slmt. clearance &od Isrge-se&le housing operation® with one another,
with related State and local activities, and with |ariv»te enterprises;
(c) to prescribe rules and regulations under which housing mibsidiee
authorised lay Congress are to be disbursed; (d) to pe.st» on the methods
of financing proposed to be esjpioyed for projects to be coastracted
in itool© or In part, directly or iadireetly* ty the use of Federal
fusda; and (e) to us&ke such housing stodies and surreys *nd to carry
on s«ch technological research & B the Board map retire in the determination of its policies*