Federal Home Loans and Housing

November 20, 1933

Report Outline
Social Aspects of Housing and Home Loan Program
Federal Aid in Refinancing of Home Mortgages
Permanent Federal Aid in Home Financing
Federal Activity in Housing and Slum Cearance
Special Focus

Social Aspects of Housing and Home Loan Program

Nearly $50,000,000 has so far been made available by the Public Works Administration for residence construction, through loans to limited dividend corporations, out of the $3,300,000,000 public works fund established by the National Recovery Act. In addition to future alloeatians of the same sort, a substantial sum is to be set aside to finance the operations of the recently created Public Works Emergency Housing Corporation. While these expenditures, by affording a certain amount of employment, will make their proportionate contribution to the general program for economic recovery, their primary purpose is social rather than economic. The only residence projects eligible for federal aid are those involving clearance of slum areas, with substitution of decent living quarters for insanitary tenements, and those for provision of proper housing at low rentals in districts where there is a demonstrated need for such accommodations.

Social considerations are likewise dominant in the Roosevelt administration's policy with respect to the mortgage problem. The Home Owners Loan Corporation was set up to lift the threat of foreclosure from distressed home owners in cities and towns, while extension of mortgage relief to owners of farm property was made a special concern of the Farm Credit Administration. At the same time, the Federal Home Loan Bank System, established more than a year ago, is continuing its function of strengthening the nation's home loan machinery and indirectly expanding the credit resources available to prospective home builders. That machinery is now being supplemented by the creation of federal savings and loan associations. Preservation of homes for their present owners and provision of new homes for others, at a price they can afford to pay, are patently regarded by the President and his advisers as essential elements of the New Deal.

Extent of the Mortgage Problem in the Depression

Mortgages on homes in the United States are far greater in aggregate amount than farm or commercial mortgages. According to Horace Russell, general counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and the Home Owners Loan Corporation, home mortgages total approximately $20,000,000,000, while mortgages on commercial properties total about $12,000,000,000 and farm mortgages about $8,000,000,000. Statistics gathered by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board from 1,037 communities scattered throughout the United States, representing 54.1 per cent of the total population, show that the number of foreclosures on all types of properties was 221.5 per cent greater in 1932 than in 1926. The number of foreclosures in the same communities during the first nine months of 1933 was 232.6 per cent greater than in the Corresponding period of 1926 but only 1.3 per cent greater than in the first nine months of 1932.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Dec. 23, 2022  Homelessness Crisis
Apr. 02, 2021  Evictions and COVID-19
Mar. 02, 2018  Affordable Housing Shortage
Nov. 06, 2015  Housing Discrimination
Feb. 20, 2015  Gentrification
Apr. 05, 2013  Homeless Students
Dec. 14, 2012  Future of Homeownership
Dec. 18, 2009  Housing the Homeless
Nov. 02, 2007  Mortgage Crisis Updated
Feb. 09, 2001  Affordable Housing
Jan. 06, 1989  Affordable Housing: Is There Enough?
Oct. 30, 1981  Creative Home Financing
Nov. 07, 1980  Housing the Poor
Dec. 21, 1979  Rental Housing Shortage
Nov. 24, 1978  Housing Restoration and Displacement
Apr. 22, 1977  Housing Outlook
Sep. 26, 1973  Housing Credit Crunch
Aug. 06, 1969  Communal Living
Jul. 09, 1969  Private Housing Squeeze
Mar. 04, 1966  Housing for the Poor
Apr. 10, 1963  Changing Housing Climate
Sep. 26, 1956  Prefabricated Housing
Sep. 02, 1949  Cooperative Housing
May 14, 1947  Liquidation of Rent Controls
Dec. 17, 1946  National Housing Emergency, 1946-1947
Mar. 05, 1946  New Types of Housing
Oct. 08, 1941  Rent Control
Aug. 02, 1938  The Future of Home Ownership
Sep. 05, 1934  Building Costs and Home Renovation
Nov. 20, 1933  Federal Home Loans and Housing
Nov. 17, 1931  Housing and Home Ownership
Economic Crises
Low Income and Public Housing
Mortgage Loans and Home Finance