Building Costs and Home Renovation

September 5, 1934

Report Outline
Federal Effort to Stimulate Tepair of Homes
Neglect of Improvements and Repairs During Depression
Material and Labor Costs as Bar to Building
Modernization Campaign of Housing Administration
Special Focus

Federal Effort to Stimulate Tepair of Homes

The Home Renovation Campaign of the Federal Housing Administration, at present getting under way, is expected to put idle capital to work, add to the comforts of the people, revive the construction industry, and thus to act as a powerful stimulus to recovery. A minimum of federal funds are to be used, the hope of the administration being that a 20 per cent guarantee by the government against loss will make the extension of credit for building improvements attractive to private financial institutions. The National Housing Act, which established the Housing Administration and authorized the home renovation program, was signed by President Roosevelt on June 27, 1934. The act was described by its sponsors as “the last link in the recovery chain.”

Failure of property owners to make needed repairs during nearly five years of depression, and the almost complete cessation of new residential construction during that period, have stored up huge requirements for repairs and improvements. James A. Moffett, federal housing administrator, said on August 9 that $1,600,000,000 was a conservative estimate of the amount required to put the homes of the country into good physical condition. The market for modernization credit insurance should be even broader than that, he added, for loans made on other classes of buildings than homes will likewise be eligible for insurance.

Material and Socialbenefits of Housing Program

In the opinion of Harry L. Hopkins, federal relief administrator, the housing situation in the United States, especially as concerns the working population, is “nothing short of a scandal.” In both the cities and the rural areas, Hopkins told the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency on May 19, America has slum areas worse than those found in any of the other great countries of the world. Virtually every one of the 26,000,000 dwellings in the United States could be renovized or improved, according to Lewis H. Brown of the durable-goods industries committee of the N.R.A., and a large percentage of them are in vital need of repair work to maintain their usefulness.

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
Regional Planning and Urbanization