Low Cost Housing in the United States

January 24, 1935

Report Outline
Low Cost Housing in the Work Relief Program
Problem of Decent Homes for Low Income Groups
Housing Policies of Roosevelt Administration
Housing and Slum Clearance Under P. W. A.
Special Focus

Low Cost Housing in the Work Relief Program

A Substantial portion of the $4,000,000,000 lump sum appropriation to be given the President for work relief will be devoted to slum clearance and the construction of low-cost housing in urban and rural areas. How large the allotment for these purposes will be, no administration spokesman was able to tell when the appropriation was under debate in the House. Nor was it disclosed whether funds for housing will be given in the form of grants or loans to private enterprise or to state and local authorities or will be devoted in the main to direct federal construction. It is probable that the President himself has not yet determined the total amount to be used for housing purposes, for the lump sum appropriation is to be granted for expenditure over a period of nearly thirty months, and the method of expenditure is likely to be altered from time to time as the program proceeds.

The National Public Housing Conference, which met in Washington just prior to the submission of the administration's work relief measure to Congress, recommended in a memorial to the President that the bulk of the $4,000,000,000 fund be devoted to slum clearance and low-cost housing. It asked that loans be made to public authorities for housing at rates no higher than the cost to the government of borrowing the money. And it urged that the Housing Division of the Public Works Administration be converted into a permanent and integral part of the government structure “so that its work may no longer be limited by the purposes of relief, recovery, or other emergency factors.”

Governmental Responsibility in the Field of Housing

Public Works Administrator Ickes said in an address before the Housing Conference, January 19, that low-cost housing was his chief personal interest in the whole public works program, and that the Housing Division was looking much farther into the future than the expenditure on slum clearance of the mere $150,000,000 that had been allocated for that purpose to date. Social need was the justification for low-cost housing, Ickes continued. Every American family was entitled to decent living conditions and healthful surroundings.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Public Housing
Sep. 10, 1993  Public Housing
May 08, 1987  Low Income Housing
Oct. 28, 1970  Low-Income Housing
Jul. 22, 1964  Public Housing in War on Poverty
Apr. 20, 1955  Public Housing, 1955
Jul. 27, 1948  Public Housing
Oct. 12, 1943  Postwar Housing
Nov. 18, 1936  The Unsolved Housing Problem
Jan. 24, 1935  Low Cost Housing in the United States
Low Income and Public Housing