National Housing Emergency, 1946-1947

December 17, 1946

Report Outline
Changed Basis of Emergency Housing Program
Achievements Under Wyatt Housing Program
Failures of Emergency Housing Program
Remedies for Long Term Housing Deficit

Changed Basis of Emergency Housing Program

An act of congress, May 22, 1946, declared a national housing emergency and clothed the Executive Branch of the government with special powers to deal with it. The special powers were to continue in existence until December 31, 1947, for it was believed that the acute shortage of housing could not be overcome before that date. Under the emergency program more housing was built during 1946 than in any peacetime year since 1928 but the new construction fell far short of meeting the accumulated demand. Veterans returning from the theatres of war were finding as much difficulty in obtaining suitable living quarters sixteen months after the close of the war as they had immediately after V-J Day.

The government's emergency program was sharply revised, and all but reversed, by President Truman, Dec. 14, 1946, although he said there would be “no major modification in the objective of rapidly and adequately housing our veterans.”

I am determined that a vigorous housing program will continue to be carried out in 1947 [the President said]. The techniques we will use are those that will work today. I am convinced that this 1947 program will produce results.… We, as a nation, owe the veterans an opportunity to have homes. We will see that they get them.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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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
Fair Housing and Housing for Special Groups
Veterans' Services