An inquiry into low-cost housing for low income groups in the United States

Date

1949

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Abstract

The material for this study concerns housing for the low income groups of the American population, and solutions to the problem of adequate shelter for families on the bottom of the economic scale as proposed by both public and private organizations. This problem, which has long been a factor in the American economic picture, has become particularly acute in the post-World War II era. This study approaches the problem historically, taking it up at the close of the first World War, and showing in separate sections how the public, through the agency of the Federal Government, end private enterprise, including large institutional builders and industry associations, have attacked and are attacking the housing problem of the low income family. The method used is that of a comparative study of the history, progress and future plans of the Federal Housing Administration end its predecessors with the history, progress and future plana of the private building industry, utilizing source materials from both groups. Standard works on the subject of low-cost housing were also used as supplementary references. Closely intertwined with the problem of adequate shelter for the low income groups is the question of slum clearance, which has been presented as a corollary of the mein study, although the two questions could also profitably be studied separately. The evidence studied tends to the tentative conclusion that cooperation between the Federal public housing program end private enterprise operating through urban re-development programs of the type pioneered in the states of New York and Illinois, would yield the best results in the future. There is no incompatibility in the plans of sincere advocates of better housing for the low income groups which cannot be largely removed by unprejudiced consideration of the problem. The extension of research in housing, by both the Federal Government and private industry, to the end of lowering costs of building and raising the quality of materials and the productivity of labor, will also prove profitable.

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Keywords

Low-income housing, United States

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