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Foreword to the Final Report of the White House Conference on Home Building and Home Ownership.

March 28, 1932

THE RESEARCHES and discussions of the President's Conference on Home Building and Home Ownership disclose the following to be self-evident conclusions from the facts:

The next great lift in elevating the living conditions of the American family must come from a concerted and nationwide movement to provide new and better homes.

Every thrifty family has an inherent right to own a home. Architects, engineers, inventors and manufacturers have now made possible beautiful homes incomparably superior to old types in plan, convenience and healthfulness, at no increase in cost.

Engineering practice applied to the arrangement of household facilities has made it possible to eliminate most of the drudgery of housekeeping.

Beauty is a commercial asset to the home builder, because it is a spiritual necessity to the home owner.

Financing the home owner is the most backward phase of the situation, and calls for new methods of extending credit on the part of banks and investment institutions operating in this field.

Zoning and city planning save waste, reduce ultimate costs, and add attractiveness and other social values to stable investment values for home owners.

Slums have no excuse for being and should be eliminated by wise, concerted effort.

More industries should move to the country, where workers may have better home surroundings.

Large scale housing has proved well worth-while, when wisely planned, and should receive encouragement and support from business groups. Home ownership must not be taxed out of existence.

Rural homes can be made as beautiful and convenient as city homes.

Old homes should be modernized for the sake of health and convenience.

Laws affecting city housing conditions and the ownership and protection of homes need study and revision.

Women's special interest in homemaking should be recognized in all planning of a national program, particularly in the design, decoration, and interior arrangement of the house, and in all matters affecting the health and welfare of the family.

Research and the dissemination of its new knowledge through organized channels should be encouraged.

The devoted work of the committees of the Conference and of the members who attended the meetings in Washington is a service which I gratefully acknowledge on behalf of the country, and which I commend to all civic leaders and citizens as an inspiration to further efforts in promoting the development and enrichment of the foundation of our National life, the American Home.


Note: The President wrote the foreword for Volume I of the Conference's final reports. The first of 11 volumes, it was entitled "Planning for Residential Districts" and contained the reports of the committees on city planning, subdivision layout, housing utilities, and landscape planning.

Herbert Hoover, Foreword to the Final Report of the White House Conference on Home Building and Home Ownership. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/208651

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