Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letter on Better Housing for Middle Income Groups.

December 14, 1939

Dear Mrs. Simkhovitch:

Your letter of December 4, expressing the interest of the National Public Housing Conference in better housing for the middle income groups, relates directly to a problem that has had my sympathetic attention for some time.

We have all recognized that a complete revival of the building industry, and a solution of the housing problem acceptable in terms of social welfare, must include housing for the middle income groups. From the beginning, we have had two objectives in mind. First we have felt that the United States Housing Authority program for the lowest income groups, and the Federal Housing Administration program, would encourage the larger development of housing for the middle income groups by private industry. And second, we have felt that further attention and study should be given to the unique housing problem of the middle income groups.

As to whether your proposed amendment to extend the United States Housing Authority program to cooperatives will prove feasible at the coming session of Congress, will depend in part upon general considerations, and in part upon the legislative situation. I shall examine this matter further when the time comes to discuss with the leaders in Congress what effect the introduction of additional amendments might have upon the passage of the amendments to the United States Housing Act now pending.

Whatever immediate solution may be indicated, the need of the middle income groups for better housing is a matter of constant concern to me.

Very sincerely yours,

Mrs. Mary Kingsbury Simkhovitch,

National Public Housing Conference,

New York City.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter on Better Housing for Middle Income Groups. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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