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Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting a Housing and Urban Improvement Bill.

March 29, 1961

Dear Mr.____________:

I am pleased to transmit to you, for consideration by the Congress, a bill including the principal legislative recommendations of this Administration for housing and urban improvement.

These measures are intended to carry out the proposals set forth in my message to the Congress on March 9. They are, I feel, essential steps the Government should take to enable the housing industry to return to full production as soon as possible.

They will provide the help necessary to reverse the steady deterioration of our cities. And they will make it possible for private enterprise to meet the housing needs of millions of Americans who today live under conditions this Nation can no longer afford.

We must resume with full vigor the forward movement toward a better life for all Americans. Essential to such a better life is housing available to all at a cost all can afford. And just as important, to the increasing number of us who choose to live in and near cities, is an orderly and healthy urban environment.

The provisions of this bill, I believe, will help us to move in this direction.

The bill includes the extension of a number of programs previously approved by Congress, and found by experience to be both a prudent and beneficial investment of our resources.

It also proposes vigorous new lines of action for which strong support has developed in recent years. These include greater assistance to private builders in providing housing for those of retirement age; more liberal financial assistance for those who would rehabilitate deteriorating urban property; greater incentives for the use of new materials and methods to reduce the cost of our housing.

S. 858--now pending before the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency--relates to another new area where vigorous action is needed--the reserve of open spaces near our expanding cities. The objectives of this bill accord with the proposals outlined in my message of March 9' A report giving in detail the Administration views on this bill will shortly be sent to the Congress.

I fully believe the enactment of these measures will start us once again toward providing decent housing for all Americans and halting the blanket of blight which has been spreading over our cities. I hope these proposals will have the early and serious consideration of the Congress so they may soon be put to work for the benefit of all the people.



Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the Senate, and to the Honorable Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

John F. Kennedy, Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting a Housing and Urban Improvement Bill. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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