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Statement by the President Upon Nominating the Incorporators of the National Housing Partnership.

September 09, 1968

LAST FEBRUARY, in a special message on "The Crisis of the Cities," I asked the Congress to authorize "the formation of privately-funded partnerships that will join private capital with business skills to help close the low-income housing gap."

The proposal was submitted on the recommendation of a commission of leading industrialists, bankers, labor leaders, and housing experts, headed by Edgar F. Kaiser, which I appointed in June 1967. The National Housing Partnership proposal was approved by the Congress and is now an important part of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968.

I am pleased to announce today the first step in the formation of the National Housing Partnership. I am nominating a group of experienced and distinguished business and community leaders to serve as the incorporators of a privately-financed corporation which will act as the general partner of the limited partnership to be formed in the future. I will name the other incorporators shortly.

I am designating Edgar F. Kaiser, chairman of the board of Kaiser Industries Corp., to serve as Chairman of the incorporators.

Once confirmed by the Senate, it will be the responsibility of the incorporators to:

--prepare the Partnership agreement;

--establish the corporation, including filing the articles of incorporation;

--arrange for initial offering of shares of stock in the corporation and interests in the Partnership.

The Partnership is a new and considered response to an urgent national problem. It will create an adequately capitalized, professionally managed corporation to help reach our goal: to build a yearly average of 600,000 housing units for low and moderate income families over the next 10 years--a tenfold increase in the current rate of production.

The Partnership mechanism can provide a new way to involve American industry and labor in the production of low- and moderate-income housing, using the full range of Federal programs. It can focus the talents of these great organizations on the search for new solutions to lower costs and speed production. The Partnership can help to generate a volume of construction which will permit the development of better designed and more comfortable homes. It can use the thrust of technology to reduce costs and improve the quality of living in housing built through Federal aid. This venture can also:

--develop methods to involve neighborhoods and residents and potential occupants in the planning of projects;

--formulate local labor agreements which insure the training and employment of neighborhood residents;

--create an organization with sufficient public and private support to help break bottlenecks at all levels.

The law assures that the Partnership will include local investors by limiting its investment in housing projects to 25 percent of equity, unless additional funds cannot be raised locally.

I have asked the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Attorney General to work closely with the incorporators.

The incorporators named today are: Edgar F. Kaiser, chairman of the board, Kaiser Industries Corp., Chairman; Ernest Arbuckle, chairman, board of directors, Wells Fargo Bank; Edwin Etherington, president, Wesleyan University; Edward Daly, president and chairman of the board, World Airways, Oakland, Calif.; John Loeb, senior partner, Carl M. Loeb, Rhoades & Company; Everett Mattson, senior executive vice president, Lomas & Nettleton West, Inc., Houston, Texas; George Meany, president, AFL-CIO; David Rockefeller, president and chairman of the executive committee, The Chase Manhattan Bank; John Wheeler, president, Mechanics and Farmers Bank, Durham, N.C.; and James Ling, chairman of the executive committee and chief executive officer, Ling-Temco-Vought, Dallas, Texas.

The Partnership holds forth an exciting promise for the future. It can rank among our most significant national achievements as we move to honor a long-standing pledge--"A decent home for every American family."

Note: The National Housing Partnership was established by the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 (see Item 426). On September 13 the nomination of six additional incorporators was announced, as follows: Donald C. Burnham, president, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Gilbert W. Fitzhugh, president and chief executive officer, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., New York City; William A. Hewitt, president and chairman of the board, Deere & Co., Moline, Ill.; Andre Meyer, senior partner, Lazard Freres & Co., New York City; Stuart Saunders, chairman of the board, Pennsylvania-Central Railroad Co., Philadelphia, Pa.; and Leon N. Weiner, immediate past president, National Association of Homebuilders, Wilmington, Del.

For the President's message to Congress on urban problems, see Item 87. For a statement by the President upon appointing the Committee on Urban Housing in June 1967, see 1967 volume, this series, Book I, Item 252.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Nominating the Incorporators of the National Housing Partnership. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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