Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing the Housing Act of 1954.

August 02, 1954

THE COUNTRY will be benefited by the Housing Act of 1954 which has now become law.

It has been one of our major legislative goals. It will raise the housing standards of our people, help our communities get rid of slums and improve their older neighborhoods, and strengthen our mortgage credit system. In coming years it will also strongly stimulate the nation's construction industry and our country's entire economy.

The new law permits the government to insure larger home mortgage loans, carrying smaller down payments and longer terms. Millions of our families with modest incomes will be able, for the first time, to buy new or used homes. Families will be helped to enlarge or modernize their present homes.

Another feature of the law is especially important. Many families have to move from their homes because of slum clearance and other public improvements. This law provides especially easy terms for these deserving people. The new law makes available, for the first time, a practical way for our citizens, in the towns and cities of America, to get rid of their slums and blight.

The law strengthens private mortgage credit facilities. It does this by reorganizing the Federal National Mortgage Association. This agency will continue to be a support for the mortgage market, but later on it will become independent of Federal capital. Under this new law, private financial institutions have a really good chance to mobilize their own resources to supply adequate mortgage credit without regard to race, creed or color to home owners in every part of our country.

Of course, this is a tremendous job, and it is not all finished. For example, we have 33,000 public housing units available this year and, under this law, 35,000 more next year. We shall need to continue our public housing program until the needs can be met by private industry. Also, the Executive should have broader authority to adjust the terms on home loans to changing economic conditions. Nevertheless, by this new law we have made a major advance toward meeting America's housing needs.

Note: The Housing Act of 1954 is Public Law 560, 83d Congress (68 Stat. 590).

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President Upon Signing the Housing Act of 1954. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232403

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