TWO-THIRDS OF A NATION: A Housing Program for America by Nathan Straus

TWO-THIRDS OF A NATION: A Housing Program for America

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The remark that the U.S. government today is committed not merely to clearance but to the achievement of a comfortable home for every family falls on receptive ears. Firmly convinced that the government must renew at all costs and in spite of all socialism condemning lobbies, the ideals established with the Federal Housing Act of 1934, Nathan Straus, economist and professor at the City College of New York and Columbia, has written about America's housing and city planning problems from the view point of the present. He discusses costs- the logical ones and the cutting points such as stupid local building codes; the problems of prefabrication and the extent to which we must develop technically before it can really be effectively lasting; the plight of the vast middle income group; urban redevelopment and so forth. He urges cooperative housing and long range programs of low cost government loans to builders. He condemns the ruinous lobbying of local vested interests such as the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Real Estate Boards. Besides the chapters by Straus there are others on the British housing policies, by Eric L. Bird; local applications of the housing act of 1949 by Lee F. Johnson; housing and segregation by Charles Abrams; the role of the states by Chester Bowles. A new-dealer but not a socialist, Mr. Straus laments this one large misnomer that seems for him to be the real housing problem. Needed more than anything else is the understanding of what is needed. The work is appendixed by rent and land value charts and in spite of the author's free and easy way of appropriating all funds theoretically necessary- it seems a fairly good guide to the overhead problem.

Pub Date: Jan. 8th, 1951
Publisher: Knopf