The Prospects for Meeting National Housing Goals

Edward Frank

DOI: 10.2190/1CX5-LQXE-WV0U-J8GE


Due to unique historical conditions, the housing industry's ability to maintain its share of the economy's output has been declining steadily, in the process depriving an increasing number of families, especially in the lower income levels, of access to housing. This has weakened the industry's position in competing for credit, manpower, and technological resources, and compelled the federal government to assume a progressively greater role in providing subsidies and other assistance to meet the demand for housing. The Housing Act of 1968, which called for the construction of 26 million dwelling units in a decade, is the latest phase in this trend. Although the necessary resources are projected to exist, an analysis of the housing industry's position in the economy and of its internal operations reveals that these will not be effectively mobilized in time to meet this target. In view of the evidence to date that existing programs and budgetary allocations have not satisfied the fundamental need for adequate and sustained funding, the concept of a housing trust fund to ensure a sufficient and predictable source of funds for lower income housing is receiving increasing study.

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