National Housing Act
Long titleAN ACT To encourage improvement in housing standards and conditions, to provide a system of mutual mortgage insurance, and for other purposes
Enacted bythe 73rd United States Congress
Citations
Public lawPub.L. 73–479
Statutes at Large48 Stat. 1246
Legislative history

The National Housing Act of 1934, H.R. 9620, Pub.L. 73–479, 48 Stat. 1246, enacted June 27, 1934, also called the Capehart Act and the Better Housing Program,[1] was part of the New Deal passed during the Great Depression in order to make housing and home mortgages more affordable.[2] It created the Federal Housing Administration (FHA)[3] and the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC).[4]

The Act was designed to stop the tide of bank foreclosures on family homes during the Great Depression. Both the FHA and the FSLIC worked to create the backbone of the mortgage and home building industries, until the 1980s.[5] (See Savings and loan crisis and Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 that ended the FSLIC, whose activities were moved to the FDIC.)

These policies had disparate impacts on Americans along segregated lines (see Redlining):

Author Richard Rothstein says the housing programs begun under the New Deal were tantamount to a "state-sponsored system of segregation."

The government's efforts were "primarily designed to provide housing to white, middle-class, lower-middle-class families," he says. African-Americans and other people of color were left out of the new suburban communities — and pushed instead into urban housing projects.[6][7]

The Housing Act of 1937 built on this legislation.

References

  1. ^ Hyman, Louis (March 2009). "The Architecture of New Deal Capitalism". Reviews in American History. Johns Hopkins University Press. 37 (1): 93–100. doi:10.1353/rah.0.0073. S2CID 143487255.
  2. ^ Buescher, John. "Home Sales During the Depression". Teachinghistory.org. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  3. ^ "1934: Federal Housing Administration Created". www.bostonfairhousing.org.
  4. ^ Dragonette, Laura (May 25, 2016). "Federal Savings And Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC)".
  5. ^ "Housing: After 50 Years, The Heydey Is Over". The New York Times. March 29, 1981.
  6. ^ "A 'Forgotten History' Of How The U.S. Government Segregated America". NPR.org. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  7. ^ Rothstein, Richard (2017). The color of law : a forgotten history of how our government segregated America (First ed.). New York. ISBN 978-1-63149-285-3. OCLC 959808903.