Box 22, Folder 2, Document 22

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Box 22, Folder 2, Document 22

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January 5, 1967

No Profii, No Houses

The White House was well advised to abandon
the proposal for 2 national nonprofit housing
corporation to build in the slums. President John-
son did the right thing. Disposing of that fore-
doomed idea clears the way for the more hopeful
legislation. that, one hopes, will shortly attack the
housing shortage.

The concept of a nonprofit builder is, in itself,
an unfortunate one. It was introduced originally
to get certain types of housing subsidies for low-
income families through Congress. The country
has now had quite enough experience to, know...
that nonprofit enterprises are incapable of produc-
ing housing on a significant scale. iw

This country does not insist upon’a nonprofit —
corporation to build the supersonic transport, or,
to develop the moon rockets. Congress does not :
insist on nonprofit corporations in the heavily
subsidized shipbuilding industry, or in agriculture,
or in oil. Why single out housing? If we truly want
a massive volume of residential construction in
the big cities, then we shall have to make it as-
profitable to build houses there as in the suburbs.

To make it profitable, Congress’s most effective
tool is the internal revenue code. The power of
this method must be immediately visible to any-
one who walks down Connecticut ‘Avenue; if half
a dozen obscure lines in the tax laws had been
written a bit differently, the great office building
boom would never have happened. The time has
come to apply this same technique to residential
construction in declining neighborhoods, :

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