National Housing Act of 1934
|Long title||AN ACT To encourage improvement in housing standards and conditions, to provide a system of mutual mortgage insurance, and for other purposes|
|Enacted by||the 73rd United States Congress|
|Public law||Pub.L. 73–479|
|Statutes at Large||48 Stat. 1246|
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, was part of the New Deal passed during the Great Depression in order to make housing and home mortgages more affordable. It created the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC).
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.
These policies had disparate impacts on Americans along segregated lines:
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.
The Housing Act of 1937 built on this legislation.
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