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Mrs. HAMPTON. First with the F. H. Smith Co. I had a lease in which hot water, heat, and the things that go supposedly with a place were stipulated. I am in a room where there are two electric lights. There is no chimney for gas connection. There is no gas by which we may get heat. There is a city ordinance against bringing a coal-oil stove into a building, and I would like to ask if there is any way you could suggest that I could heat my apartment under circumstances like that?
The CHAIRMAN. We are not here prepared to answer any questions of that kind.
Mrs. HAMPTON. That is the situation in which I find myself.
Senator JONES of Washington. What excuse does the landlord give for lack of heat?
Mrs. Hampton. First it is lack of proper coal and then the engine may be out of order. It would take all night to tell all the excuses he gives.
Senator Jones of Washington. How large an apartment house is it?
Mrs. HAMPTON. There are three floors. I am on the third floor. I should imagine perhaps there are 8 or 10 apartments on a side, and that would perhaps make 20 altogether.
Mrs. HENRY C. BROWN. There are 30 apartments.
Representative BLANTON. I wish to ask just a few questions, if I may. This apartment which you rent has how many rooms?
Mrs. HAMPTON. One room.
Representative BLANTON. You have been with the Government how long?
Mrs. HAMPTON. Fifteen years on the first day of the coming April.
Representative BLANTON. What is your salary now, if you do not mind telling us!
Mrs. HAMPTON. My salary is now $1,680. It was raised, of course. this last year; that is, the whole class of Government employees that were getting $1,640, now get, under the reclassification act, $1,680.
Representative BLANTON. You came in under what classification?
Mrs. HAMPTON. There was no classification. When I came in I came in simply on an examination.
Representative BLANTON. You came in at a basic salary. What was that ?
Mrs. HAMPTON. Fifty dollars.
TESTIMONY OF MRS. C. V. HYDE
(The witness, having been first duly sworn by the chairman, was examined and testified as follows:)
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Hyde, where do you live!
Mrs. HYDE. No. 519 Stanton Place NE., the apartment house owned by C. C. Wilkerson.
The CHAIRMAN. The apartment house is owned by whom?
Mrs. HYDE. He is the agent. There are three apartments. He lives on the first floor, I live on the second, and a Miss Daly lives on the third.
I moved in on the 1st day of August, 1917, at a rent of $41.50 a month.
Senator COPELAND. How much?
Mrs. HYDE. $41.50. In one year I was raised to $45, the following year to $50, and the following year to $62.50, and the following two years to $75. I refused to pay the $75, was taken before the Rent Commission. The Rent Commission set my rent at $70. As soon as the Rent Commission supposedly was out of existence, I received a notice the 1st of December that my rent beginning January 1, 1925, would be $85 a month. I refused to pay the increase and I then received an eviction notice to vacate in 30 days. The time expires the 30th of January, 1925.
Senator COPELAND. Did you have any trouble with your landlord?
Mrs. HYDE. No; he wished more rent. He wished $85 instead of $70, and I refused to pay it, so then he handed me this notice which said to vacate in 30 days because I refused to pay the increased rent.
Senator COPELAND. In your judgment it was on account of the fact that you did not pay the increased rent?
Mrs. HYDE. Pardon me?
Senator COPELAND. You think it was on account of the fact that you did not pay, the increased rent?
Mrs. HYDE. I don't think it; I know it. It was the only ground he had to give me a notice like that–because I refused to pay the increase.
Senator COPELAND. Did you try to find another place?
I am a widow with four children, and am a Government clerk.
Senator COPELAND. You have made an effort to find a place?
Mrs. HYDE. I have been hunting for four months, because I knew this was coming.
Senator COPELAND. What was your experience suppose you tell us about that?
Mrs. HYDE. My experience? Senator COPELAND. In trying to find a place. Mrs. HYDE. Well; there are places to be found if you can afford to pay $125, $135, or $150 a month for a six-room and bath apartment.
Senator COPELAND. How much room do you need with your family?
Mrs. HYDE. I have to have six rooms and bath; that is, three bedrooms. There are six of us in the family.
Senator COPELAND. And the only approach to the conveniences you need would cost you $100
Mrs. Hyde. I found one apartment in all my search at $100 a month.
Senator COPELAND. And what about that one?
Mrs. Hyde. When they heard I had four children under'18 years of age they wouldn't let me in.
Senator COPELAND. Why is it, Mr. Chairman, that they let people keep poodle dogs, but won't let them have babies?
Representative HAMMER. Mrs. Hyde, were you before this subcommittee last year?
Mrs. HYDE. No; it was two years ago, Representative HAMMER. I thought I had seen you before; that is all.
Representative BLANTON. I desire to ask some questions. You have six in your family, four children and your husband?
Mrs. Hyde. No; I have just stated I am a widow. I have a sister who keeps house for me, so that my children are not left alone.
Representative BLANTON. You said you required six rooms and a bath?
Mrs. HYDE. I do.
Representative BLANTON. Could not the two girls stay in one room?
Mrs. HDYE. They do.
Representative BLANTON. And you and your sister in another room?
Mrs. HYDE. Yes.
Representative BLANTON. Three bedrooms, and you have kitchen?
Mrs. HYDE. And a dining room, living room, and a bath.
Representative BLANTON. You have a dining room, living room, and bath?
Mrs. HYDE. Yes, I have.
Representative BLANTON. In an emergency you can use the dining room as a living room also, can you not?
Mrs. HYDE. I suppose so.
Representative BLAnton. I have to do it sometimes. Couldn't you do it conveniently?
Mrs. HYDE. I could, but not pay rent like that; no.
Representative BLANTON. I was just talking about what you said your necessities were.
Mrs. HYDE. If I were going to pay a rent of $100 a month, I would have to take another person in to help me out. I am only a Government clerk on a salary of $130 a month.
Senator COPELAND. Let us follow out what the Congressman has suggested. Suppose you were satisfied to take one room less, would you then be able to find an apartment for some price within your means?
Mrs. Hyde. No; I would not. Representative BLANTON. Mr. Chairman, I object to having the witness taken away from me. I want the Senator to conduct the hearing fairly toward me. I am not going to take the witness away from him. I have a purpose in asking the questions I have asked, just as much so as the doctor might have in asking about the poodle dogs and babies. I am not asking farcical questions here. My questions are concerning the main issue, to grant some relief to these people by a proper law.
The CHAIRMAN. Proceed.
Representative Blanton. And I object to being interrupted until I am through.
Senator COPELAND. Mr. Chairman, it was wrong of me to interrupt the Congressman, and I apologize, because he will arrange the social relations here soon so we will not need any rent law.
Representative BLANTON. Mrs. Hyde, you are a Government worker and the sole breadwinner for your family!
Mrs. HYDE. I am.
Mrs. HYDE. Well, I have a son who has been working now since he was graduated in June. He is a messenger in one of the Government departments now. That is the first help I have had.
Representative BLANTON. He is a messenger in one of the Government departments?
Mrs. HYDE. Yes.
Representative BLANTON. $60 a month for him and $130 a month for you. Until you got the last raise under the classification—I presume you got a raise with the rest of the Government employees?
Mrs. Hyde. I got the $240 bonus.
TESTIMONY OF MRS. MARGARET HOPKINS WORRELL.
(The witness, having been duly sworn by the chairman, was examined and testified as follows:)
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Worrell, where do you live?
Senator COPELAND. For how much space?
The CHAIRMAN. What year was that?
Mrs. WORRELL. I think that was 1909. It was shortly after it was built, and we then had telephone service, we had splendid telephone service, we had our mail delivered at the door, and we had a man in livery to open the door for us, and any improvement we wanted, we got it immediately. Our service was perfectly splendid. The building was new and Mr. Wardman was the owner.
Shortly afterwards, it was sold, I understood to a Mrs. Halliday. She had it for a very short time and then turned it over again to Mr. Wardman, who kept it for a while and then turned it over, I think, to Mr. Smith. Then it went to Felix Lake, I think, and then to Stubblefield, and then I think back again to Smith, F. H. Smith & Co., and then in about 1920, I think it was, our rents began to be raised. I think that was about the first raise. It was way after the war before our rents were raised and then I think there were two or three small raises. Anyhow, I was raised to $18. That is what I am paying, or have been paying until Mr. Baskin took it over. Mr. Baskin, I believe, took it over some time in August or the 1st of September, and we received a notice, I think it was in November, that our rents were going to be raised to $65; at least mine was going to be raised to $65.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the number of your apartment?
Mrs. WORRELI. No. 404. It is shown right there on the chart at $32.50, and I am paying $48 and they are asking $65.
This was to be retroactive to October 1, although the rent had been paid.
Then I received notice of eviction unless the rent was paid-the advance rent was paid—which I refused to pay. I am now under notice of eviction.
I want to say I have not made any particular search for apartments. I have had friends of mine looking around and they all tell me they can not find any, but this afternoon I stopped at apartment No. 800, Eighteenth Street, which is at the corner of Eighteenth and H Streets. It is an old hotel transformed into an apartment house. They showed me on the third floor three rooms and bath, not a closet in the place and no kitchen. They had something like cupboards standing out into the rooms and every room had a door opening out into the corridor and every room had a connecting door and the bathroom was in one corner. You had to enter the bathif there was more than one person in the family—they would have to go through every other room to get into the bathroom unless they went out into the hall and entered the bathroom from the hall. They wanted $67.50 a month for that apartment and $3 a month extra for the electricity.
The CHAIRMAN. Furnished or unfurnished ?
Mrs. WORRELL. Oh, unfurnished. I looked out the window and I said, “ It looks like it would be very dangerous on account of fire, on account of this building being so old. Where is the fire escape?" The young woman said, " I'll show you," and she took me into the hall and she said, “ Right through that door." I said, “Right through that door," and she said, “ Yes; that is a bathroom, and you have to go through the bathroom to get on the fire escape." I said, "Is the bathroom unlocked," and she said, “Oh, no; it belongs to a lady and it is always locked.” [Laughter.] I said, “Is that