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have been introduced in the House and Senate proposing additional changes in present standards of compensation. There was a feeling, however, that these bills offered at best only “piecemeal” solutions, and there was concern that additional legislation directed toward particular programs would create even greater inequities for persons affected by programs not covered by such legislation.
As a consequence, several Members of Congress introduced bills proposing an independent commission to make a comprehensive study of all aspects of the problem. The first commission bills were introduced in the 85th and 86th Congresses, by Representative Ludwig Teller, and similar bills were introduced in the 87th Congress by Majority Leader Carl Albert and Representatives Frank Burke and Frank A. Stubblefield. On the Senate side, the chairman of the Housing Subcommittee of the Banking and Currency Committee, Senator John Sparkman, introduced commission bills in the 86th and 87th Congresses. On January 30, 1961, Senator Sparkman addressed the Senate and explained his concept of the study:
*** This study should be broad enough to cover all land
The study should be made in the broad spirit of the just
provisions or of any particular statute. The Bureau of the Budget endorsed the purpose and objective of the proposed commission; however, it suggested that the study be conducted within the legislative branch. The Committee on Public Works established the Select Subcommittee on Real Property Acquisition in order to implement this suggestion and directed it to make a study of the same broad and inclusive character as the proposed commission study.
Senator Sparkman pledged his support of the study in an address to the Senate on April 24, 1962. He took note of an exchange of correspondence with Chairman Davis shortly after the subcommittee was established, and said:
The able membership of the Select Subcommittee on Real Property Acquisition, the high caliber of its staff, and the significant objectives of its operations suggest to me that there is no further need for action by the Senate on S. 671 at this time. I can assure the House select subcommittee that I, as well as my other colleagues in the Senate, will follow their progress with keen interest, I should like to take the liberty of sending to the select subcommittee any cases that may come to my attention highlighting problems involved in acquiring property for Federal or federally aided programs. I feel certain that all Senators will be glad to furnish what
ever assistance may be helpful. The correspondence between Senator Sparkman and Chairman Davis follows: Chairman, Select Subcommittee on Real Property Acquisition, Com
, mittee on Public Works, House of Representatives, Washington,
D.C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I have been informed of the appointment of the Select Subcommittee on Real Property Acquisition and of its plans to undertake a study of real property acquisition by Federal, State, and local governments for Federal and federally assisted programs.
I have been interested in this subject for some time. During the last Congress I introduced a bill, S. 2802, which would have established a commission to make a study of this subject. On January 30, of this year, I introduced a revised bill, S. 671, for the same purpose. For your information I enclose a copy of the statement I made at the time I introduced S. 671, together with a copy of that bill. I also enclose a copy of a letter I wrote to Senator McClellan on June 5, 1961, commenting on various suggestions made by agencies with respect to the bill and also pointing out references to the problems involved in the bill which arose in connection with the hearings on the housing legislation of 1961, together with a copy of these hearings.
As I understand it, it is the intention of the select subcommittee to make the same study in as comprehensive and impartial a fashion as I had in mind for the Commission proposed in §. 671. If this is the case, it would seem to me unnecessary to take any further action with respect to S. 671.
I was interested to note that the committee has named Mr. Henry H. Krevor as the chief counsel for the select subcommittee. Mr. Krevor is, I know, an acknowledged authority in this field, and I am glad to say was of substantial assistance to my staff in reviewing and revising S. 2802 of the 86th Congress for introduction this year as S. 671.
I should appreciate being advised of your plans with respect to this study in order to determine whether any further action is necessary with respect to my bill, S. 671. Sincerely yours,
Senator John SPARKMAN,
MY DEAR SENATOR: I appreciate very much your interest in the new Select Subcommittee on Real Property Acquisition and your kind remarks about our chief counsel.
The purpose of this bipartisan subcommittee is to make a comprehensive study of existing laws, practices, and procedures in the asquisition and evaluation of real property required for Federal and federally assisted programs to determine whether they are unfair either to property owners because of inadequate payments or to the taxpayers because of overpayments; and to produce a considered report with sound recommendations and legislative proposals, if appropriate. It is to be an impartial, objective study project, and is not designed as an investigation into alleged improperties or irregularities. Additional details are set out in the enclosed copy of an address which I presented before the American Association of State Highway Officials at its annual meeting this year.
Your excellent statement of January 30, 1961, on introducing S. 671 provides a clear picture of the need for this study so that the Congress may be satisfied "that all persons affected by the acquisition of property by the United States or under Federal or federally assisted programs shall receive fair, just, and equal treatment.” I'he Bureau of the Budget, in reporting on S. 671 and several similar House bills, expressed the administration's indorsement of the project and suggested that it might be accomplished most effectively by a legislative committee. Our Committee on Public Works created the select subcommittee to implement this suggestion.
The work of this subcommittee is just getting underway and we are going to need a great deal of help. As I see it, the success of the study will depend, in large measure, upon the action taken in the early stages. If you have any additional thought as to specific problem areas which should be explored, or any other comments or suggestions concerning the study, they will be most welcome. With all good wishes, I am, Very sincerely yours,
IV. ACTIVITIES OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE
The broad scope of the study directed by the Committee on Public Works required the development and analysis of an almost overwhelming amount of data. The many Federal agencies authorized to acquire real property operate under diverse laws, policies, and practices; and Federal-aid programs of public housing, urban renewal, highways, and others, involving hundreds of varying State and local laws, court decisions, and administrative policies and practices further complicated the picture.
AÎso, in examining the effects of land acquisition programs on property owners, tenants, and others, it was necessary to consider such matters as the kinds and the extent of the unreimbursed expenses or losses actually incurred by such persons, the Internal Revenue Code provisions applicable to Government takings of property, the availability of housing for low- or moderate-income families and individuals and the cost of such housing, the ability of elderly homeowners to continue homeownership after displacement, the ability of displaced or injured businesses to relocate or make necessary adjustments without hardship, the extent and reasons for business discontinuance, the ability of elderly and other owners and employees of discontinued business to continue to earn a living after displacement, the availability of, and the need for, relocation services for displaced persons, and others.
The kinds of data and information assembled or developed by the staff for study by the subcommittee include, among others, the following:
(1) A background memorandum of the need for the study, developed with the cooperation of Representative Wayne N. Aspinall, chairman of the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, by Mr. Milton Pearl, lands consultant for that committee (Committee Print No. 13, Sept. 6, 1961, 87th Cong., 1st sess.).
(2) Federal and State constitutional provisions (app. A), and statutes relating to the acquisition of real property, with emphasis on those prescribing methods of acquisition and standards of compensation.
(3) Administrative regulations, policies, and practices established by Federal, State, and local agencies as requirements or guidelines for the appraisal, negotiation, and acquisition of real property.
(4) Court decisions, legal, appraisal, and other writings, economic and social studies and reports of the effects of displacement on homeowners and tenants, business concerns, farm operators, and others. (Bibliography, app. H)
(5) Bills introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives during the 84th through 88th Congresses, together with pertinent hearings, reports, and floor debates; selected bills and related data for earlier periods since 1940; transcripts of pertinent hearings and reports of the Special Subcommittee on the Federal-Aid Highway Program of the House Public Works Committee and of other committees of Congress; and reports by the General Accounting Office.
(6) Comments and suggestions of affected property owners and tenants.
(7) Comments and suggestions of Federal, State, and local government agencies, Members of Congress, staffs of other congressional committees, officials of State eminent domain commissions, judges of Federal and State courts, the American and Federal bar associations and State and local bar associations, leading appraisal societies, right-ofway organizations, housing and redevelopment officials, business and farm organization representatives, and others.
(8) Pertinent Internal Revenue Code provisions, and related data.
(9) Summaries of laws providing for relocation payments or relocation assistance in Federal and federally assisted programs, and tabulations comparing the differences among programs (chap. IX and app. B).
(10) Authorizing legislation (app. B) and pertinent policies and practices of Federal agencies providing assistance for displaced persons through such programs as the low-rent housing program of the Public Housing Administration, the FHA section 221 sales and rental
housing programs for low- or moderate-income families and elderly or handicapped individuals, and the Small Business Administration's disaster loan program for displaced small business concerns.
(11) Statistical information, including acreage and ownerships acquired, compensation paid, the relationships between prices paid for property and agency appraisals, the time provided for displaced persons to obtain substitute housing or other property, the displacement of families or individuals, businesses, and farms, and the business and farm discontinuances; the number of displaced persons for whom relocation payments are authorized, the number claiming relocation payments, the range of payments, and the average payment for each category; the number of agencies providing relocation assistance for displaced persons, the number of persons seeking relocation assistance, and the number benefited by such assistance (chap. V and app. C).
(12) A comprehensive three-part questionnaire relating to Federal agency practices for the evaluation, negotiation, and acquisition of real property (app. D).
This questionnaire was completed by the General Services Administration (which acquires real property for several other Federal agencies in addition to its public buildings program); the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation of the Department of the Interior; the Tennessee Valley Authority; the U.S. Army Engineers (which acquires real property for military and civil works projects, and for the Department of the Air Force, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and others); the Department of the Navy; and the District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency. The staff discussed the completed questionnaires with representatives of each agency to assure a mutual understanding of each question and answer, and the agencies were given an opportunity to make revisions or changes as desired. The material was then consolidated into a single document and permits, for the first time, convenient, point-by-point comparisons of the stated practices of the principal Federal land acquisition agencies.
(13) An analysis of the displaced business disaster loan program of the Small Business Administration (app. E).
This analysis provides, in a series of tables, a view of the displaced business disaster loan program from its inception on June 30, 1961, through December 31, 1963. The tables are supplemented by a letter from the Small Business Administration reporting on additional loan applications received and loans approved between January 1, 1964, and June 30, 1964.
Subjects treated in the tables include the number of loan applications received by SBA, the number approved, the number disapproved and the reasons for disapproval; the time required to process applications; the programs displacing the businesses for which loans were approved; and the characteristics of businesses receiving loans, such as the type of business, the age of the business, the age of the owner, the number of employees, and the net earnings before displacement; the size of loans, the extent of deferral of repayments during the initial period after displacement, the items of expense for which loans may be authorized, and the repayment record for loans.