Newstalgia Reference Room with a debate over pending legislation for Affordable Middle Class Housing, as introduced in the Senate. The subject is debated by Sen. John Sparkman (co-sponsor of the bill) and Clark Daniel, Director, National Association of Home Builders. From the program American Forum of The Air, broadcast on March 12, 1950.
May 19, 2012

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The dream and the reality were considerably different.


In 1950, while still in the grips of life in a Post-War world, the subject of affordable housing for the Middle-Class was widely discussed. In this case, a bill was pending in the Senate that would provide government assistance to those people who were in that limbo between having too much money to get subsidized housing, yet not enough money to be able to afford a down-payment on a house.

You would think this idea would be met with instant across-the-board approval, but it was hotly contested. And in this broadcast, part of the American Forum Of The Air series broadcast on March 12, 1950, a debate between Sen. John Sparkman, co-sponsor of the bill, and Clark Daniel, Director of The National Association Of Home Builders, proved just how much resistance there was to this otherwise humanitarian plan.

What is interesting about how this argument evolves is how it winds up being a case of "too much influence of Big Government" and the Socialism card is bandied around.

As a side note, Sen. John Sparkman is the same Senator Sparkman who was Adlai Stevenson's running mate in the 1952 Presidential election. And, it should be noted, was also one of the original signers of the "Southern Manifesto". However, none of that comes into play here.

In the end, the bill went down to defeat. And was re-introduced within a few weeks with the Affordable Middle-Class Housing proviso struck. In that form, the bill passed.

But even in 1950, the Middle -Class just wasn't getting any breaks.

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