JUNE 25, 1949
NEW YORK, Friday—This morning I had a visit from Mrs. Yorke Allen who came to tell me about the Queensview Housing project here in New York. This is an interesting undertaking because it is a cooperative project that will house 728 families and it is planned primarily to meet the needs of the white-collar group of people, for whom rather little has been done in housing in this area. The site is on ten and a quarter acres.
The project is sponsored by 14 of our eminent citizens and is only five minutes from two subway lines. The features that appeal to me about the project are that it is nonsegregated—applications are received and considered solely from the point of view of the financial status of the individual applying—and it is a nonprofit undertaking.
For a three-and-a-half-room apartment, the cash investment is $2,100; for four-and-a-half-rooms, $2,550; and for five-and-a-half-rooms, $2,900. The carrying charges are $66, $76 and $86, respectively. If one cannot afford to make a full down payment, the National City Bank will make a 50 percent personal loan of cash required, at 3.8 percent interest.
In the spring of 1950 this project should be ready for occupancy. First preference is given to veterans and to persons with average incomes of $5,000 and under. If one earns up to $6,950 one is eligible, and this limit on income only holds good for the time of purchase. There is no restriction on your earning power and one does not lose the right to one's apartment if earnings are increased after a purchase has been made.
The monthly charges include gas and electricity, heat and hot water, all repairs, reserves, insurance and amortization of the mortgage and other contingencies except redecoration and the replacement of ranges and refrigerators.
Only four apartments are on each floor and the first floor is reserved for administration, laundry, rooms for perambulators and wheeled toys and community gatherings. There is a great deal of open space and play space development, and in the apartments an unusual amount of closet space.
On the whole, this seems to me one of the most encouraging housing propositions that has come to my knowledge for the medium-income group—and I have inspected many of them.
The sponsors include many of the names that you would expect to find associated with a plan of this kind. Henry Morgenthau, Jr.; Howard C. Sheperd, president of the National City Bank; David Sarnoff, of RCA; Bernard F. Gimbel; Gerard Swope; Mrs. Yorke Allen; Howard S. Cullman; Albert D. Lasker; the Very Rev. E. Roberts Moor; Louis H. Pink; Beardsley Ruml; G. Howland Shaw; Mrs. Mary K. Simkhovitch and Thomas J. Watson, Jr., of the International Business Machines.