The roof was about to fall in on Housing Expediter Wilson Wyatt, while his latest blueprints to tackle the housing emergency gathered dust on a White House shelf.

The ex-mayor of Louisville had undertaken a backbreaking job with breathtaking plans: 1,200,000 new dwelling units in 1946, another 1,500,000 next year. His latest figures counted approximately 895,000 already started. But nearly half of this paper shelter was still uncompleted; over a third was makeshift housing, not permanent building. Home-hungry veterans hunted in vain for the $6,000 house of Wyatt's first dreams.

With each...

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