HOUSING: New Foundation Needed

In an election-year splash of generosity, the Senate last week passed a $2.5 billion omnibus housing bill, about $1 billion bigger than the President requested. Piled atop the antirecession housing program enacted earlier this year, the new measure (which the House will probably trim a bit) brought the Senate's total 1958 housing appropriation to a dizzying $4.3 billion.

Federal housing programs have grown like suburbia in the quarter-century since Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed that "one-third of a nation [is] ill-housed." A structure so costly—taking in mortgage insurance, home-improvement loans, slum clearance, public housing,...

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