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ILLINOIS STATE ARCHIVES


Hard Times in Illinois, 1930–1940

A Selection of Documents from the Illinois State Archives


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DOCUMENT 35
LETTER CONCERNING THE COLLAPSE OF THE CHICAGO HOUSING MARKET
February 2, 1935



Explanation

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was established by Congress on June 28, 1934. Its purpose was to insure mortgages taken out to finance home repairs and new home construction. Over 1934-1940 some 2,300,000 home repair loans totaling $945,000,000 were insured by the FHA. Over the same period this agency insured 554,000 new home construction loans totaling $2,300,000,000. These figures represented a real shot in the arm for a depressed economy.

The purpose of the Building Recovery Committee of Chicago was to help re-employ workers in the building trades. The governor's administrative assistant made a cordial reply to this letter on February 5. The Recovery Committee was informed that the governor had every sympathy for their cause and that presently there were several bills before the General Assembly designed to relieve defaulted property from penalties and to extend the time allowed for paying back taxes. The governor was supporting all of these measures with the full force of this office.

Points to Consider

What was the Building Recovery Committee of Chicago asking Governor Horner to do?

What was the purpose of the Building Recovery Committee of Chicago?

Name several of the building trades.

Describe the Chicago housing market in February 1935.


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