Hope Glimmering for Homeless Vets As Harvard Acquires 33 FPHA Units
But You Can't Move in Until June; Families Get a Break
Only married veterans will be able to take advantage of the 33 six-family units assigned to the University by the Federal Public Housing Authority last week, and preference will be given to those who have children. According to officials of the Straus Hall Housing Office, the buildings will not be ready for occupancy before June, at the earliest, and the method, of selecting tenants has not yet been devised.
Three possible sites are being considered, and will be submitted to the FPHA for approval: Jarvis Field, Soldiers Field Road (adjoining the Business School) and Memorial Drive (near Western Avenue).
Application was made for a portion of the nation's 100,000 units last December. They are used excess houses that had been constructed around such congested areas as Army camps and war plants, and are now being disassembled, moved, and re-erected at Government expense in localities where the need is most serious.
No Quonset Huts
Contrary to some rumors, no Quonset huts, Army barracks, or trailers are included in the units to be sent here. Each six-family dwelling includes four two-bedroom suites, and two three-bedroom apartments. The kitchenette is located at one end of the living room, and the bathroom boasts a shower, but no tub.
Pointing out that "forty per cent of the 1250 married veterans in the University have children," authorities expressed regret that more could not be done for single men and couples, but asserted that their first obligation was to families.
No definite rent has been decided upon as yet, but officials assured that they would be tailored to the veterans' in- comes to as great an extent as possible. The University must pay for the preparation of the site, supplying utilities, maintenance, and miscellaneous costs; since the venture must pay for itself, rents must be high enough to cover these expenses. The entire project will be handled through the Housing Office.
Yale, faced with much the same problem, has ordered 200 Quonset huts to be set up in an area behind the Bowl. M.I.T. has built new pre-fabricated homes for their veteran students, combining an experiment in this type of construction with the housing of the married men. These structures cost from $4,000 to $5,000 each, as opposed to a probable $400 or $500 apiece for the FPHA units.
Housing Office personnel, swamped with applications, are now roaming as far afield as Winthrop and Andover in their search for lodgings. During their first three weeks of operation, ten percent of the requests were filled. The office expects shortly to mail a letter to alumni in the Cambridge-Boston area asking for information as to possible living quarters which might ease the situation