In response to the President's directive I will now read a statement, the
substance of which I hope will be
given wide and continuous publicity
throughout the United States:
DECLARATION OF 1956 AS
NATIONAL HOME IMPROVEMENT
The President of the United States has
stated that the present administration from
the outset recognized three major goals ol
equal importance in the complex task of
housing the American people.
One goal was to provide, by private enterprise and initiative, a modem home for every
American family that seeks and can afford
to buy such a home. This is approaching
Another goal was to provide more and
lietter housing, both by private enterprise
and government aid, for American families
witli low incomes. This is being increasingly
A third goal was nationwide renewal and
restoration of middle-aged dwellings in basically sound condition.
Aware of the magnitude and urgency of
this need to rehabilitate our older homes, the
President has expressed his desire mat the
Housing and Home Finance Agency stimulate our communities, the building and lending industries, and private citizens everywhere to a full and systematic achievement
of a modern home for every American.
It tin's objective is attained with the energy
at our command, and with the crusading
spirit of our people, our entire population —
owners, tenants, and laboring force alike
— will be enormously benefited.
Therefore, as Administrator of the Mousing and Home Finance Agency, 1 urge the
American people to join with the President
and the great forces of private enterprise in
concerted effort to attain nationwide improvement of our country's homes and neighborhoods.
In pursuance of our common objectives,
I designate 1956 Home Improvement Year.
"A Big Idea Because It's Simple"
Remarks of John R. Doscher, Executive Director
of Operation Home Improvement:
Someone wired recently and referred to this day as an historic occasion. In many respects it is. For today
marks the beginning of a campaign
which is bound to have a very positive
effect on our nation. This campaign is
called Operation Home Improvement.
Today, for the first time, all the
main, and diverse factors in the building business are joining forces under
the banner of Operation Home Improvement to combat one of our most
serious domestic problems: the deterioration of our housing inventory.
Private industry has a big job to do
in selling home improvement to the
American people. To do it takes a big
idea. Nothing less could unite an industry. Nothing less could make an
impression on the American people
who are the most promoted-to people-
in the world.
Operation Home Improvement is a
big idea. It's big because it is simple.
It is not a new organization or association. It is simply a year-long campaign
designed to coordinate the efforts of
till in the home-improvement industry,
both at the national and at the local
level, to accomplish two things:
(1) To interest more people in improving their homes, and (2) to help
make it easier for home owners to
buy materials and services.
The campaign is sponsored by the
Chamber of Commerce of the United
States and the building industry. As
you have seen, it has the active support of the federal government.
The potential is indeed enormous.
Some economists estimate that the
home improvement market could be
doubled in the next few years. The
condition of our housing inventor) in
America certainly points up the need.
We've got a big job to do in developing this market Statisticians tell us
that one house in ten is a slum, half of
those remaining are in need of repair
and improvement. Certainly the other
half need to be maintained. We have
always prided ourselves on having the
highest standards of living in the
world, but with the alarming deterioration of our housing inventory, our
standards are being steadily lowered.
What's happened to the American
pride in the home?
Why don't people spend money to
keep their homes up to modern standards?
Certainly, with our current prosperity, full employment, the highest
wages we've ever had even adjusted
for inflation, people can afford to improve their homes. Half the owner-
occupied homes in America tire iraii' ^e seal in
scot-free — there are no mortgage pa). nt>s and i
ments to be made every month. M° yS> peopl
of these are the older homes that a' jp that "
in need of modernization. The "th ,j*e> will
half of our home owners have abo1 ^Jr home
a 50 per cent equity — more th* . Operatic
enough on which sound readvanq /^ed a 1
could be made for improvement wo' inordinate.
Manufacturers, trade association & ,?t
ecutives, financing experts, service *" L?:oc-'al
installation people and governme' '"nd Ol
housing officials, till agree that Opcrj^gn out
enough idea to help achieve a n^ ] ar to m
degree of teamwork. With one s& *jl camp
and one slogan and the declaration1 j 'his ]oca
Home Improvement Year, this i<* J?Portunt 1
has already created unprecedented" j. ' contrac
operation at the national level. A? ^.'ogethei
from tests tit the local level in p>\ '/"Prove
'■■ .ke it eas
cities, it is apparent that the id^lthi"^
together. .JbatJ16 timir
big enough to get everyone pin- -j,
>gether. titei, u
It looks now as if the seal of 0' Sn is
may well become one of the great*
banners ever used in the history *
American business. This year, this ■>'
will appear in many millions of l, h • -#
lars worth of national advertising- vQ/|£
local advertising, beginning todaVe
ig used by countless thoiisa*
is being used by countless thoiis*'!
of dealers, contractors, lenders, an'' |l
tailers of home equipment products-,
is estimated that, at the local lH
alone, over -$250 million worth oiJJ
vertising will carry this seal '"".'jl^o rQrn
Home Improvement Year. In add"""! nc"riy.
an equal amount will probably! Jt rem
spent on direct mail, display matefljj 'octs p ' s
and other promotional activities u"
the seal. H
FOR THE COMMON GOOD
elements of this huge industry jo1
Never before have all the div^ t>,
industry \°f\ l"W.r."'
together for the common good "'.Xs,! a.ble
f * K*Mable
togeiner ror me common goou " j !na . , "'
And by joining forces in this com^||^of tl
helping to insure our most pr
possession — the American In"1"
the bulwark of our way of life, j™
It is because of this that Opeu1" Ka„ ransP'
Home Improvement is one camp'. %,.• "eed:
that is big enough to deserve th'', H|j 'j'"'sm
tention of editors of leading <°\ »W '"[<" a
zines. Every major magazine j K ll('"t s
joined the team to help sell bcttefJrW01 food
I ii'hr ill's i
ing in better homes. Millions an jdK^er'\ir
lions of families will be reading "iljJV;,' Ve "
and better editorial material 0" ,,-| '<i,|
subject. And on these editoria
they'll see the OHI seal time and
.gain. ^<l"|"U f°r
Newspapers, too, are using tin' |\j ■>>' the
Through the repetitious imp*
Fvi is Fori m News, Aprik^