U.S. Housing Act of 1937 Law and Legal Definition

The Housing Act of 1937 (Act) is a federal legislation of the United States that provided for subsidies to be paid from the United States government to local public housing agencies in order to improve living conditions for low-income families.

The Act is sometimes referred to as the Wagner-Steagall Act or the Low-Rent Housing Act. The provisions of the Act are codified at 42 USCS §§ 1437 et seq. The act builds on the National Housing Act of 1934, which created the Federal Housing Administration. Under the programs of the Act, the federal government, through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), provides subsidies to local public housing agencies (PHAs) that rent housing to low-income families.

Initially the Act was controversial, but it gained acceptance and provisions of the Act have remained, but in amended form. The Housing Act of 1949, enacted during the Truman administration set new post-war national goals for decent living environments; it also funded slum clearance and the urban renewal projects, and created many national public housing programs.