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Federal Works Agency

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Title: Federal Works Agency  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Mutual Ownership Defense Housing Division, United States Housing Authority, Arlington Farms, Dorothy Nyswander, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
Collection: 1939 Establishments in the United States, 1949 Disestablishments in the United States, Defunct Agencies of the United States Government, General Services Administration, Government Agencies Established in 1939, National Park Service, New Deal Agencies, Public Housing in the United States, Road Authorities, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, United States Department of Transportation Agencies, Works Progress Administration
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Federal Works Agency

The Federal Works Agency (FWA) was an

  • 3 volumes. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette, et al. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States."General Records of the Federal Works Agency. Record Group 162. 1930–50." Web version based on
  • "Guide to the Warren Jay Vinton Papers, 1932–1969." Collection Number: 2946. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library. (Warren Vinton was Chief Economist and Planning Officer of the U.S. Housing Authority (1937–1949), and First Assistant Commissioner of the Public Housing Administration (1949–1957))
  • "John M. Carmody (1881–1963) Papers." Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, Marist University. (John M. Carmody was Administrator of the FWA)
  • "Reminiscences of John Michael Carmody." RLIN number: NXCP87-A56. Oral History Research Office. Columbia University.

External links

  1. ^ Mosher, Frederick C. American Public Administration: Past, Present, Future. 2d ed. Birmingham, Ala.: University of Alabama Press, 1975. ISBN 0-8173-4829-8
  2. ^ Calabresi, Steven G. and Yoo, Christopher S. The Unitary Executive: Presidential Power from Washington to Bush. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2008. ISBN 0-300-12126-1
  3. ^ Belair, Jr., Felix. "Roosevelt Signs Reorganizing Bill." New York Times. April 4, 1939.
  4. ^ a b Santa Barbara, Calif.: University of California (hosted), Gerhard Peters (database).The American Presidency Project."Message to Congress on the Reorganization Act." April 25, 1939. John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters.
  5. ^ Sundquist, James L. The Decline and Resurgence of Congress. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1981. ISBN 0-8157-8223-3
  6. ^ a b c Smith, Jason Scott. Building New Deal Liberalism: The Political Economy of Public Works, 1933–1956. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-521-82805-8
  7. ^ a b c d 3 Volumes. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette, et al. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States."General Records of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Record Group 207. 1931–87." Web version based on
  8. ^ Fee, Elizabeth. "History and Development of Public Health." In Principles of Public Health Practice. 2d ed. Scutchfield, F. Douglas and Keck, C. William, eds. Florence, Ky.: Cengage Learning, 2002. ISBN 0-7668-2843-3; Goodwin, Doris Kearns. No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II. Reprint ed. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995. ISBN 0-684-80448-4
  9. ^ National Housing Agency. "The Mutual Home Ownership Program." Washington, D.C.: Federal Public Housing Authority, January, 1946. p.4.
  10. ^ Rossiter, Clinton L. Constitutional Dictatorship: Crisis Government in the Modern Democracies. Rev. 2d ed. Piscataway, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2002. ISBN 0-7658-0975-3; Crenson, Matthew A. and Ginsberg, Benjamin. Presidential Power: Unchecked and Unbalanced. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2007. ISBN 0-393-06488-3; Folly, Martin H. The United States and World War II: The Awakening Giant. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-7486-1526-1
  11. ^ Santa Barbara, Calif.: University of California (hosted), Gerhard Peters (database).The American Presidency Project."Executive Order 9070 - Establishing the National Housing Agency." February 24, 1942. John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters.
  12. ^ Santa Barbara, CA: University of California (hosted), Gerhard Peters (database)The American Presidency Project."Executive Order 9357 - Transferring the Functions of the Public Works Administration to the Federal Works Agency." June 30, 1943. John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters. ; Olson, James Stuart. Historical Dictionary of the Great Depression, 1929–1940. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001. ISBN 0-313-30618-4
  13. ^ Santa Barbara, Calif.: University of California (hosted), Gerhard Peters (database).The American Presidency Project."Letter to the Federal Works Administrator Discontinuing the W.P.A." December 4, 1942. John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters.
  14. ^ Arnold, Peri E. "The First Hoover Commission and the Managerial Presidency." Journal of Politics. 38:1 (February 1976).


Significant consolidation occurred in post-war period, which finally led to the dismantling of the FWA. DDPW and DWPS were merged by administrative order into a new Bureau of Community Facilities (BCF) on January 1, 1945.[7] In 1947, President Harry S. Truman appointed the First Hoover Commission to study the functions of the federal government and recommend administrative and managerial changes.[14] Although the First Hoover Commission recommended merging FWA into a new Department of Public Works (which would oversee all non-military federal construction), opposition from special interests and several federal agencies (such as the Army Corps of Engineers) led Truman to recommend abolishing FWA, transferring some functions to other agencies, and creating a new "housekeeping" agency to manage government construction needs and federally owned buildings.[6] On June 30, 1949, Congress passed the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act (63 Stat. 377), which abolished the FWA and transferred its few remaining functions to the General Services Administration.[6]


Additional changes came during the war. By Executive Order 9070 (using authority granted under the First War Powers Act), the U.S. Housing Authority was moved under the National Housing Authority and redesignated as the Federal Public Housing Authority on February 24, 1942.[10][11] The Public Works Administration, a Depression-era agency which distributed construction loans and grants as a form of relief, was abolished by Executive Order 9357 on June 30, 1943.[12] The Works Project Administration was abolished, effective June 30, 1943, by order of the President to the Administrator of the FWA on December 4, 1942.[13]

Reorganization Plan 1 created the Federal Works Agency, bringing together the Bureau of Public Roads, the Public Buildings Branch of the Procurement Division, the Branch of Buildings Management of the National Park Service, the United States Housing Authority, the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, and the Works Progress Administration.[4] With global hostilities rising prior to the start of World War II, the FWA used the authority granted to it by the Defense Housing and Community Facilities and Services Act of October 1940 (Act of October 14, 1940; ch. 862, 54 Stat. 1125; commonly known as the "Lanham Act") to establish, by administrative order on July 16, 1941, the Division of Defense Public Works (DDPW).[6][7] DDPW's role was to fund and supervise the construction of national defense public works, primarily housing, public health facilities, schools, child care facilities, and recreation areas for communities impacted by fast-growing defense industries.[7][8] FWA created the Division of War Public Service (DWPS) by administrative order on August 3, 1942, under the Lanham Act to administer public services required by the war.[7] The FWA, at about the same time, also created the Mutual Ownership Defense Housing Division to design and construct housing for middle income defense workers under the direction of Colonel Lawrence Westbrook, Special Assistant to the Federal Works Administrator.[9]

Defense worker housing at Kearney-Mesa, California, being built by the Public Buildings Administration of the Federal Works Agency in May 1941. Photograph by Russell Lee.
[5][4]Many influential members of Congress,
1939 FWA/WPA plaque celebrating the Staten Island Rapid Transit (New York City) grade-elimination project completion.
, the federal government created a large number of agencies whose mission was to construct public works (such as parks, water treatment systems, roads, and buildings), employ the unemployed to construct such works, and to issue loans and grants to regional authorities, states, counties, and localities for the construction of public works. Great DepressionDuring the



  • History 1
  • Dissolution 2
  • Notes 3
  • External links 4


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