At the close of World War II, the housing problem in the United States suddenly assumed critical proportions. A greatly accelerated rate of family formation during and after the war, aggravated by the mounting numbers of demobilized servicemen, created a vast need for housing facilities. Furthermore, a substantial accumulation of personal savings during the war, together with easy credit terms under the FHA program and the GI Bill of Rights, enabled many people to translate this need into effective demand. On the supply side, however, the shortage growing out of the low volume of residential construction during the depression decade had been made even greater by the sharp wartime curtailment of building operations.
As public interest in the problem grew and demands for action increased, attention inevitably turned to the producer of shelter, the building industry. As had often occurred in the past, its ills and shortcomings were subjected to public and to legislative scrutiny.1 Once again, the roles of the various participants in the building process--labor, management, finan____________________