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UNITED STATES v. CITY OF PHILADELPHIA

July 28, 1944

UNITED STATES
v.
CITY OF PHILADELPHIA et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: KALODNER

In this case, the United States seeks an injunction to prevent interference with the construction work on certain buildings by the City of Philadelphia and certain of its officers.

The sole issue for determination is whether the United States, in the construction of war housing under the Lanham Act 1940, 54 Stat. 1125, 42 U.S.C.A. § 1521 et seq., must comply with local building regulations.

 On the basis of an agreed statement of facts, the pleadings and additional testimony, I state the following.

 Findings of Fact

 1. The Federal Public Housing Authority is an agency and instrumentality of the United States, created by Executive Order No. 9070, February 24, 1942, 50 U.S.C.A. Appendix, § 601 note, pursuant to which Order it administers the functions, powers and duties of the Federal Works Administration, under the Act of Congress of October 14, 1940, c. 862, 54 Stat. 1125, as amended, 42 U.S.C.A. § 1521, known as the "Lanham Act."

 2. The Philadelphia Housing Authority is a body politic and corporate, created under the Housing Authorities Law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania of May 28, 1937, P.L. 955, 35 P.S. Pa. § 1541 et seq., and acts as agent of the United States of America, through the Federal Public Housing Authority, in the construction of housing projects under the provisions of the Lanham Act.

 3. Pursuant to the provisions of the Lanham Act, the President of the United States, on November 20, 1940, and February 3, 1941, found that an acute shortage of housing which would impede the national defense activities existed or impended to the extent of 1,500 family dwelling units in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and that such housing would not be provided by private capital when needed.

 4. Pursuant to such finding by the President of the United States, the Federal Works Administrator, during the year 1941, erected a housing project in the City of Philadelphia, consisting of 1,000 dwelling units, known as "Passyunk Homes," on land which had been condemned and title thereto taken by the United States of America, under proceedings in the United States District Court, for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, on March 10, 1941, and April 7, 1941, being Civil Actions 1418 and 1461, respectively.

 5. That the plants and specifications for the Passyunk Homes Housing Project, as originally prepared by the Architect, Edward H. Wigham, included provisions for the erection of a Community Building, Maintenance Building and Commercial Facilities (also referred to as "stores") Building, but that such buildings were not erected at the time the aforesaid 1,000 dwelling units comprising the Passyunk Homes Housing Project were erected.

 6. On October 12, 1943, the Federal Public Housing Authority, acting through the Philadelphia Housing Authority, entered into a contract with George H. Evans & Co., of the City of Philadelphia, for the construction of Community, Maintenance and Commercial Facilities Buildings, on land belonging to the United States of America, being part of the aforesaid Passyunk Homes Housing Project.

 7. On November 29, 1943, the said George H. Evans & Co. entered into a subcontract with the Diletto Co. for the installation of certain plumbing work in said buildings.

 9. That the United States of America, acting through the Federal Public Housing Authority and the Philadelphia Housing Authority, proceeded with the construction work on the aforesaid buildings without filing plans and ...


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