42 U.S. Code § 4502 - Congressional findings and declaration of policy

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(a) The Congress finds that rapid changes in patterns of urban settlement, including change in population distribution and economic bases of urban areas, have created an imbalance between the Nation’s needs and resources and seriously threaten our physical and social environment, and the financial viability of our cities, and that the economic and social development of the Nation, the proper conservation of our energy and other natural resources, and the achievement of satisfactory living standards depend upon the sound, orderly, and more balanced development of all areas of the Nation.
(b) The Congress further finds that Federal programs affect the location of population, economic growth, and the character of urban development; that such programs frequently conflict and result in undesirable and costly patterns of urban development and redevelopment which adversely affect the environment and wastefully use energy and other natural resources; and that existing and future programs must be interrelated and coordinated within a system of orderly development and established priorities consistent with a national urban policy.
(c) To promote the general welfare and properly apply the resources of the Federal Government in strengthening the economic and social health of all areas of the Nation and more adequately protect the physical environment and conserve energy and other natural resources, the Congress declares that the Federal Government, consistent with the responsibilities of State and local government and the private sector, must assume responsibility for the development of a national urban policy which shall incorporate social, economic, and other appropriate factors. Such policy shall serve as a guide in making specific decisions at the national level which affect the pattern of urban development and redevelopment and shall provide a framework for development of interstate, State, and local urban policy.
(d) The Congress further declares that the national urban policy should—
(1) favor patterns of urbanization and economic development and stabilization which offer a range of alternative locations and encourage the wise and balanced use of physical and human resources in metropolitan and urban regions as well as in smaller urban places which have a potential for accelerated growth;
(2) foster the continued economic strength of all parts of the United States, including central cities, suburbs, smaller communities, local neighborhoods, and rural areas;
(3) encourage patterns of development and redevelopment which minimize disparities among States, regions, and cities;
(4) treat comprehensively the problems of poverty and employment (including the erosion of tax bases, and the need for better community services and job opportunities) which are associated with disorderly urbanization and rural decline;
(5) develop means to encourage good housing for all Americans without regard to race or creed;
(6) refine the role of the Federal Government in revitalizing existing communities and encouraging planned, large-scale urban and new community development;
(7) strengthen the capacity of general governmental institutions to contribute to balanced urban growth and stabilization; and
(8) increase coordination among Federal programs that seek to promote job opportunities and skills, decent and affordable housing, public safety, access to health care, educational opportunities, and fiscal soundness for urban communities and their residents.


(Pub. L. 91–609, title VII, § 702,Dec. 31, 1970, 84 Stat. 1791; Pub. L. 95–128, title VI, § 601(b),Oct. 12, 1977, 91 Stat. 1143; Pub. L. 98–479, title II, § 204(i),Oct. 17, 1984, 98 Stat. 2233; Pub. L. 102–550, title IX, § 921(1),Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 3883.)

1992—Subsec. (d)(8). Pub. L. 102–550added par. (8) and struck out former par. (8) which read as follows: “facilitate increased coordination in the administration of Federal programs so as to encourage desirable patterns of urban development and redevelopment, encourage the prudent use of energy and other natural resources, and protect the physical environment.”
1984—Subsec. (d)(8). Pub. L. 98–479struck out “of” before “the physical environment”.
1977—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 95–128, § 601(b)(1), substituted “rapid changes in patterns of urban settlement, including change in population distribution and economic bases of urban areas, have created” for “the rapid growth of urban population and uneven expansion of urban development in the United States, together with a decline in farm population, slower growth in rural areas, and migration to the cities, has created” and included the threat to “social” environment and the financial viability of our cities, and conservation of “energy”.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 95–128, § 601(b)(2), included findings respecting costly urban redevelopment and wasteful use of energy and struck out “growth” after “national urban”.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 95–128, § 601(b)(3), included conservation of “energy”, struck out “growth” after “nation urban” in first sentence and substituted in second sentence “urban development and redevelopment” for “urban growth” and “urban policy” for “growth and stabilization policy”.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 95–128, § 601(b)(4)–(6), struck out “growth” before “policy” in introductory text; substituted in par. (3) “encourage patterns of development and redevelopment which minimize” for “help reverse trends of migration and physical growth which reinforce”; and in par. (8) substituted “urban development and redevelopment” for “urban growth and stabilization” and “protect” for “the protection” and required the national urban policy to “encourage” prudent use of resources, including “energy”.

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42 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large


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