June 17, 1981

The President. I know that Secretary Pierce shares my delight that Bill McKenna has accepted the Chairmanship and Carla Hills the Vice Chairmanship of the President's Commission on Housing. And they, along with the 20 members of the Commission who'll be named today, represent a great reservoir of experience and background in this field.

Homeownership is the symbol of the family unit, the neighborhood, and is essential if we're going to have social, economic, and political stability in our land. The industry has been suffering from economic ups and downs, a roller coaster for the past two decades, and is suffering today. Our economic recovery program is the key, I think, to long-term recovery for that particular industry and for homeownership in the land.

This Commission is going to be taking a hard look at all aspects of housing -- financing, costs, construction, the Federal housing programs -- and in addition, is going to look at how much government should be in housing, and come up with options for a national housing policy, and what we can do to maximize in the private sector homeownership.

Well, Bill and Carla, you have a big job ahead of you, and I'm delighted that you'd take on that job.

Mr. McKenna. Mr. President, I appreciate your trust, and the job will be done.

Mrs. Hills. Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: The President spoke at 11:18 a.m. to reporters assembled in the Oval Office at the White House.