Ronald J. Chinnock*, NAREB president in 1954, was instrumental in the continued attack on slum housing. With the support of President Eisenhower, Mr. Chinnock promoted the “build America Better Campaign” into a national cause. He said, “The key to our new era of better homes and netter neighborhoods is ‘incentive.’ Owners of neglected properties will have an effective incentive to modernize because entire neighborhoods, including private property and city streets, parks and other facilities, will be undergoing modernization.”
Mr. Chinnock served the Association during the Hydrogen Bomb Age. He organized a committee within the Association to prepare cities for the hydrogen bomb. “Perfection of the hydrogen bomb with a power of devastation that is still scarcely realized is a fact that will necessarily influence the future of urban development….The work of our new committee will go beyond programs for dispersal of people to meet an immediate urgency, and will consider, rather, the practical measures that can offer a better and more secure life to Americans as well as meet requirements of national defense,” Mr. Chinnock.
He called for improvement in the flow of mortgage money. “Mal-distribution of available mortgage funds has been a retarding influence during the past year in the nation’s march to more homeownership and better housing standards.” The Association significantly influenced the Housing Act of 1954, which revised federal mortgage and repair loans by easing financial terms. When the bill was signed by President Eisenhower, Mr. Chinnock said, “The Housing Act will allow more home ownership for America’s families…66 percent of the nation’s families will be homeowners by 1960.”
Promoting the REALTOR® was a constant task of Mr. Chinnock’s. He particularly urged the National Association of Homebuilders to tap the resources of REALTORS®. In one address to the NAHB he said, “Two-thirds of the nation’s families will be homeowners by 1960 because of new selling techniques REALTORS® will develop. Homebuilders need the REALTORS® more than ever. You should have them work with you from the planning stage…there is a wonderful opportunity here.”
Mr. Chinnock also supported private property rights and opposed government ownership of housing. “Housing is the most basic of all types of free enterprise and should be so preserved.”
During World War I, Mr Chinnock was an apprentice seaman and in World War II received the Legion of Merit for his service as a Navy captain. A REALTOR® since 1929, Mr. Chinnock served as vice-president of NAREB for two years and has been a national director for many years. He served as president of the Illinois Association of Real Estate Boards in 1947. He was named Illinois REALTOR® of the year in 1980. A past vice president of the Society of Industrial REALTORS®, Mr. Chinnock also is a member of the American Society of Real Estate Counselors and the REALTORS® National Marketing Institute.
In addition to his leadership with the REALTOR® Association, Mr. Chinnock served for 26 years as a director of First Federal Savings and Loan of Chicago, as a director of the Chicago Short Life railway Co., as a member of the Illinois Housing Development Authority and a member of the State Housing Board for 20 years.
Mr. Chinnock was senior vice president of Chinnock & Doughty, Inc. and of Strobeck, Reiss and Company. Previously he was president of the Chicago firm Farr, Chinnock and Sampson, Inc., which was established in 1872. For more than 50 years Mr. Chinnock specialized in the sale, leasing, management, and appraisal of real estate in the Midwest. He supervised the appraisal of the entire right-of-way of the Illinois Tollway System.
Source: Presidents of the National Association of REALTORS®, (Chicago: NAR, 1980).