Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Policy & Communications Committee (DPCC) Co-Chair Hakeem Jeffries, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh unveiled a comprehensive proposal in Boston, MA today to address the public housing crisis in America. The proposal, A Better Deal for Public Housing & Ladders of Opportunity for American Families, will focus on Democrats’ commitment to reinvesting in America’s public housing developments and offers solutions that will empower residents while fostering safer neighborhoods and creating economic opportunities.
This proposal is a bold plan to reinvest in public housing and the 2.2 million lowest income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and other individuals who call public housing their home. The announcement is part of the highly successful Our Homes, Our Voices National Housing Week of Action, May 1-8, during which advocates at more than 110 events across the country called for greater federal investments in affordable rental homes. The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and its members across the country look forward to working with Congress to sign this proposal into law as part of a comprehensive plan to end homelessness and housing poverty in America.
Public housing has been underfunded for decades, leading to tens of billions of dollars in backlogged capital repairs. The proposal includes a significant and sustained reinvestment in public housing infrastructure to ensure that this critical source of affordable rental homes is available for America’s lowest income residents, now and in the future. With this investment, communities would be able to make critical infrastructure repairs, such as fixing leaky roofs and replacing outdated heating systems, to improve living conditions for millions of residents and to protect a key piece of America’s affordable rental housing stock.
This proposal also includes significant resources to provide struggling families living in public housing with the job counseling and training, educational, after-school enrichment programs, and other services proven to help lift families out of poverty. And, by investing in the severely distressed communities where public housing is often located, the proposal will help revitalize communities across the nation.
“This proposal to make a sustained investment in public housing is a clear rebuke of proposals to cut housing benefits – whether by slashing investments in public housing and other federal housing programs or imposing rigid, punitive work requirements on millions of low income families,” stated Diane Yentel, NLIHC president and CEO at the event announcing the proposal in Boston. “Such an investment would significantly expand resources to help more struggling families afford roofs over their heads and increase their opportunity for stable housing, decreasing their risk of evictions and, in worst cases, homelessness.”
Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.