The only way to address public housing repairs nationwide is to inject a massive amount of federal money, Congressmembers Dan Goldman and Nydia Velázquez say.
On Jan. 11, the two representatives introduced a bill, the Public Housing Emergency Response Act, that would allocate $70 billion in funding for public housing capital repairs and upgrades around the country. Nearly half that amount, $32 billion, would be earmarked for the New York City Housing Authority, the nation’s largest public housing authority.
The bill would increase the investment for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Public Housing Capital Fund to eliminate the capital-repairs backlog, as well as improve overall living conditions for public housing residents.
“We have an obligation to ensure that public housing residents are living with the dignity and respect they deserve,” Goldman said. “The conditions that far too many tenants are forced to endure are simply unacceptable, and the first step to tackling this urgent crisis is to fund capital repairs and eliminate backlogs. This bill takes an important and meaningful step in the right direction, and I will continue to fight tirelessly for public housing tenants in New York and across the country. I am honored to partner in this effort with Congresswoman Velazquez, who has been a generational leader on these issues.”
“The public housing system was created to serve as an affordable lifeline for working families across this country,” Velázquez said. “However, many public housing units are in poor conditions contributing to a broad range of infectious diseases, chronic diseases, injuries, childhood development complications, nutrition issues and mental health challenges. This situation demands bold action. The bill I am introducing with Congressman Goldman would provide substantial funding for capital repairs and upgrades, taking a concrete step toward renewing our nation’s commitment to public housing residents.”
“We have been clear since day one of this administration,” Mayor Eric Adams said, “that NYCHA residents deserve the same quality of life as every New Yorker, but decades of federal disinvestment from public housing has made that nearly impossible. The Public Housing Emergency Response Act, with $32 billion for NYCHA, would reverse this disturbing pattern and –—alongside our record investments in public housing and successful passage of the NYCHA Trust — would fund the critical repairs that NYCHA residents have been denied for too long. I applaud Representatives Velázquez and Goldman for introducing this bill in Congress and look forward to supporting their efforts to pass it.”
The bill is also cosponsored by Congressmembers Gregory Meeks, Ritchie Torres, Grace Meng, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Adriano Espaillat, Jerrold Nadler, Jamaal Bowman and Yvette Clarke.