House Approves Velázquez Amendment Boosting Public Housing Funds
Washington, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives has passed an amendment authored by Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) to increase funding for investment in public housing infrastructure. Her amendment, which was added to the “omnibus spending bill”, would add $2 million to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Public Housing Capital Fund.
“I often say that when we are talking about housing rights, we are discussing human rights,” said Velázquez. “After decades of disinvestment, my amendment will allocate additional funding for needed repairs and upgrades in public housing developments.”
Years of neglect and underfunding have shrunk the nation’s affordable housing stock, significantly. Nationally, 200,000 units of public housing have been lost since 2010 and 10,000 units are at risk of being lost each year unless critical funding gaps are filled. In addition, public housing continues to deteriorate due to insufficient funds.
“These shortfalls have a direct effect on residents’ health and quality of life,” Velázquez noted. “Deferred maintenance means children suffer respiratory problems due to mold. Lack of funds and delayed repairs can lead to seniors suffering from drafts and leaky windows. They mean elevators that do not work and unsafe hallways that are not lit. But these are problems we can fix. In fact, we have an obligation to fix them.”
Velázquez’s amendment was adopted to the larger funding bill with bipartisan support. The omnibus package is expected to pass the House this week, after which it will be sent to the Senate for consideration.
“This is a modest funding increase and, to be candid, much more must be done,” Velázquez added. “However, the passage of my amendment is a start and I will continue advocating for additional investment in our nation’s public housing infrastructure.”
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