Velázquez Advances Public Housing Measures
Washington, DC – The House Financial Services Committee has approved two amendments authored by Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) today by voice vote. The provisions were adopted as part of the Committee’s Views and Estimates on the Budget for fiscal year 2019.
“Housing issues are crucially important to all New Yorkers,” said Velázquez. “I believe my amendments will make important improvements for renters and public housing residents living throughout the City,”
Velázquez’s first amendment would ensure that the Financial Services Committee conducts forceful oversight of landlords participating in the Section 8 program, to make sure they follow rules set out by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and to prevent abuse of tenants.
“We’ve heard numerous stories of deceitful landlords intentionally allowing units to fall into disrepair to force families out, jack up rents and make more money,” Velázquez noted. “This amendment would make certain that HUD and the Committee work together to proactively prevent such egregious acts.”
Velázquez’s second amendment requires that the Committee look into targeted funding for capital repairs and upgrades in public housing facilities like the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). Velázquez has noted that inadequate investment in public housing infrastructure has resulted in serious health problems for residents.
Additionally, Velázquez warned of the stark cuts to public housing included in the Trump Administration’s FY 2019 budget proposal. Specifically, Trump has proposed cuts to HUD’s budget by 24.1 percent compared to current levels, the elimination of funding for the Public Housing Capital Fund and cuts to the Public Housing Operating Fund.
“While President Trump is quick to express his fondness of New York City, his budget proposal proves that he is willing to leave many of our most vulnerable New Yorkers behind,” said Velázquez. “Instead of cutting funding for public housing, we must invest in much-needed repairs and oversight so hardworking families get the resources they deserve.”
Velázquez is the third most senior Democrat on the Financial Services Committee and the only New York City Member of Congress to serve on the Housing Subcommittee.