Congressman Serrano Introduces Legislation to Increase Funding Available for Public Housing Repairs
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman José E. Serrano introduced the Public Housing Capital Repair Fund Act. This legislation would allow public housing authorities to perform much-needed capital repairs to help improve the living conditions and health outcomes for public housing residents. Specifically, it will increase funding for the Public Housing Capital Fund, and target funding to high priority health hazards like mold reduction and lead paint removal.
For decades, public housing has been severely underfunded, resulting in the deterioration of public housing buildings and an increasing backlog of capital repairs over the years. Today, more than $26 billion is needed to address all public housing capital needs. In New York City alone, NYCHA has a capital backlog of more than $2 billion. Meanwhile, over 1.1 million Americans currently reside in public housing units—many of which have damage, or will in the future—that pose a threat to their health and well-being. The Public Housing Capital Repair Fund Act would address the deteriorating conditions in public housing that are causing major health problems for hardworking families. It would also help preserve our decades-long investment in public housing by allowing public housing authorities to make thorough capital repairs rather than temporary fixes due to insufficient funding.
“We can’t wait any longer to fix the unacceptable housing conditions posing a major health hazard for thousands of hardworking families living in public housing. Every American deserves access to a safe and healthy home. This bill would increase funding for the Public Housing Capital Fund, allowing public housing authorities to finally address much-needed capital repairs that have been accumulating over the years. It would also help our government reduce the overall health care costs associated with environmental hazards by targeting urgent health threats. A single investment in housing infrastructure can have a positive, tangible, and measurable immediate impact on the health of hundreds of individuals and families. Health is more than access to health care and treatment once an individual gets sick. It is also about preventing disease, and investing in the safety of our public housing will guarantee that hundreds of thousands of families living there have a healthy home,” said Congressman Serrano.
"For far too long, the federal government has starved public housing of desperately needed funding. Although we have made an unprecedented investment in NYCHA, we are now facing budget cuts that threaten this progress and the health of 400,000 New Yorkers. I am proud to stand today with Congressman Serrano, and fight to improve the quality of life for residents," said Mayor Bill de Blasio
Along with Serrano, 17 original cosponsors of the bill joined in introducing the bill: Rep. Eliot Engel, Rep. Joseph Crowley, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Nydia Velázquez, Rep. Yvette Clarke, Rep. Adriano Espaillat, Rep. Vicente González, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Dwight Evans, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. André Carson, Rep. Shelia Jackson-Lee, and Rep. Grace Meng.
Congressman José E. Serrano has represented The Bronx in Congress since 1990. He is a Senior member of the House Appropriations Committee.