Rep. Maloney Speaks Up for NYCHA Residents at Financial Services Markup
WASHINGTON, DC – At this week’s Financial Services Committee hybrid markup, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), senior member of the Committee and original co-sponsor of the Green New Deal for Public Housing, spoke in support of the historic funding levels for public housing that is included in the committee’s portion of the budget reconciliation bill. Included in the package is nearly $80 billion to help eliminate the public housing capital needs backlog nationwide. New York City is home to the largest public housing authority in the nation, with more than 400,000 New Yorkers residing in NYCHA's public housing developments across the City’s five boroughs. New York’s 12th Congressional District is home to 21 of these developments, including Queensbridge Houses – the largest public housing community in the nation.
During the business meeting, the Committee also advanced H.R. 5196, the Expediting Assistance to Renters and Landlords Act of 2021. Congresswoman Maloney is an original cosponsor of the legislation and spoke in favor of this bill at Friday’s Financial Services Committee hearing examining how to best expedite emergency rental assistance. Congress provided nearly $50 billion in the December COVID-19 response bill and in the American Rescue Plan to help people stay in their homes and to be able to afford their rent. This legislation would help meet the goal of ensuring these programs work effectively and get the assistance to individuals who need it.
You can watch the Congresswoman’s remarks from the business meeting here and a transcript is below.
“Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.
“Today is an historic day. The package before us is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a substantial investment in the American people by addressing our housing needs.
“The $300+ billion package will help us build back better by making long overdue comprehensive investments in housing.
“Among the much-needed funding in this package, is nearly $80 billion to address the public housing capital needs backlog.
“Affordable housing and public housing is a life and death issue across the U.S., and especially in New York’s 12th congressional district.
“New York is home to the largest public housing authority in the nation, and the largest public housing community is Queensbridge Houses.
“More than 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA's 326 public housing developments across the city’s five boroughs.
“It is not an understatement to say that I visit at least one of these housing developments every single week, and hear from NYCHA residents how their homes and communities are in disrepair. This is completely unacceptable.
“As we have witnessed before, the state of too many NYCHA buildings are terrible, falling down -- as are many of the public housing buildings across the country. We have underfunded these programs for decades.
“Roofs leak, bathrooms do not work, elevators don’t work, and I can go on and on and on. I see it and hear about it from my constituents constantly.
“NYCHA has approximately a $40 billion capital needs backlog -- roughly half of the nation’s backlog. This package will fully address the entire backlog nationwide.
“Public housing residents deserve better – they – like all New Yorkers and Americans -- deserve safe, clean homes where they can be healthy and safely raise their children. This package is an investment – we need to improve the state of our public housing and improve the quality of life for tens of thousands of NYCHA residents.
“Beyond public housing, this package makes sizable investments in housing programs to support people with disabilities, housing for the elderly, and improve energy efficiency and climate resiliency. All very needed.
“This package will also invest $75 billion in funding for new Housing Choice Vouchers – a key tool for some our nation’s most vulnerable. Nearly one-third of this funding is targeted to individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking.
“I am excited that housing is such a key component of the Build Back Better plan – a plan that will invest in our working families, expand childcare options, reduce child poverty, and so much more.
“Thank you, Madam Chair, for all your work on this package, and thank you to all of my constituents for your commitment to eliminating the public housing capital needs backlog. Thank you to all of my colleagues that are supporting this important package.
“I yield back the balance of my time. Thank you very much.”
The Concurrent Budget Resolution for FY 2022 would provide more than $300 billion in funding for new and existing federal housing programs designed to provide a comprehensive response to address our nation’s urgent housing needs. This funding will help address the national eviction and homelessness crisis, particularly among the lowest income families, people with disabilities, millennials, and people of color. The package includes targeted funding streams for new construction, rehabilitation/preservation, rental assistance, down payment assistance, green housing, and fair housing enforcement, among other investments.
The Expediting Assistance to Renters and Landlords Act would expedite the delivery of emergency rental assistance provided by Congress through previous pandemic relief bills by removing barriers that prevent renters from receiving assistance and also allowing landlords to directly apply outstanding owed rent after meeting certain requirements. This bill also directs the Treasury Department and Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) grantees to conduct additional outreach to prospective renters and landlords. It also directs Treasury to provide more guidance to grantees on how they can engage with local governments and requires poor performing grantees to develop a performance improvement plan that describes how they will adopt best practices to improve the distribution of relief, in addition to directing Treasury to provide technical assistance and IT solutions to support grantees efforts to expedite the delivery of assistance.