Roads and bridges get most of the attention, but America’s public housing is crumbling too, advocates told Congress.
House Financial Services Committee Chair Rep. Maxine Waters led a hearing to discuss a proposed infrastructure spending plan that includes more than $90 billion for housing.
As congressional leaders met with President Trump about infrastructure, housing advocates made the case on Capitol Hill that new investments in public housing ought to be included in any infrastructure package considered by Congress.
The advocates told a U.S. House committee that the poorest renters have fared the worst, as housing prices have climbed and housing supply has dwindled in recent years. Their situation has become more difficult because the federal government, which provides the lion’s share of money for public housing, has scaled back its funding (or at least failed to keep up with inflation) for public housing and many related programs since 2010.
As a result, public housing agencies estimate that they have at least $70 billion in unmet capital needs across the country. The huge backlog of needed repairs is a major reason why the country is losing about 10,000 public housing units every year, advocates say.
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