NEW YORK (WWLP) – New York Attorney General Letitia James and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey have joined a coalition of 14 attorneys general asking Congress to increase the funding by $30 billion for the nation’s public housing system as part of President Biden’s infrastructure plan.
Last week the attorneys general sent a letter to the Congressional leadership saying the currently allotted $40 billion is not enough to address the years of neglect and underfunding of the nation’s public housing systems, and argue that instead, Congress should allot at least $70 billion for capital needs to return to a good state of repair, growing to $90 billion through 2030. They asked Congress for funding to address the repair backlog, to make a forward-facing commitment to fund capital funding gaps, and to create a dedicated fund for lead remediation.
“We are facing a national housing crisis that has been further exacerbated by the pandemic and our public housing facilities have already suffered from years of inadequate funding,” AG Healey said.
Over a million families depend on public housing. In order to keep public housing units affordable for low-income families, federal regulations cap rents at 30 percent of a family’s income. While this cap ensures affordability, the amount of rent collected by the nation’s 3,300 federal Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) is insufficient to cover the costs of operating and maintaining the properties they oversee.