Press Releases

Ranking Member Waters Introduces Bill to Fully Fund Public Housing

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services, along with seven other Democratic Committee Members, reintroduced comprehensive legislation to preserve and revitalize the nation’s public housing stock. The measure, entitled the Public Housing Tenant Protection and Reinvestment Act Of 2017, ensures safe, decent, and affordable housing for over one million families who rely on public housing.

“We must renew our commitment to serving those most in need by fully funding the public housing program, implementing one-for-one replacement of each demolished public housing unit, and by providing the necessary financial tools to rehabilitate and preserve this important public asset,” said Ranking Member Waters. “Despite the hostile posture of the Administration toward important housing programs, I vow to continue the fight every day for vulnerable families.”

Ranking Member Waters’ bill would:

  1. Preserve public housing and transform extremely impoverished neighborhoods by authorizing full funding for the program plus additional funding to address the backlog of capital needs;
  2. Provide a loan guarantee for public housing agencies to attract outside investment into public housing units;
  3. Authorize a grant program that focuses on revitalizing the most distressed public housing units;
  4. Require one-for-one replacement in cases where public housing units are demolished or sold;
  5. Increase tenant protections to help ensure that residents have the option to stay in the communities that they call home.

Original cosponsors of the Public Housing Tenant Protection and Reinvestment Act Of 2017 are Representatives Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Al Green (D-TX), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Keith Ellison (D-MN), and Juan Vargas (D-CA).

The bill is supported by the National Alliance of HUD Tenants (NAHT), the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), and the National Housing Law Project (NHLP):

“NLIHC applauds Representative Waters for reintroducing this critical piece of legislation to preserve public housing, transform neighborhoods, and protect tenant rights,” said Diane Yentel, President & CEO of NLIHC. “This bill will ensure public housing continues to serve as a bridge out of poverty for millions of people. We hope Congress acts quickly to enact these protections and ensure full-funding for public housing programs that will help families facing challenges obtain adequate and affordable housing.”

“The Public Housing Tenant Protection and Reinvestment Act of 2017 provides critical preservation of our nation's public housing stock, which suffers a net loss of thousands of units per year,” said Shamus Roller, Executive Director of NHLP. “Given today's national shortage of housing that is affordable, it is especially important to implement policies that preserve safe and decent homes for Americans of modest means, including for many seniors and people with disabilities.”

“The Public Housing Tenant Protection and Reinvestment Act of 2017 will provide long overdue protections regarding one-for-one replacement and the right to return for public housing tenants facing redevelopment and displacement,” said Michael Kane, Executive Director of NAHT. “NAHT applauds Representative Waters for her leadership in re-filing this bill. It is past time for Congress to join her in helping tenants save and improve their homes and communities.”

In April, Ranking Member Waters introduced The Ending Homelessness Act of 2017 as a solution to effectively end homelessness in America by providing new units of housing for the homeless, permanent funding for the National Housing Trust Fund, and increased funding for several housing programs aimed at serving extremely low income households, including additional Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers.

Click to view the legislation, an executive summary, and the section-by-section of the Public Housing Tenant Protection and Reinvestment Act of 2017.


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