Yesterday, Rep Hakeem Jeffries announced the Democrats’ policy platform “A Better Deal” with focus on Public Housing & Ladders of Opportunity for American Families. The proposal would provide $70 billion to public housing across the U.S. over 5 years to eliminate the capital needs backlog and boost operating funds. The plan also ensures a role for residents in revitalization, connects residents to employment opportunities and reinvigorates with Choice Neighborhood program to improve distressed neighborhoods surrounding public housing in a comprehensive investment strategy. While the Democrats are the minority party in Congress, they have been influential in the budget process this past year due a fractured Republican caucus in the House. The Democrats have been rolling out aspects of their national policy platform over several months.
Rep Jeffries was joined by Rep. Nydia Velazquez, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Yvette Clarke, Rep. Adriano Espaillat, NYC Council Member and Public Housing Committee Chair Alicka Ampry Samuel, Council Member Mark Treyger, Council Member Antonio Reynosa and housing advocates.
NYHC Executive Director, Rachel Fee, delivered remarks at the event and described the plan as “correcting the injustice of decades of disinvestment and putting the health and safety of public housing residents front and center, where they belong.” She went on to say, “There are many improvements to be made in public housing and it starts with capital investment. Restoring our nation’s public housing infrastructure should be a bi-partisan cause. We also need the city, state and federal government to each step up and do their part in restoring living conditions for residents.”