Senator Warren to Introduce Companion Bill to Preserve Public Housing

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) recently announced she will introduce the Senate companion bill to the Public Housing Emergency Response Act. First introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), the bill would create a one-time, $70 billion appropriation into the Public Housing Capital Fund to address the estimated $70 billion backlog of maintenance and repairs in public housing. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) joined the bill as original cosponsors.

The Public Housing and Emergency Response Act complements the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, which Senator Warren introduced in March and designed to ensure that working families everywhere can find a decent place to live at a decent price. Representative Cedric Richmond (LA-02) introduced a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would:

  • Build or rehabilitate about 3 million units over the next decade and fully close the current gap between affordable housing demand and supply;
  • Create 1.5 million new jobs at its peak impact;
  • Bring down rents for lower-income and middle-class families by 10 percent, saving families an average of $100 per month; and
  • Produce no long-term deficit impact.

The bill would also provide down payment assistance for homebuyers living in formerly redlined neighborhoods, a first step in addressing the effects of decades of housing discrimination on communities of color.