Engel Cosponsors Major Legislation to Address the Housing Affordability Crisis

Engel Cosponsors Major Legislation to Address the Housing Affordability Crisis

Congressman Eliot L. Engel today cosponsored the Housing is Infrastructure Act, H.R. 5187, comprehensive legislation introduced by Chairwoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) to improve housing affordability across the country, including in New York.

“Access to safe, affordable housing is a human right,” said Rep. Engel. “Our nation, however, is currently in the midst of a housing affordability crisis. Too many New York families are spending an exorbitant amount on housing, leaving little for other necessities such as medication and groceries. The Housing is Infrastructure Act would help stem this crisis by putting $100 billion into federal housing programs, which touch everything from constructing new units to upgrading elevators in existing buildings.”

The Housing is Infrastructure Act would increase funding for existing federal housing programs including:

  • $70 billion to fully address the public housing capital backlog, including $32 billion for NYCHA
  • $5 billion for the Housing Trust Fund to support the creation of hundreds of thousands of new units of housing that would be affordable to the lowest income households
  • $10 billion for the Community Development Block Grant to incentivize states and cities to responsibly streamline the process for development of affordable housing
  • $5 billion for the HOME Investment Partnership Program to fund affordable housing activities such as building, buying, and rehabilitation affordable homes for low-income families

In addition, this legislation requires that grant recipientsconduct outreach to inform minority and women-owned businesses of the business opportunities created through this bill.

Congressman Engel’s support for H.R. 5187 builds on his longstanding efforts to improve housing in New York’s 16th Congressional District. In December 2019, he cosponsored the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, H.R. 3077, which expands and improves the low-income housing tax credit to make more affordable housing units available. He is also an original cosponsor of the Lead Free Future Act, which would dedicate $12 billion over the next five years to address major sources of lead exposure in public housing. In November 2019, he led the entire New York City Congressional delegation on a letter to NYCHA calling on the agency to take immediate action to ensure public housing units had adequate heat.