WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) reintroduced the Public Housing Emergency Response Act to address the estimated $70 billion backlog of maintenance and repairs in our nation’s public housing. This investment would allow tenants to live in safe conditions and prevent existing units of affordable housing from falling into disrepair as lawmakers work to end the housing crisis by expanding the supply of public housing. U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) also cosponsored the legislation.

Because of chronic underfunding, there is an estimated $70 billion backlog of repairs to the existing public housing stock. As a result, approximately 10,000 units are lost every year, and tens of thousands of residents live in unsafe, unhealthy, and undignified conditions. First introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.), the Public Housing Emergency Response Act was first introduced in the U.S. Senate in 2020

“Poor housing conditions caused by aging infrastructure can lead to serious health problems, including lead poisoning, asthma, and heart disease. While there’s no quick fix, this $70 billion federal investment would go a long way to fund important infrastructure upgrades and repairs and ensure public housing in Connecticut remains clean, safe and affordable,” said Murphy.

“Outdated, unsafe, and often decades-old public housing is endangering residents’ health and safety across the country. This measure will dedicate long overdue funding to address the backlog of maintenance and repairs in public housing – helping address our nation’s housing crisis and bring homes in disrepair into the 21st century,” said Blumenthal

"Expanding our supply of quality housing is the only way to dig ourselves out of this housing crisis. I’m pushing for this bold investment in our public housing so that every family has a safe place to live—and to breathe new life into the countless public housing units we’ve lost to decades of neglect and disrepair," said Warren.

The bill is endorsed by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, National Housing Law Project, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Public Housing Authorities Directors Association (PHADA), Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, Coalition on Human Needs, Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, and National Education Association.