Illinois senators to improve conditions for those living in public housing

Illinois senators to improve conditions for those living in public housing
The new bill would allow HUD to step in if the housing did not pass inspection. (Source: KFVS)

(KFVS) - U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-ILL), Dick Durbin (D-ILL) and Cory Booker (D-ILL), have introduced a bill to improve public housing. By bringing transparency, by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The bill is being called “Averting Crises in Housing Assistance (ACHA) Act," looks to address the national backlog of repairs in public housing facilities, by investing $70 billion in the Public Housing Capital Fund.

Senator Duckworth said this new bill is part of her ongoing efforts to prevent future housing crises, such as what happened in Cario Illinois.

“The mismanagement, fraud and abuse that happened in Cairo and forced hundreds of people out of their homes should never happen again. While it’s critical that we hold those responsible accountable for their actions, we also need to look forward and do everything we can to improve policies and prevent future crises. I’m proud to introduce legislation today that will strengthen oversight of public housing facilities, make progress in addressing the backlog of critical repairs and go a long way toward preventing the same failures that resulted in so many families being displaced,” said Senator Duckworth.

The bill was endorsed three by national organizations, National Housing Law Project, National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Shriver Center on Poverty Law.

The ACHA Act outlines several key points including:

  • Strengthening HUD oversight of public housing properties that are deemed “failing” and update conditions.
  • Allow residents to petition HUD to if a property meets any such conditions, but passes its inspection.
  • Require HUD to partner with a housing authority with a failing property, and create an action plan and timeline for rehabilitation.
  • Require HUD or the housing authority to notify its residents of the action plan and timeline for rehabilitation, and let residents know about available options if the property is not brought into livable conditions.
  • Make clear in statute that a owners goal should be to maintain and rehabilitate, to the greatest extent possible, the existing housing inventory;
  • Push HUD to update regulations and allow small public housing agencies to voluntarily merge or consolidate to use resources.

The bill was introduced to the Senate on Dec. 18.

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