Cities Struggle to Maintain Public Housing

Across the country, federal funding is unable to keep up with repair costs, forcing some municipalities to cut units from their programs.
October 25, 2010, 7am PDT | Lynn Vande Stouwe
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The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says between $22 and 32 billion is needed by the country's public housing authority to rehabilitate existing buildings. In New York, for example, there is a three-year backlog on repairs. Additionally, thousands of units have been lost altogether, according to Cara Buckley: 150,000 units were removed from federal programs in the last 15 years and 5,700 are currently pending removal.

In response, HUD has proposed legislation to allow city housing authorities to borrow public and private funds to finance repairs. The solution is contentious, writes Buckley:

"The bill, yet to be formally introduced in Congress, stirred mixed reactions among housing authorities and advocates, many of whom feared the prospect of public housing falling into private hands."

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Published on Sunday, October 24, 2010 in The New York Times
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