Schumer looks to double $40B for public housing in Biden infrastructure plan

Schumer
Photo credit Steve Burns

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is looking to increase funding to New York’s dilapidated public housing as part of President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan.

The $40 billion set aside for public housing nationwide is equivalent to the repair backlog in New York alone, Schumer said at the Washington Houses in East Harlem on Sunday.

Schumer is leading a coalition looking for more money to be set aside for public housing in Biden’s American Jobs Plan. The senator wants to at least double the $40 billion figure to $80 billion.

“For too long, public housing has been neglected, left to get worse, and we’re not going to stand for it anymore,” Schumer said.

The senator said at least half of the $80 billion would come to New York, enough to eliminate the estimated repair backlog for the New York City Housing Authority.

Resident leaders said the beleaguered housing authority has seen chronic mismanagement, all while they deal with lead, mold, leaks, heat and elevator outages. Around 600,000 people are estimated to live in public housing in New York—equivalent to the entire city of Baltimore.

Schumer said he’s determined to pass the bill, despite Republicans coming out against the tax increases needed to pay for it.

“That’s what they said before the American Rescue Plan: ‘You only have 50 in the Senate, you’ll never get it done.’ We had 50 in the Senate, we got that done. We’re going to get this done,” Schumer said.