Feds working on public housing and rental assistance reformby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The federal government is working on a proposal to reform the country's public housing and rental assistance programs.
Rep. Keith Ellison is sponsoring a bill that would simplify rental assistance, help restore deteriorating infrastructure and give renters more choice.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan was in the Twin Cities Monday to meet with state officials and housing advocates.
Donovan said the bill would streamline the housing bureaucracy.
"Public housing authorities have been required to do their jobs with too many barriers and too few resources, which frankly for too long has forced public housing authorities to operate in isolation," he said. "It is too hard to get a grocery store into public housing, it is too hard to connect public housing to the surrounding communities. All of that needs to change."
Donovan said the legislation would save thousands of affordable units per year by allowing federal housing programs to access private capital to finance repairs and rehabilitation.
Minneapolis Congressman Keith Ellison is sponsoring legislation that would reform the nation's public housing and rental assistance programs. Ellison says the so-called Rental Housing Revitalization Act would simplify rental assistance, help restore deteriorating infrastructure and give renters more choice.
Ellison announced the bill today (MON) at a housing conference in St. Paul. He says the bill would help preserve affordable housing units by allowing federal housing programs to access private capital to pay for needed repairs. He says the bill also has the backing of the Obama administration.
NAME: housing help
INCUE: President Obama sent a clear message that affordable housing and a stable housing market were top priorities for his administration. It is fair to say that this focus on public housing can only be described as unprecedented, when compared to recent years.
Ellison appeared along with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, state officials and housing advocates.