Why the $127 Million in Federal Funding for Public Housing Matters

And what's at stake

Hiawatha Towers. Image courtesy of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority. MPHA does not endorse any candidate.

Hiawatha Towers. Image courtesy of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority. MPHA does not endorse any candidate.

Lawmakers at the state and national levels have cut back on funding for public housing authorities all over the country. Our public housing has been chronically underfunded for years, and it's beginning to show. Now, we face another significant challenge thanks to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, who has proposed cutting an additional $6 billion from his budget. 

What does this mean for Minneapolis? 

Our public housing units are aging and they need upgrades to their plumbing, heating, and HVAC systems. All told, there is a backlog of more than $127 million in deferred maintenance and capital improvements, a backlog that grows larger each and every year. Without funding the federal government is responsible for providing, not only will these buildings continue to age without upgrades, but also increasingly become less safe and less sanitary. 

If we don't act now, we will face much bigger problems. Thousands of our most vulnerable citizens will have no place to go if our high rises become uninhabitable. Empty, boarded-up high rises will become ghastly examples of urban blight which will negatively impact the neighborhoods that surround them. 

What we can do

I am gathering signatures from as many Minneapolitans as possible on a petition asking Ben Carson to not only abandon the proposed cuts, but restore the $127 million in federal funds that will ensure that our public housing residents have safe, sanitary, and welcoming places to call home.

Minneapolis can lead the charge to protect funding for public housing in cities across the U.S. Join me in this cause and together we can ensure a better future for everyone in our city.

Tom Hoch