Monday, February 8, 2021

Tlaib introduces $5B bill to revitalize communities impacted by COVID-19, systemic racism

Posted By on Mon, Feb 8, 2021 at 10:58 AM

click to enlarge Houses on Detroit's east side. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • Houses on Detroit's east side.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib introduced a bill that would provide $5 billion in housing grants to help revitalize underprivileged communities impacted by COVID-19, disinvestment, and systemic racism.

The Restoring Communities Left Behind Act, also introduced by Rep. Kaptur, D-Ohio, last week, would fund neighborhood revitalization activities such as homeowner rehabilitation assistance, weatherization, improved housing accessibility for seniors and people with disabilities, housing counseling, refinancing, and property tax relief.



Communities like Detroit have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and systemic racism.

“Housing justice is economic justice and racial justice,” Tlaib, a Detroit Democrat, said in a statement. “Communities across the country are suffering from government disinvestment and systemic racism. The Restoring Communities Left Behind Act is a major step in reversing decades of discriminatory policy. This legislation will turn homeownership from a possibility to a reality for so many who have been left out, as well as ensures many others have the ability to maintain and stay in their homes in good condition.”

Tlaib added, “This is only the beginning, we must continue to make major federal investments in struggling communities to allow everyone to live with a good roof over their head. The pandemic has set many of our neighbors back, and policies like the Restoring Communities Left Behind Act are needed to help people not only recover from the damage, but thrive and flourish like they deserve.”

Under the bill, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would establish the program and provide competitive grants to local partnerships. Some of the funds would be used to purchase and renovate vacant, abandoned, and blighted properties and turn them into affordable housing.

The money also would improve parks, sidewalks, street lighting, and other neighborhood resources.

The bill is supported by National Community Stabilization Trust, Center for Community Progress, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Grounded Solutions Network, Habitat for Humanity, Detroit People’s Platform, Bridging Communities, the United Community Housing Coalition, and National Community Action Foundation.

“Communities like Detroit have seen neighborhoods hollowed out by systemic racism, corporate greed, and governmental disinvestment, and it’s long overdue that we target resources directly to the frontline communities that need them most,” Linda Campbell, director of the Detroit People’s Platform, said. “We work directly with Detroit residents who need help maintaining their roofs and fixing their furnaces to allow them to stay in their homes, and this bill helps rebuild neighborhood economic security by empowering residents and community organizations.”

Michele Oberholtzer, director of Tax Foreclosure Prevention with the United Community Housing Coalition, said the grants would help increase homeownership and stable neighborhoods.

“Detroit is the city of homes and once enjoyed some of the highest homeownership rates overall and African-American homeownership rates in the country,” Oberholtzer said. “Over the past decade, the mortgage foreclosure crisis and subsequent tax foreclosure crisis have contributed to Michigan losing more African-American homeowners than any other state. This legislation is a sorely needed investment in preserving what we have and avoiding the wrecking balls.”

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

June 23, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation