January 14, 2009

Hon. Nancy Pelosi
Speaker, House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515-6501

Dear Speaker Pelosi:

As a New York State Senator representing more than 1,800 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents in seven public housing developments, I write to request that, in addition to providing funding for unemployment insurance, green jobs and infrastructure projects, the new economic stimulus package being considered by Congress include $5 billion in supplemental assistance for the Public Housing Capital Fund.

Investment in public housing would certainly befit the proposed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and its essential goals, as Econsult Corporation has determined that every dollar spent on capital and maintenance projects in public housing generates $2.12 in economic activity, including employment opportunities for residents.

NYCHA, the nationfs oldest, largest and arguably most successful housing authority, has identified $500 million in unfunded capital projects, for which it is ready to accept bids. These projects would result in an estimated $3.174 billion in economic activity and 3,500 new jobs in the New York City metropolitan area.

Unfortunately, as appropriations for the Public Housing Capital Fund were dramatically reduced over the last seven years, NYCHA lost $502 million in vital capital assistance. Similar losses have been experienced by housing authorities across the country. Without an injection of stimulus funds, their unfunded capital needs will become increasingly manifest, jeopardizing our public housing stock and the safety and security of its working poor, elderly and disabled residents.

We must not forgo this opportunity to fortify both public housing and our economy. To that end, I urge the Congress to work expeditiously with President-elect Barack Obama to approve a stimulus package that includes the necessary $5 billion in supplemental assistance for the Public Housing Capital Fund.


Thomas K. Duane
New York State Senate
29th District

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