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Kaptur, Tlaib Promote Restoring Communities Left Behind Act

By Tricia Hall
Sojourner’s Truth Reporter

Congresswomen Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) held a virtual press conference on Thursday, February 4 to announce the pending legislation titled Restoring Communities Left Behind Act. The legislation would systemically address several housing related services for individuals, nonprofit community development organizations and neighborhoods.

Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur opened the press conference that was streamed live and included over 50 elected officials, community organizations and individuals from Kaptur’s Ohio district cities and Tlaib’s Michigan district cities.

“This legislation will restore $5 billion to local communities through a competitive grant through Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD),” explained Kaptur.

“We hosted two committee field meetings and a bus tour in my district to show my colleagues the impact of systemic racism and what it looks like. They saw people putting tarp on their roofs. This legislation is a step towards correcting the wrongs, opening home ownership and tools to communities to revitalize neighborhoods equitability,” explained Tlaib.

The Restoring Communities Left Behind Act was co-authored by Kaptur and Tlaib and would provide $5 billion to local communities through a grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to fund a 10-year program of neighborhood revitalization, homeownership rehabilitation assistance, weatherization, improved housing accessibility for seniors and people with disabilities, housing-related counseling and refinancing. The act will also support the purchasing and redevelopment of vacant or abandoned residential or commercial properties, fund park and sidewalk improvements, address street lighting and provide property tax relief.

Congresswomen Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)


Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)

“Thank you for your leadership to push this bill through Congress. Our neighborhoods have become challenged and need new tools,” said Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz.

“Inkster is full of dedicated residents. Today these two Congresswomen are introducing a vital resource that will improve parks, lights, housing and key community development projects. We need the funding in this bill for neighborhood stabilization. Thank you and we stand with you,” said Inkster, MI Mayor Patrick Wimberly.

The legislation has been endorsed by the National Community Stabilization Trust, Center for Community Progress, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Grounded Solutions Network, Habitat for Humanity, and National Community Action Foundation.

“Funding provided through the Restoring Communities Left Behind bill is critical for cities like Toledo experiencing significant housing rehabilitation needs and depressed markets. With this flexible funding we will be able to successfully fund, and complete many housing projects that would not normally be feasible,” shared Rosalyn Clemens, City of Toledo Department of Neighborhoods Director.

“Our neighborhoods have been challenged for decades with job loss, housing disinvestment and racial inequity. The Restoring Communities Left Behind Act will change that, by dedicating flexible federal funding to solutions designed by local communities to meet crucial local needs,” shared David Mann, Lucas County Landbank President and CEO.

“The devasting impact of distressed economies, high poverty rates, and concentrations of abandoned properties keeps many communities locked into a downward spiral they cannot easily climb out of without concerted intervention and assistance. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this crisis. Habitat works and builds in these communities. We understand the incredible needs families face, and see firsthand the effect underwater mortgages, abandoned properties, aging housing stock, and infrastructure has on their health and ability to thrive,” shared Jonathan Reckford, Habitat for Humanity CEO

In addition to Kaptur and Tlaib, the legislation was co-sponsored by these Congress members: Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, Bobby Rush of Illinois, Raul Grijalva of Arizona, James Cooper of Tennessee, Mark Takano of California, Andre Carson of Indiana, Eleanor Holmes Norton of Washing, D.C., Tim Ryan of Ohio, Ritchie Torres of New York, Don Jones of Ohio, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Sylvia Garcia of Texas, Andy Levin of Michigan, Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Stephen Ira Cohen of Tennessee, Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware, Joyce Beatty of Ohio, Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, Jahana Flemming Hayes of Connecticut, Betty McCollum of Minnesota, Cori Bush of Missouri and Michael San Nicolas of Guam. All are Democrats.

“In the last several decades, especially since the 2008 housing and financial crisis, many communities from the smallest towns to the largest cities have struggled with urban decay as jobs have moved overseas and economic well-being has collapsed,” said Kaptur. “Through it all, folks in these communities have tirelessly worked together to rebuild and breath new life into our cities. Toledo and Detroit are perfect examples. Unfortunately, COVID-19 and the resulting economic fallout have made that important work more difficult and more important than ever before. That is why I am introducing the Restoring Communities Left Behind Act, to provide a dedicated funding source for these communities when they need it most. I am so thankful to have my friend and colleague Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s co-leadership in this effort. She knows as well as anybody the importance of affordable, high quality housing and resources to help home owners build equity in what often times is their own physical asset.”

“Housing justice is economic justice and racial justice. Communities across the country are suffering from government disinvestment and systemic racism,” explained Tlaib. “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. I’m proud to lead this bill with Congresswoman Kaptur. 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 neighborhoods 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.”



Copyright © 2021 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02/11/21 09:13:51 -0500.

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