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The House in Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union had under consideration the bill (H.R. 3524) to reauthorize the HOPE VI program for revitalization of severely distressed public housing, and for other purposes:

  • Ms. CLARKE. Madam Chairman, I rise in support of H.R. 3524, the “HOPE VI Improvement and Revitalization Act of 2007,” which eradicates severely distressed public housing.
  • Ever since public housing was first created, there were many obstacles that hindered its success. As time progressed, many public housing units became nothing more than a highly concentrated community containing many of society’s social problems such as poverty, high crime, and unemployment. Consequently, many units became deplorable and uninhabitable. But H.R. 3524 would help transform many severely distressed neighborhoods into the livable communities that public housing was originally intended to be for many low-income families.
  • The HOPE VI program was created in 1992 and has been credited with eliminating and replacing some of the most dangerous and distressed public housing in the country with new mixed income communities. It has been reported that mixed-income communities have resulted in increases in per capita incomes, decreases in unemployment rates, decreases in the number of households receiving public assistance, and declines in violent crime.
  • Therefore, one of the reasons why I support H.R. 3524 is because this bill would require public housing agencies to create more mixed-income housing on demolished low-income housing sites. Also, these mixed-income housing units developed to replace demolished public housing would have to be built in low-concentrated poverty areas to avoid concentrating public housing in low-income neighborhoods.
  • Other reasons why I support this bill is because it provides more replacement housing units; ensures residents have access to revitalized sites; provides residents with more involvement in the planning and redevelopment process; and establishes green development standards for HOPE VI revitalization activities.