, 15 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Instead of building a wall, we should build more public housing.

There’s one problem: by law, we can’t.

Let me tell you why.

In late 1990s, Bill Clinton signed into law the “Faircloth Limit,” which creates a hard CAP on the number of public housing units that can exist in the US.
The “Faircloth Limit” is named after the same one-term Senator that wanted to prevent unwed moms from getting welfare.

This man’s repressive housing law is STILL on the books.
It’s long past time to ABOLISH this draconian restriction, that ties our hands and makes the construction of new public housing virtually impossible.

Yes, we should #AbolishICE. But let’s also #AbolishFaircloth.
But the Faircloth Limiy isn’t the only problem.

We lose tens of thousands of units of Public housing each year, because it falls into disrepair. Congress has CHRONICALLY underfunded it, and so leaky ceiling and busted boilers stay broken.
The shutdown makes this all worse. Public housing authorities can’t access $ from HUD to make repairs.

Public housing is “safer” from shutdowns, since the buildings, while crumbling due to under-investment, aren’t going anywhere.

What’s more at risk is the neoliberal Section 8
Nixon created Section 8 to move away from the government building and maintaining housing, and shifting to giving PRIVATE landlords government money instead.
Section 8 has 2 programs: vouchers, which tenants pay to landlords. And project-based housing, where the government contracts w/ developers to build housing.

650 Project-based Section 8 contracts have ALREADY lapsed due to the shutdown. More will lapse if the shutdown continues
And it seems likely that private landlords will feel more hesitant to take Section 8 vouchers in the future. Why mess with shutdowns?

This all creates a BIGGER housing crisis in the middle of an existing one.
Luckily, we already have a bill to boost public housing and #AbolishFaircloth. It’s by Rep @MaxineWaters, Chair of @FSCDems.

Read about her bill, the Public Housing Tenant Protection and Reinvestment Act, here: financialservices.house.gov/news/documents…
And if we are going to bring about a #GreenNewDeal, why not include new construction of public housing in it? We could make the units energy efficient. It’s been done before, during the second Obama stimulus (ARRA).
To make way big, bold ideas, we have to take out some trash first. Let’s Abolish the Faircloth Limit, repair our existing public housing, and clear the path to make a new investment in housing.

My full pitch, here: truthout.org/articles/dont-…

One organization whose work on affordable housing of all kinds is absolutely INVALUABLE is @NLIHC. I cite their work often in my piece below. You should follow them!
One thing that would be unequivocally BAD for affordable housing? Ben Carson taking over NYC’s public housing — there’s only one word for what that would be: DISASTER.
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