Tlaib introduces $5B plan to pump federal money into housing, economy rehabilitiation

Michigan representative Rashida Tlaib has introduced the Restoring Communities Left Behind Act to help low-income communities - a bill that already has bipartisan support.

Tlaib introduced the act that would help pump federal funds into housing and economic rehabilitation and, while it's just a proposal right now, she's pushing for it to move quickly.

"Seniors are calling me saying 'when can I have that home repair grant? When can I fix my roof?'" Tlaib said.

The act would provide $5 billion for community development, housing, and economic rehab in communities that have had severe economic downturns and distress.

"When you pass by certain communities you see the blue tarps over people's roofs, you can see that homes are continued to becoming more vacant," she said. 

The act would allow only 10% of the $5 billion to go towards demolition and would keep people in their homes and help people with home ownership. The aim is to change the culture of tearing down properties that have fallen into disrepair

"We spend spent so much money tearing down homes, so much money on that kind of approach, instead of focusing on the best thing to combat blight - which is keeping people in their homes," Tlabi said. "It’s not just first-time homeowners, we also know that the last economic recession booted folks out of their homes." 

The program would run through Housing and Urban Development by establishing a $5 billion program to award competitive grants to eligible local partnerships. They would help with neighborhood revitalization and things like homeowner rehab, weatherization, and assistance for seniors and the disabled to make their homes more accessible and safer. Housing counseling, refinancing help, property tax relief and other measures are also included in the act that would benefit minorities in Michigan.

"We have lost more Black homeownership than any other state in the union. Think about that," Tlaib said. "Yesterday, our bill officially became bipartisan. Congressman Fred Upton is in full support - he's worked with habitat for humanity and other local organizations." we got a new co-sponsor today."

Congresswoman Tlaib says she and her co-sponsors will be pushing the bill hard over the next few weeks and hopes in 2-3 months the bill could be passed into law.