Monday, Apri 16, 2018

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Rip Van Winkle fire prompts Maloney to introduce legislation

Maloney, left, discusses his measure while Rolison listens

POUGHKEEPSIE - An October 30, 2017 fire at the Rip Van Winkle housing project in Poughkeepsie displaced hundreds of residents who had no arrangements for temporary housing and Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) is introducing legislation to prevent that in the future.

The Affordable Housing Protection Act aims to allow HUD to use a "pass through lease" plan which would enable residents of Section 8 housing that are displaced by fire or other disasters, natural or manmade, to move to another Section 8 residence or other housing and using the same lease they are currently under.

Currently The US Department of Housing and Urban Development does not include plans for addressing temporarily displaced residents.

According to Representative Maloney, on a nationwide basis, tenants residing in affordable housing have very few rights and this legislation would establish a protocol so that the occupants know in advance what is to be expected from both the management and tenants in the event they are temporarily displaced.

Poughkeepsie Mayor Robert Rolison said that right now, residents face the "fear of the unknown" should the situation arise again.

Maloney stressed that the legislation will not cost the taxpayers any additional funds because under current regulations, management of housing projects receiving federal subsidies do not receive money for the units if the occupants are displaced.

The representative's proposal would use the funds not being given to management to pay for temporary housing in other units or hotels if necessary. The 18th Congressional District in New York has 1,488 Section 8 units represented by Maloney.

 


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