Marco Rubio, Frederica Wilson Want to Improve Safety Standards for Public Housing in High-Crime Areas

Two members of the Florida delegation–Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Democrat U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson–are continuing to push a proposal to help public housing in South Florida.

The Liberty City Rising Act “would improve safety standards for public housing complexes located in high-crime areas, such as Miami’s Liberty City and Overtown,” Rubio’s office noted.

Rubio first introduced the bill in 2018 and he and Wilson brought it back at the start of the last Congress back in January 2019.

“The Liberty City Rising Act would ensure higher safety standards for families living in HUD housing,” Rubio said this week. “I am committed to working to improve conditions in communities, like Liberty Square, so that Florida’s families can raise their children in safe and sanitary living conditions.”

“Everyone, no matter their economic status, should have the opportunity to live in safe and secure housing,” Wilson said. “The federal government is in essence the landlord of these public housing complexes, which are home to thousands of children in my district, so it is incumbent upon the federal government to ensure that tenants are not living in fear. The Liberty City Rising Act is a vital part of our effort to improve public housing conditions for families and individuals in Florida.”

The bill would “require Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) with traditional public housing and project-based section 8 properties located in ‘high-crime areas’ to ensure properties have properly functioning security cameras, dead-bolt locks on entry unit doors, smoke detectors in common areas, and covers on security camera boxes and covered security camera wires; make an anonymous PHA operated crime-reporting hot-line available to tenants; and require HUD give priority to high-crime PHAs when awarding Emergency Safety and Security grants.”

Rubio’s bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee last week. Wilson’s bill was sent to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee last week. So far, there are no co-sponsors in either chamber.


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Kevin Derby
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