Rep Lewis Supports Governor’s Housing Authority Proposal
I applaud the bold proposal that Governor Patrick has put forward for improving the management and operation of the state’s public housing authorities. In the wake of revelations of mismanagement and corruption in some of the state’s 240 local housing authorities, it is clear that reforms are needed to modernize a system that was created at the time of the New Deal and has remained largely untouched for decades. The Governor’s proposal balances the need for local control over zoning and housing redevelopment with the opportunity for greater efficiency by consolidating local housing authorities into six regional authorities. These regional authorities would assume responsibility for property management, budget control, procurement, and capital investment for the 50,000 state-funded and 30,000 federally-funded public housing units in Massachusetts. As this proposal is evaluated and debated by the legislature in the coming months, I welcome feedback and input from public housing tenants, housing advocates, and local officials in our communities. I believe we have a unique opportunity to streamline and professionalize our public housing system, thereby saving millions of dollars in administrative costs that can be reinvested to better maintain existing housing units and build new units.