Rep. Ritchie Torres Joins Rep. Stevens and González-Colón in Introducing Legislation to Address the Dire Shortage of Affordable Housing Across the U.S.

Today, U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres (D-NY), along with Rep. Jennifer González-Colón (R-PR) and Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI), introduced the Healthy Affordable Housing Act to address the dire shortage of safe, affordable housing units for American families. The U.S. is currently in need of 7.3 million additional affordable housing units for families most in need. 

“There is no issue more important to me than expanding access to safe, healthy, and affordable housing. When I was growing up in the Bronx, public housing was a lifeline for my family,” said Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY). “That being said, far too often, public housing units like the one I grew up in lack adequate access to essential services — groceries, healthcare, public transportation, and more — leaving their residents siphoned off from the rest of our society and set up to fail. I refuse to sit by and allow this unacceptable status quo to continue. That’s why I am joining my colleagues Rep. Stevens and González-Colón today in introducing the Healthy Affordable Housing Act, which would re-invigorate our nation’s affordable housing infrastructure and ensure that they are established with a host of necessary services in close proximity. I would not be where I am today without the stability affordable housing gave me and my family. I want to ensure every American, no matter their zip code, can say the same, and that’s what this bill tries to achieve.”

“Home is not only where you live but also the community where you shop, get medical treatment, and care for your children,” said Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI). “This legislation will make it easier for American families to not only find a place to call home that’s financially in reach but one with needed services – like groceries, healthcare, and childcare – nearby. I’m proud to join my colleagues, Rep. Ritchie Torres and Rep. Jennifer González-Colón, to introduce this bipartisan bill. Together we can make it just a little easier for families in Michigan and across the U.S. to afford the foundation of the American dream – a safe place to live with easy access to services.” 

“The Healthy Affordable Housing Act supports the critical need for more affordable and accessible housing. Puerto Rico, like many jurisdictions across the country, is experiencing significant housing shortages,” said Rep. Jennifer González-Colón (R-PR). “Island residents who need housing assistance often find themselves without access, or without timely access to safe homes, most notably after the devastations of the 2017 hurricanes and natural disasters that followed. This legislation, which I am proud to co-lead alongside Rep. Stevens and Rep. Torres, supports affordable rental units with the added benefit of having these strategically located near areas that offer essential services, including areas near healthcare providers, grocery stores, childcare facilities, pharmacies, and public transportation hubs. The proposal tackles the need for additional and better homes while focusing on the accessibility these families must have to essential services within their communities. I look forward to working on this matter and legislation with my colleagues across the aisle moving forward.”

“Access to affordable housing and essential services are cornerstones of vibrant, inclusive communities,” said Deborah De Santis, President and CEO the Corporation for Supportive. “Yet, countless individuals and families struggle to afford a place to call home. Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) endorses the Healthy Affordable Housing Act, championed by Reps. Haley Stevens, Jenniffer González-Colón, and Ritchie Torres. The legislation would prioritize funding for rental units with access to vital services like healthcare, childcare, and public transportation. By ensuring that all communities have access to affordable housing, regardless of income level, we can foster thriving, diverse neighborhoods where everyone has a place to call home.”

“Local governments need more resources to tackle the affordable housing shortage and help low-income households access vital community services,” said a spokesperson for the National Community Development Association. “NCDA applauds the introduction of the Healthy Affordable Housing Act for helping local governments address these issues.” 


The legislation authorizes $100 million a year for five years for a grant and loan program at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • It allows grants and loans to the following entities:
    • Units of general local government;
    • Tribal governments or tribally designated housing entities;
    • Owners or developers of affordable dwelling units;
    • Public housing agencies;
    • Organizations with a mission that involves the creation of affordable housing.
    • And any combination of the entities above. 
  • Grants and loans may be used to develop, create, or preserve affordable rental dwelling units in neighborhoods facing a shortage of affordable housing, as determined by HUD. Neighborhoods must contain at least one of the following amenities.
    • A Federally qualified health center;
    • A health care provider who accepts Medicaid and provides primary care services;
    • A grocery store that accepts SNAP or Nutrition Assistance Program and WIC;
    • A State licensed childcare provider or an eligible childcare provider under the childcare and development block grant act;
    • A pharmacy; OR
    • Public Transportation.
  • The Secretary shall give preference to applicants that are developing, creating, or preserving qualifying affordable dwelling units that are not more than a mile from 2 or more of the amenities listed above.
  • The Secretary shall give preference to applicants developing, creating, or preserving qualifying affordable dwelling units that are located in buildings that have or will contain any of the amenities listed above.
  • Two years after the date that any qualifying affordable dwelling unit is first occupied after being developed, created, or preserved and every 2 years thereafter for 10 years, HUD shall conduct a voluntary survey of residents in such dwelling unit about any benefits they perceive associated with being physically near such amenities.
  • Each report shall evaluate whether nearby amenities identified have closed or changed location in the time since the previous report submitted. 

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