Safe and Affordable Housing

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On the day before Thanksgiving, Wednesday, November 27th, a deadly fire broke out on the 14th floor of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) Cedar High apartments in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This fire killed five residents and injured four others. While our community grieves and begin to heal from this tragedy, we need to address the underlying cause of this fire – The MPHA Cedar High apartments were not equipped with sprinklers. 

The Cedar-Riverside building was built in the 1960s, and necessary repairs and maintenance needs have been underfunded by the federal government for years. Minnesota public housing authorities have an estimated $354.9 million backlog in critical maintenance and repairs – and, national funding for public housing capital needs have declined 31 percent from 2001 through 2017. The MPHA has an estimated $152 million backlog in critical maintenance and renovations, including $69 million for plumbing and fire systems. 

The federal government has a responsibility and obligation to ensure its buildings are safe for the public. Residents of public housing deserve to feel safe in their own homes. 

Underfunded public housing is putting the lives of these residents at risk across Minnesota and the country, and we must take action. 

That is why we are calling on Congress to immediately recognize and pay for its obligation to:

  • Protect the lives and safety of the individuals occupying public housing.
  • Pay for needed critical maintenance and repairs for public housing and safety obligations to limit future tragedies. 

The Cedar-Riverside community continues to show love and compassion for their neighbors. Now, it is time for us to do our part to ensure no other community faces this tragedy