FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Angel Cruz
Cruz: Republicans, Philly legislators block efforts to fix
problems at Philadelphia Housing Authority
HARRISBURG, June 22 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., said this week that his efforts to rectify problems at the Philadelphia Housing Authority were blocked by fellow legislators.
Cruz offered an amendment to legislation (S.B. 1174) that would expand the size of the authority as well as define provisions regarding the operations of the authority.
Cruz said Republicans and ten Democratic members of the Philadelphia delegation voted his amendment down. The amendment would have established a publicly accessible database of all properties that meet the criteria for Section 8 and would have required the city to develop programs to provide for the sale of properties that have been vacant for a year or more.
Cruz said the purpose of his amendment was to establish a database to help neighboring homeowners identify who is responsible for nuisance properties.
"The PHA is not doing enough to protect communities from abandoned and nuisance properties," Cruz said. "A database of property owners would help expedite that process and give taxpaying homeowners somewhere to turn.
"My amendment provided an opportunity for both transparency and accountability within the Philadelphia Housing Authority and offered a practical solution for blight," he said. "Apparently the individuals who voted against it are not prepared to change business as usual."
Cruz said, due to the failure to pass his first amendment, he subsequently withdrew two other planned amendments to S.B. 1174.