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Washington, D.C. – This week, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) supported an amendment in the House Financial Services Committee offered by Representative William Timmons (SC-04) that would allow public housing tenants to withhold rent if the government, their landlord, is not appropriately addressing unsafe living conditions. This will give public housing tenants the same rights as private market renters, and make sure that taxpayer dollars going to public housing not being wasted.

Watch Rep. Emmer’s remarks here.

Read Rep. Timmons amendment here

“I’d like to strike the last word please.

The point I’d like to make in support of Congressman Timmons’ amendment is simple: Local governments overseeing public housing units must hold up their end of the lease agreement.

No renter, no matter their income, should have to live in a substandard home with unsafe living conditions because their landlord isn’t promptly addressing these issues. Cities, like New York for example, have been falsifying reports on public housing unit inspections and wait times – leaving renters with unsafe units that are dangerous to live in.

If a public housing resident has a health and safety issue in their unit that is going unfixed, they should be able to withhold their rent until it’s appropriately addressed! In this respect, public housing residents should have these same health and safety rights that private market renters across the country have.

I’m proud to support Congressman Timmons’ amendment to protect our public housing residents and make sure the local governments that oversee these units are doing their jobs and providing these Americans with a safe place to live.

I yield back the balance of my time.”