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Sen. Tina Smith calls for nationwide public housing safety improvements

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 6:07 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2021 at 7:30 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (KEYC) — On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) called on Congress to invest in addressing health and safety risks in public housing buildings across the nation.

Smith and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) are sponsoring a bill to set up a $25 million competitive grant program to help retrofit public housing buildings with sprinkler systems.

Smith cited the 2019 fire at a 25-story apartment fire that killed five people in Minneapolis, in which the building did not have fire sprinklers.

“One of the things that I hope we will be able to accomplish in the legislation we pass this summer is to get resources to these local communities so they can make the much-needed upgrades to the buildings they are responsible for. Local taxpayers cannot do this on their own and the folks living in these apartments are often elders and people living with disabilities,” said Smith.

Smith called on the Senate to support $40 billion tucked inside President Biden’s infrastructure plan to improve public housing, while also addressing the issues of lead paint and radon risks.

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