HUD secretary says infrastructure plan will help Hampton Roads residents

Virginia

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — President Joe Biden has an ambitious $2 trillion infrastructure plan.

It includes $213 billion to “produce, preserve and retrofit” more than two million affordable and sustainable places to live.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge says the American Jobs Plan is about looking at how we live and asking “How do we make our lives better?” That includes improving access to housing.

“We’re trying to find a way to make sure that people who work minimum wage and or just get by every day with small salaries can afford to live in a decent home,” said Fudge.

She says more housing is needed in every city nationwide, including in Hampton Roads.

The plan also aims to improve equity when it comes to finding housing.

“We’re going to ensure that we level the playing field for those who want to purchase homes,” said Fudge. “So what we’re going to be doing is looking at access to credit, we’re going to be looking at how we have, in the past, discriminated against certain groups of people and make sure that we turn that around.”

Fudge says the bill includes funding for infrastructure improvement. Things like roads, bridges, and ports are slated to be upgraded.

“Nothing has been forgotten,” Fudge said. “We know how important trade is, we know how important shipping is so there is definitely thoughts about how we can improve those things and improve ports.”

Access to high speed broadband is also a focus of the plan.

“If we are not connected to each other, we cannot work remotely or virtually, then we’re lost,” Fudge said.

On Thursday, HUD announced the allocation of nearly $5 billion from American Rescue Plan funds to help combat homelessness nationwide.

“On any given day in 2020, more than 580,000 people were homeless. It is something that we must address,” Fudge said.

More than $18 million are allocated for Hampton Roads cities.

Fudge says there’s a lot to the plan, including replacing 100 percent of the nation’s lead pipes and updating America’s water systems. You can read it by clicking here.

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