Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) was in Poughkeepsie Monday morning to unveil legislation aimed to assist residents of low-income housing that are temporarily displaced after a disaster.

Maloney's "Affordable Housing Protection Act" was prompted by the October 30, 2017, fire at the Rip Van Winkle Housing Project, which displaced several hundred residents with no available plans for temporary housing.

The proposed legislation will require the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to come up with specific plans to provide emergency housing when tenants are forced from their residences.

The legislation, according to Maloney, will have zero cost to taxpayers because the property management companies do not receive subsidies from the government when the occupants are displaced. Maloney is calling for the funds to be re-directed to offset the costs of hotels or other Section 8 units until the displaced can return home.

Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison joined Maloney at the press conference and stressed the need for contingency plans so that tenants know in advance what their options are.

"Fear of the unknown," is one of the biggest problems facing the residents of affordable housing Rolison said. He added that both tenants and management companies need to know what is expected of each party in the event that a fire or other disaster that causes residents to be displaced.

In Maloney's district, there are 1,488 units that receive Section 8 subsidies.

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