WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 23, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Rep. Paul Tonko (NY-21) joined the House of Representatives Thursday in approving the Department of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2010, which builds on the Recovery Act to make smart investments that will provide short-term help in the form of housing and jobs to those hurt most by the economic downturn, and long-term solutions like highway and public transit improvements to put our economy on sound footing for the future.
The bill includes funding for two projects in the 21st Congressional District: $300,000 for Unity House in Troy to build a brand new emergency shelter and apartments for victims of domestic violence; and $600,000 to make high speed rail and safety upgrades to the Evelyn Street rail crossing in Amsterdam. The bill also includes funding for four more rail crossing upgrades along the Albany to Buffalo line.
“This bill will create jobs, jump-start economic growth, and improve and repair our aging infrastructure, while investing in the next generation of high speed passenger rail,” said Rep. Tonko. “Making the improvements that will lead to high speed rail here in New York will make train travel a more attractive option for commuters and businesses alike, and bring with it the promise of economic revitalization for the necklace of old mill towns across upstate New York which have fallen on difficult times.”
This bill provides $4 billion to provide grants to states or Amtrak to lay the groundwork for a high-speed passenger rail system that reduces congestion and environmental impacts. It also increases spending to repair our nation’s aging highway infrastructure, and boosts the funds available for vouchers and housing assistance for the neediest Americans. It invests in counseling to keep families who are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure. Finally, the bill provides grant programs to revitalize neighborhoods and spur economic development in vacant commercial and industrial sites.
Rep. Tonko added: “We need to make smart investments that will help create jobs, repair critical infrastructure, and lay the foundation for future developments in our region’s transportation system that will improve our efficiency and clean up our environment. The funding approved through this bill is a big step in that direction.”