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The Long Island Congressman who last year attempted a radical overhaul of the nation's public housing laws has begun a marginally milder but similar campaign this year.

Congressman Rick Lazio, the Long Island Republican who heads the congressional subcommittee on housing, will hold hearings this month on a revised version of last year's bill, which breezed through the House but failed to pass muster with the Senate or the Clinton Administration.

The new proposal would repeal the 1937 public housing law while shifting federal housing money into two block grants for local housing authorities. It would also require many residents of public housing to take part in work programs and deregulates local housing authorities–including New York's.

Lazio has chosen not to seek repeal of the Brooke Amendment, a law which caps rents for poor tenants at 30 percent of their household income.

Lazio's bill will almost certainly pass the House again, House-watchers concede, but it may encounter trouble again in the Senate, which will likely unveil its own public housing reform bill later in the spring.

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