By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – State Senator Vincent Hughes is proposing what he calls a “Marshall Plan” for housing in Pennsylvania.

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He’s starting with a tour today of some parts of Philadelphia in desperate need of rebuilding.

Strawberry Mansion and Mantua may not be war zones, but Senator Hughes says the condition of houses there requires a rebuilding effort similar to the one the U.S. launched in Europe after WWII:

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“There are portions of those communities that are devastated. Long and large tracts of land where the housing stock is either crumbling or has crumbled.”

Hughes says he’ll put money in the state budget for a program to reclaim that housing. Karen Black of the Healthy Rowhouse Project says it makes sense:

“It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to build new housing units for very low-income households, who are currently living in these houses, but they may just need a little bit of help.”

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Black says a small investment for needed repairs could make a big difference. Hughes says he’s looking at a number of such ideas.