Our Plan for Housing for All

As your City Council Member, I will fight to ensure that all of our community’s residents have access to safe, affordable housing, and that no one will live in fear of losing their home due to change in income status, rising housing costs, or mental or physical incapacity:
  • Build and preserve deeply affordable housing for low-income families, seniors, and others on fixed incomes.
  • Make sure homeowners and home ownership are supported.
  • Prioritize preventing homelessness and ensuring that the City’s homeless population has access to permanent housing.
  • Ensure that NYCHA has the resources it needs to thrive.

Read more below...

The Issues:

 

Our homes are critical to our mental health and physical well-being. When a family or individual is housing insecure, every facet of their life is impacted. Children struggle to learn and adults experience higher rates of mental health and health issues. New York City cannot build back better without truly addressing the affordable housing crisis immediately. It is estimated that over 100,000 of New Yorkers are currently at risk of losing their homes, and thousands more are struggling to pay rent and mortgages as the City faces record-high unemployment. In addition, many working families who own their homes pay more than they should in property taxes, with little benefit in return. 

 

At every turn, hard working families in our district are getting squeezed by the City and the extremely high cost of putting a roof over their heads. Prior to the pandemic, about one in three District 11 households were severely rent burdened, meaning they spend 50% or more of their income on rent. It doesn’t take much to tip families paying that much in rent into homelessness. Last year, 38% of eviction warrants issued by the New York City Housing Courts were in The Bronx, with devastating impacts for families. In fact, one out of every 6 students in our district experienced homelessness in the last five years.

 

Recent initiatives aimed at increasing the number of affordable homes have had the unintended effect of making once-affordable neighborhoods even more out-of reach for those who live there. Despite the creation of tens of thousands of "affordable" units of housing in recent years, there are few homes that are actually affordable for residents at the lowest end of the income spectrum. Instead, the working poor have fewer options than ever when it comes to securing safe, permanent housing. Severely rent-burdened and extremely low-income New Yorkers are the most at-risk of experiencing homelessness. More New Yorkers than ever are now homeless, and the City’s shelter system has not addressed their needs.

 

NYCHA is the City’s largest stock of permanently-affordable housing. After years of disinvestment, NYCHA is in critical need of $40 billion in repairs to provide safe and healthy housing for its residents, and this need grows by $1 billion each year. If this crisis is not addressed quickly, and with bold action, many NYCHA buildings could become unfit for occupancy, putting the homes of 400,000+ New Yorkers at risk. 

 

Finally, homeowners in our City are often left out of the conversation, and many do not receive the support they need in order to stay in their homes, and to protect what is, oftentimes, their biggest investment.

 

Our Solutions:

Housing is a human right.

As your City Council Member, I will fight to ensure that all of our community’s residents have access to safe, affordable housing, and that no one will live in fear of losing their home due to change in income status, rising housing costs, or mental or physical incapacity.

 

This will require a commitment to dedicating resources to housing that is deeply, and permanently affordable, and that does not rely on the private real estate market to address New York’s affordable housing crisis. 

 

I have not and will not accept contributions from real estate developers. 

 

In partnership with residents, community groups, and nonprofit organizations, including non-profit affordable housing developers, I will fight to ensure that truly affordable housing is prioritized in our city: 

 

We must build and preserve deeply affordable housing for low-income families, seniors, and others on fixed incomes:
  • Focus public resources on the construction of permanently affordable housing, prioritizing partnerships with nonprofit developers and prioritize union jobs in all affordable housing projects. 

  • Provide undeveloped public land to nonprofit and community-controlled organizations for the construction of deeply affordable and permanently affordable housing, and for other uses that are for the local community’s benefit.

  • Increase public funding to support community land trusts (CLTs) throughout New York City.

  • Support amending the Multiple Dwelling Law in Manhattan to convert vacant office space into affordable housing. 

  • Pass the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act, which would require nonprofit organizations and community land trusts to be given the first chance to buy residential apartment buildings when they are put up for sale.

  • Call on New York State to eliminate the "Affordable New York" program, also known as Section 421a, which benefits real estate developers at a cost of over $1 billion a year. These additional revenues should be redirected to build deeply affordable housing. 

  • For newly-built affordable housing, prioritize applications from residents of the local community.

  • Advocate for seniors’ automatic enrollment in the currently underutilized Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE), so that all seniors who qualify for rent assistance are able to get the help to age in their own homes.

 

Make sure homeowners and home ownership are supported:
  • Support efforts to reform the City's property tax system to ensure wealthy property owners pay their fair share, while reducing that paid by seniors, and middle-class and low-income homeowners.

  • Fight to make sure co-ops and condos are taxed in the same way other homes are. Currently, co-op and condo owners are taxed as commercial properties. Until a fairer property tax system is enacted, fight to make sure the co-op and condo tax abatement is made permanent, which will continue to save these homeowners at least 17.5% each year.

 

Prioritize preventing homelessness and ensuring that the City’s homeless population has access to permanent housing:
  • Expand Right to Counsel to ensure all New Yorkers facing eviction have free representation in Housing Court.

  • Convert vacant hotels and office space into supportive and affordable housing.

  • Increase value of City FHEPS vouchers, allowing homeless New Yorkers to achieve housing permanence, which will reduce reliance on the shelter system, and an overall cost savings.

  • Address the many systemic barriers that make it difficult to exit the shelter system. 

 

Ensure that NYCHA has the resources it needs to thrive, and renew our commitment to making public housing in New York City a model for other cities:
  • Advocate for more funding from the federal government for the upgrade and operation of public housing, reversing decades of disinvestment.;

  • Support the creation of a NYCHA Preservation Trust to help finance renovations not covered by direct federal subsidies.

  • Speed up energy-efficient retrofits and add solar panels to every roof of every NYCHA building. Doing so will create green jobs, save NYCHA money and reduce NYCHA’s carbon footprint.

  • Fight for the repeal of the Faircloth Amendment, which bans new public housing construction in New York City and elsewhere.

  • Require the involvement of NYCHA residents in the decision-making process regarding any upgrade or renovation of their homes.