Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Losing Ground

There is no doubt that New York City is in the midst of a housing affordability crisis. Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Shaun Donovan recently referred to an "affordability squeeze" and acknowledged the need to preserve regulated apartments.

Losing Ground (pdf), a new report from Housing Here and Now, documents the threat to affordable housing in New York City and lays out solutions to the problem.

The New York Is Our Home campaign has united tenant groups, the Central Labor Council and the Working Families Party to craft the following proposals to preserve our affordable housing stock and allow New York City to retain its diversity and vibrancy:
  • Preserve Rent-Regulated Units, including repeal of vacancy decontrol to eliminate the rent threshold that allows owners to decontrol units once they become vacant and hit that threshold.
  • Prevent unfair rent increases and tenant harassment by strengthening enforcement of the rent laws and making other reforms at the NYS Division of Housing & Community Renewal (DHCR).
  • Preserve Mitchell-Lama and Section 8 Housing, including extending rent regulations to ALL Mitchell-Lama and Section 8 buildings and closing loopholes that undermine rent protections.
  • Preserve State and City-built public housing by restoring State and City funding to protect 27,000 units of public housing and to preserve thousands of Section 8 vouchers with an annual State contribution of $70 million and a City contribution of $120 million.
  • End the State's Discrimination against New Yorkers Living with AIDS by capping rental payments to 30% of a tenant’s income. The State now requires some tenants living with AIDS and receiving SSI to pay all but $330 of income toward rent.

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