Housing

Home is the first step to stability, it’s where we put down roots and make shared memories. We must stop the skyrocketing costs of living that are tearing apart our neighborhoods and communities.

Affordable Housing, For All

Housing should be a public good, but corporate developers and landlords who use it for profit have made it a scarce commodity. Affordable housing wait times range from 19-44 weeks. We must rewrite the rules to bring good, stable housing to all.

  • Fight for a Social Housing Development Authority (A9088) to build high quality, permanently affordable, green social housing for New Yorkers to live in—not investment vehicles for companies to turn into profits.
    • The Social Housing Development Authority will build and rehabilitate housing at a range of income levels, with no one paying more than 25% of their income to rent.Rather than give billions to wealthy developers to build luxury housing while working families struggle to find homes close to their jobs and communities, the social housing authority will be a public developer that can build and preserve affordable housing across the entire state, using union labor.
  • Rewrite the state’s zoning laws which restrict options for affordable housing such as turning single-family homes into safe and legal multi-family dwellings with accessory dwelling units (A5342A), or distressed commercial spaces into affordable housing. Fund initiatives that would allow seniors to add accessory dwelling units to their single-family homes.
  • Grow public sector jobs and fair labor agreements to increase capacity for affordable housing construction after a two-decade slump, which would need to ramp up construction 60% to meet the state’s housing needs.
  • Support and expand community land trusts.
  • Additional funding for the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative, including Mental Health Housing, to ensure that essential housing programs are serving New Yorkers in need.

Stop Displacement

More than half of tenants in District 103 pay over a third of their income in rent – and almost a third pay over half their income to housing. Speculation, high interest rates, and short term AirBnBs rentals are driving up housing costs even more and replacing long-term affordable housing.

  • Give tenants the right to remain and renew their lease by passing statewide Good Cause Eviction (A4454), which makes evictions unlawful unless the tenant has broken specific rules, such as non-payment.
    • This bill would impact 37,000 renters in Ulster and Dutchess Counties, where exorbitant rent hikes have been used to evict tenants.
    • Several towns and cities in District 103 passed this law, but courts ruled that only the State legislature can enact it. A statewide program is essential for effective implementation.
  • The Housing Access Voucher Program (A4021) would create vouchers for New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and support low-income renters at risk of losing their housing.
  • Prevent displacement and expand our social housing stock by passing the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (A3353), which gives tenants the first opportunity to collectively purchase their building if it’s being sold.
  • Modernize the Emergency Tenant Protection Act to cover newer and smaller buildings to bring the benefit of rent stabilization to more upstate tenants. The current law applies only to buildings built 50 years ago with 6 or more units. As more upstate cities like Kingston enact rent stabilization, modernizing the law will ensure it achieves the goal of stabilizing skyrocketing rents.
  • Enact a winter eviction moratorium to allow individuals to remain housed during harsh inclement weather (A4093)
  • Prohibit evicting senior citizens or people with disabilities without good cause (A00308)
  • Create a statewide Right to Counsel (A1493) in eviction proceedings
  • Enshrine the Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP) in law (A7636) to ensure not-for-profit housing counseling agencies and legal services providers can continue to provide assistance to homeowners in distress. There has been a drastic increase in need for these programs as struggling New York homeowners are targeted by scammers peddling foreclosure rescue schemes and speculators seeking to profit as area real estate values rise in many parts of the state.

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