#NYHomesGuarantee Platform Calls On Albany To Enact “Good Cause” Eviction Legislation And Home Stability Support; Bolster Funding For Public Housing; And Act Immediately On Other Housing Priorities
(BUFFALO OR NYC) – The Housing Justice For All campaign – a coalition of over 70 organizations that represent tenants and homeless New Yorkers from across the State — unveiled its 2020 New York State legislative agenda tonight, which seeks to build on the historic housing reforms enacted into law this past June. The 2020 platform calls on the State Legislature and the Governor to pass and enact “Good Cause” eviction legislation and the Home Stability Support Act; bolster funding for public housing; and to act on other housing priorities to guarantee that every New Yorker has a home.
New York State’s budget is nearly $180 billion, yet only 3% of that budget is spent on the housing crisis. As a result, 92,000 people are homeless and the majority of New York State residents can’t even afford their rent. The Housing Justice for All coalition urges Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to pledge to end evictions and rent hikes, and to invest in housing as a human right in 2020.
In Buffalo we are seeing massive displacement and gentrification as a result of the investment that we have seen from the Buffalo Billion. Rents are rising along with property values driving displacement and homelessness. Over 8 Billion dollars have been invested in market rate development while slumlords have people living in illegal conditions and the BHMA is falling apart leaving residents in disgusting conditions. Local housing organizations and residents are building with statewide allies to guarantee a home for every New Yorker.
Good Cause Eviction: Every tenant in New York should live free from the fear of eviction – either formal, through housing court, or informal, through the landlords’ decision not to renew the lease, or a sudden rent hike. Rent stabilized tenants benefit from the right to renew their leases, and from protections against large rent hikes. Good cause eviction would guarantee all New York renters, in non-owner occupied buildings, the right to renew the lease with regular annual rent increases.
Home Stability Support (HSS): 92,000 people across the State of New York are homeless – a number that has grown dramatically under Governor Cuomo. The long term solution to the homelessness crisis is both an end to evictions and a dramatic increase in the number of social and supportive housing. However, New Yorkers need immediate action to address the current crisis. HSS is a statewide rent supplement for low-income families and individuals who are facing eviction, homelessness, or loss of housing due to domestic violence or hazardous conditions. HSS help bridge the difference between public assistance shelter allowance and fair market rents.
Invest in Public Housing Statewide: Public housing is in a state of severe disrepair. State Legislature must invest $3 billion annually to fix and preserve public housing, with $2 billion directed to NYCHA. In order to be successful, public housing must be fully funded and democratically controlled by organized residents, labor, and other stakeholders. It must be energy efficient and capable of withstanding extreme weather events. Privatization and housing should never mix, and Albany must allocate funding to address repairs and operations.
Eliminate 485-a and 421-a: These wasteful tax subsidies cost New York State billions annually, encourage gentrification, reward Cuomo’s campaign donors, and provide no meaningful benefit to New Yorkers. We are calling on the State legislature to end these corrupt tax subsidies and instead invest in communities.
Other major Housing Justice for All priorities call on Albany to develop and preserve 600,000 units of social housing over the next 10 years to ensure every New Yorker has a home they can afford; to enact legislation that would afford residents the first opportunity to purchase rental buildings and manufactured home communities that are up for sale or demolition; to invest in healthy and habitable homes, to eliminate the costly and ineffective 485-a and 421-a tax subsidies for big developers and adopt other fair-share revenue proposals; and to implement other critical reforms that New Yorkers need.