New York — Today, tenants, homeless New Yorkers, progressive activists, and elected officials launched the #HouseNY campaign with protests targeting Governor Kathy Hochul in New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, and Albany. Participants in this new statewide campaign called on Hochul to enact real long-term solutions to the COVID housing crisis, including permanent protections against evictions.
The #HouseNY campaign, organized by Housing Justice for All, comes as eviction moratoria and emergency rental assistance programs have only provided limited, short-term relief, leaving many struggling New Yorkers vulnerable to landlord harassment, unfair rent increases, and homelessness.
The protests across New York State today included hundreds of tenants impacted by the COVID housing crisis across New York; housing and community groups; members and leaders of Housing Justice for All; progressive activists; elected officials, including State Senator Michael Gianaris, State Senator Jabari Brisport, Assemblymember Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas.
Tenants are a growing voting bloc in New York State, and this new #HouseNY campaign will elevate the COVID housing crisis in the Democratic Primary for Governor and in the next state legislative session in Albany. Leaders and supporters of this campaign are urging Hochul to enact the #HouseNY platform that includes the following bills: Good Cause Eviction, Repeal of 421-a, Housing Access Voucher Program (HAVP), Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA), and an expanded Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act (HONDA).
“Eviction moratoria and emergency rental assistance programs have provided only short-term relief during the COVID pandemic. By design and definition, these temporary measures are not substitutes for permanent, sustainable solutions to the housing crisis that millions of struggling New Yorkers continue to face across the state. Our #HouseNY platform would replace temporary, limited relief measures with the long-term solutions necessary to address the state’s worsening housing crisis. As part of COVID recovery, Governor Hochul and the state legislature should pass all the bills in our #HouseNY platform,” said Cea Weaver, Campaign Coordinator of Housing Justice for All.
“All New Yorkers deserve a safe, stable place to live and I am proud to support the #HouseNY platform,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “Since taking the Senate majority in 2019, we have worked tirelessly to support New York’s tenants, including by passing the most significant tenant protections in state history. Let’s build on that achievement and continue delivering for New Yorkers.”
“I fully support the Housing Justice For All coalition’s #HouseNY platform,” said State Senator Julia Salazar. “The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the housing crisis in our state. In January, New York’s eviction moratorium will expire, leaving many New Yorkers in crisis if we fail to act. We must pass this comprehensive housing platform that will keep families in their homes and ensure that all of our neighbors have the housing security that they deserve.”
“Through the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act, the COVID-19 eviction moratorium and rent relief programs, the Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act, and other measures, we’ve taken huge steps in the last three years to prevent evictions and foreclosures, protect millions of tenants and homeowners, and provide more affordable and supportive housing,” said Senator Brian Kavanagh, Chair of the Senate Housing Committee. “But with so many New Yorkers still experiencing homelessness, or living in unstable, poorly maintained housing, or paying grossly unaffordable rents, we need to do much more. The HJ4A agenda — enacting Housing Access Vouchers, good cause eviction, and tenant opportunity to purchase legislation, scaling up HONDA, and making sure we’re not giving away public funds through 421-a and similar subsidies without getting enough affordable housing to justify the expense — would go a very long way toward our goal of ensuring that everyone has access to a stable, well-maintained, affordable place to live.”
“The homelessness crisis in New York State has only been exacerbated by the pandemic and after continuously applying temporary bandaids, we need leaders of NYS to provide New Yorkers meaningful and sustainable relief in the form of safe, affordable housing,” said Nicole Anselment-Hirsch, VOCAL-Albany Member. “Albany was the first city in the state to pass Good Cause locally, and it’s time to bring Good Cause statewide, and we need to pass the Housing Access Voucher Program to provide people who do not qualify for public assistance lasting relief from the pandemic.”
“The pandemic devastated Black, brown, and immigrant communities, leaving people worried about how they will pay their rent or if they will lose their home. This upcoming legislative session Governor Hochul and New York leaders have the opportunity to put tenants and people who are homeless first,” said Jennifer Hernandez, Lead Organizer with Make the Road NY. “We call for the passage of long-term solutions highlighted in this legislative package that will address our growing housing crisis and homelessness, such as the Good Cause eviction legislation that will protect tenants throughout the state against unfair evictions and the Housing Access Voucher program that would create vouchers to curb our homeless numbers. Housing is a human right and all New Yorkers deserve affordable and safe housing.”