NEW YORK – Housing Justice for All, a statewide coalition of more than 80 organizations representing tenants and homeless New Yorkers, released the following statement in response to Governor Hochul’s proposed budget. The statement below can be attributed to Cea Weaver, Campaign Coordinator of Housing Justice for All:
“New York’s affordability crisis starts and ends with housing. And yet instead of taking decisive action to ensure every New Yorker has a stable home, Governor Hochul has once again proposed tinkering around the edges on the same failed housing policies that brought us into this crisis.
“421-a was both expensive and inefficient – it cost New Yorkers over one billion dollars in forgone tax revenue while failing to produce the housing that working class and low income New Yorkers need. There is a better way to build housing than 421-a: we need a robust social housing program that would create affordable, high quality homes for all New Yorkers. Tenants will not stand for an ineffective housing compromise that combines watered down tenant protections with failed developer handouts.
“While Governor Hochul punts on the housing crisis, tenants are putting forth real solutions: a Social Housing Development Authority to build the housing New York needs; the Housing Access Voucher Program, which would provide rental assistance for tenants who’ve fallen behind on rent; the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, which would allow tenants to convert their buildings into affordable social housing; and funding to preserve New York’s public housing, which provides some of the only true affordable housing to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers.
“Ultimately, we cannot fill crucial gaps in our social safety net and house every New Yorker without raising taxes on the ultra-wealthy – which Governor Hochul’s constituents overwhelmingly support. But Governor Hochul has made her choice: she’s content with everyday New Yorkers struggling to keep a roof over their heads as long as her billionaire donors keep getting wealthier.”