"Real Low-income" Affordable Housing

We have an affordable housing crisis in New York City!  
 

How many of you have applied for “affordable” housing? Was your waiting list number in the thousands?  How many of you never got a call even though you were on the list for years? How many of you got a call after many years just to be placed on another waiting list? This is ridiculous!

 

I’ve been there. One of the reasons I’m running for office is because I’ve been homeless and I understand how difficult it is to find and keep housing that is actually affordable.

There are almost 80,000 homeless people in New York City. Shelters only have room for 3,000 people and the “solutions” that are currently in place are not working. People spend years on waiting lists, making endless calls, and getting nowhere. We also need to define what affordability is. We need to use an AMI (Area Median Income) that just includes the five boroughs of New York City and not include outer richer neighborhoods like Westchester. When I am elected, I will work to make these things happen:

We can start by:

1. Repealing the Faircloth Amendment of the 1937 housing act so that more affordable homes can be built and owned/operated by Public Housing Agencies. 

 

2. Curbing the real estate industry and cease building in neighborhoods where they know the current population in said neighborhood can not afford any of the units unless they intend for the building to be 50/50 (part luxury and part real affordable housing). The units remain affordable indefinitely and do not rotate to market rate. 

3. Making sure claw back provisions are put into place so that the city can get back any money (and/or units) from developers who violate the affordable housing agreements.

4. Get people (especially the working poor and children) out of shelters and into stable affordable housing. Use the money that is paid to house people in hotels to secure permanent housing for them.

5. Work with NYCHA to clean, exterminate, and repair units so residents are not living in unacceptable conditions. Ensure better management of NYCHA property (not privatization) and help NYCHA properties to become self-sufficient by adding stores (like supermarkets) that support the buildings’ operational funding and can provide jobs for the residents. I would add services like a one-stop-shop where residents can get psychological assistance, learn about money management, property management, small business, and information on trade skills to improve job prospects and prepare people to move towards home ownership when they are ready. This solution needs to be about more than just enough housing units; we need to provided other services to ensure the individual(s) access to opportunities and eventual success.

6. Stop the privatization of public housing. Privatization only leads to evictions so owners can turn units into co-ops or tear them down to build luxury apartments, creating more homeless New Yorkers.

 

7. Better access to first time home buyer programs and financing so residents can purchase a house in the neighborhoods they’ve rented in for years. Ownership not only provides opportunities for people to build generational wealth, it also makes it much harder for residents to be displaced.

8. Eliminate credit report searches. Rental approval should be based on apartment rental history and work income. By using credit reports, people who may have just had a bad time and are working towards getting back on their feet may be unable to secure safe, affordable housing.

 

9. Stop requesting potential renters make 40 times the rent. It’s unfair to renters who can afford the rent but don’t reach that threshold.

10. Create more programs that address the homeless situation and provide mental health services, gainful employment, and permanent homes to get our neighbors out of shelters and off city streets.

11. Encourage more non-profits to take advantage of the Neighborhood Pillars program. 

 

12. Most importantly, build more affordable housing. Every New Yorker deserves a safe, clean, healthy home.  If the city can find money to build prisons then they can find money to properly house the homeless and provide "real" affordable housing in our neighborhoods.

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