Wednesday, June 29

#HouseNY campaign launched to demand the approval of a package of laws that resolve the underlying housing crisis

Two days after it became known that the State of New York closed the reception of applications for the ERAP income relief program, due to lack of resources, and due to the imminent fear that thousands of New York families will face mass evictions, after January 15, when rent moratorium expires, leaders of the Big Apple called for the housing crisis to be resolved.

Standing in front of the famous Vessel, in the exclusive Hudson Yards area, In Manhattan, dozens of tenants, activists and legislators, stood on Tuesday to join the launch of the campaign #HouseNY, what with
Similar demonstrations in other parts of the state, such as Buffalo, Rochester and Albany, demanded that the governor Kathy Hochul to enact real long-term solutions to end the housing crisis, which worsened after the COVID pandemic.

Although the protesters recognized the goodwill of the newly inaugurated state president, in programs of help tenants, warned that the housing problem in New York is so great, that it no longer supports simple short-term palliatives, but requires substantive decisions.

“In the Housing Justice For All coalition, of which Los Sures is a member, we have seen that the pandemic has exposed serious housing problems that already existed, so we are asking the Governor and Legislature to approve our House NY platform, which includes long-term solutions and not mere band-aids ”, he assured Lucas Reiner, from the Brooklyn Tenant Advocacy Organization, The Sures.

“It is very noble what they have done with programs like ERAP and the moratorium on evictions, to prevent many people from losing their homes, but the reality is that there are still 92,000 homeless people, many people could not apply to the aid fund and there are people who owe amounts of rent that in no way will they be able to pay, because they are very high, “added the activist.

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State Senator Michael Gianaris, explained that the goal is to promote the 2022 housing platform, which requires the approval of an urgent legislative package, which includes the eviction law for just cause, preventing landlords from being able to remove tenants from their homes for no reason and that the program is repealed 421-a, granting tax breaks to construction companies, such as Hudson Yards, which they claim benefited from $ 6,000 million from the State without offering sizable numbers of really affordable apartments.

“All New Yorkers deserve a safe and stable place to live, but we are going to get the job done right next year without more tax breaks for the wealthy and passing real solutions for a royal road to affordable housing,” added the political leader. from Queens.

The housing platform for 2022 It also includes the Housing Access Voucher Program (HAVP), the Tenant Purchase Opportunity Act (TOPA) and a housing expansion for residents with the Dignity Act (HONDA), which has already been approved.

Martina Romero, who lives with her four children in an apartment in Brooklyn, denounced that without the support of financing programs to pay rent, she will end up on the street, because her landlord increased her rent to more than $ 2,100, which she could not pay even since before the pandemic.

“I ask Governor Hochul to help pass these laws to help renters like me, because o if not, we are going to be some more helpless ”, assured the Mexican. “Here rents are very expensive and wages are low, so without support we will not be able to stay in our homes.”

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The Dominican Manuel Mejía

The Dominican Manuel Mejía, who has lived more than 40 years in his apartment in Brooklyn, also joined the protest, because although he said he was not behind in the payments of his apartment, which by the time he has been there are just over $ 400 a month, yes He reported that his landlord has long wanted to take him out, without just cause, to rent the unit for more than $ 3,000.

“We all have to fight so that the governor and the Legislature hear us and pass these laws soon, because if not, we will see more people sleeping on the streets very soon,” said the 82-year-old grandfather.

Following the protest, the Office of Governor Hochul She assured that the president is on the same path of action as the protesters and declared herself committed to ending the housing crisis.

“The governor is firmly committed to helping New Yorkers stay in their homes and will carefully review all legislation that comes to her desk,” said a spokesperson for the governor. “Gov. Hochul has taken bold steps to protect tenants, from calling a special session of the Legislature to extend the eviction moratorium, to allocating $ 25 million for free legal services for tenants across the state, and breaking the Program deadlock. Emergency Rental Assistance ”.

What does the legislative package for 2022 that tenants require?

  • Pass the Eviction for Good Cause bill, which would prevent landlords from unprotected homes from evicting their tenants without substantive causes
  • Repeal the 421-a program, which gives construction companies tax breaks without actually building a high percentage of affordable units
  • Push for the Housing Access Voucher Program (HAVP), which would provide apartment payment assistance vouchers to low-income families
  • Pass the Tenant Purchase Opportunity Act (TOPA), which provides an opportunity for tenants to own or remain tenants in the properties in which they reside
  • Expand the scope of the already approved Housing Law for our Neighbors with the Dignity Law (HONDA), which provides a mechanism for the state to finance the acquisition of distressed hotels and commercial office properties by non-profit organizations to maintain or increase affordable housing
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