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Housing & Homelessness

The lack of affordable housing continues to be one of the great challenges we face as a city. In
order to address the homelessness crisis in our city, we must address all of the issues that lead to an
increased cost of housing, and do everything in our power to stave off evictions. We must:

Protect Tenants

  • Fight to pass the Good Cause Eviction bill, which would disallow evictions except for good cause, and would limit rent increases, even on market rate apartments.

  • Expand eligibility for the Right to Counsel, and include HPD administrative hearings and HDFC cases. The Right to Counsel should also cover every neighborhood, instead of the limited number of ZIP codes it currently covers.

  • Increase enforcement by HPD and the DOB to ensure that building owners who flout the law are held accountable. The city and state should work together to create an enforcement mechanism that expands on the work done by Housing Rights Initiative, which works to uncover abuses of the J-51 tax exemption.

  • Rather than privatizing NYCHA, we must reorganize NYCHA in a way that prioritizes tenants’ needs. We need greater transparency, and we must increase funding for necessary repairs.

Create More Housing

  • Make it easier to legalize and construct Accessory Dwelling Units and make conversions through zoning code changes, as recommended by the Regional Plan Association.

  • Support NYC’s Basement Apartment Program expansion on a city-wide level.

  • Establish comprehensive planning for New York City, instead of our current process which relies on private applications from developers. Comprehensive planning would ensure that all neighborhoods build their fair share of housing.

  • Invest in Community Land Trusts, which provide permanently affordable, community controlled housing.

Provide Necessary Homeless Services

  • Shift from a shelter model to a supportive housing model, with direct access to on-site services, including job training, mental health counseling, and child care.

  • Shift funding from police to homeless outreach social workers, who can work with homeless individuals to connect them with available services.

  • Prioritize family stability by working to keep families in their communities, and children in their schools.

  • Provide more state and city funded housing vouchers, and crack down on building owners and managers who refuse to accept these vouchers.

Bring Back SROs
SROs used to be a widespread source of unsubsidized affordable housing for precisely the people
who fall through the cracks of the homelessness services system. We can and should bring it

  • Raise the cap on the number of dwelling units per zoning lot, which often drives up the size of individual units.

  • Reduce or remove parking requirements in public transit rich areas, which would also increase the occupancy of certain buildings.

  • Remove restrictions on the type of entities that can develop SROs.

Prioritize Veteran Housing

  • Create an exception in co-op rules for veterans who need to sublet their apartments while deployed.

  • Expand property tax exemptions for veterans.

  • Fight for increased state and federal funding for veterans programs.

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