WE FIGHT FOR HOUSING JUSTICE ACROSS NEW YORK.
From Rochester to Buffalo to Binghamton to New York City, the Upstate/Downstate Housing Alliance is building the power of tenants and homeless New Yorkers to end the housing affordable crisis in New York.
More people rent in New York than in any other state -- and nearly half of low income renters pay more than 50% of their income in rent. In the last seven years, homelessness as skyrocketed by almost 36%.
We know that housing affordability is connected to homelessness. But for too long, homeless New Yorkers and tenants have been divided in their fight for their right to a home. We are coming together in 2018 and 2019 to demand housing justice for all.
The governor has had seven years to enact a housing agenda for the state.
Seven legislative sessions and seven state budgets to address a humanitarian crisis that has grown exponentially under his watch.
The results of Cuomo’s agenda are clear, and they have been devastating for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. Displacement pressures have spread to every corner of the state. Homelessness is at record levels statewide: it has risen an unconscionable 36% since Cuomo first took office in 2011. The State's budget for housing has declined 62%. Public housing authorities and code enforcement agencies remain woefully underfunded as the housing stock available to low-income tenants has literally crumbled.
On every housing issue across the state, the Cuomo administration has consistently aligned with big-money real estate rather than with low- and moderate-income tenants. Cuomo's real estate friendly agenda has hurt low income people and households of color the most.
The Housing Justice for All campaign IS mobilizING tenants and low-income New Yorkers from across the state to hold Cuomo accountable FOR THE housing CRISIS in 2018.
Tenants and homeless New Yorkers are uniting for the first time. Upstate cities are joining with New York City, its suburbs, and rural areas across the state. We believe that housing is a human right. We are fighting to:
- Expand protections for vulnerable tenants across New York State.
In the past eight years the pace of evictions and displacement has accelerated across New York State. Loopholes in the rent laws have perversely incentivized landlords to harass and evict tenants leading to an affordability and mass homelessness crisis in New York City. We have seen a loss of 75,000 rent stabilized apartments in New York City alone.
Meanwhile, gentrification and displacement have spread to all corners of New York. Tenants in Rochester, Albany, in the mid-Hudson, and other cities upstate do not have just-cause eviction protections, and as a result they are being displaced due to rising rents.
The Governor must push for stronger rent laws in New York State by ending the 20% eviction bonus given to landlords when they have a vacant apartment and by ending the preferential rent scam that results in tenants seeing enormous rent increases when their leases expire. He must expand tenant protections across the state by implementing just-cause evictions, tied to unconscionable rent increases, so all tenants have a right to stay in their homes.
- Invest in people, not developers.
Tax breaks and direct subsidies to billionaire developers have been at the heart of Governor Cuomo’s “affordable” housing agenda during his first two terms in office. The results of this strategy are clear: there are 89,000 homeless families in shelters in New York State -- 36% increase since he took office. Meanwhile, cities and villages across the state are trying to cope with decaying housing stock.
To truly turn the tide on New York State’s homeless crisis, the Governor must fund the development of 14,000 units of supportive housing and expand access to rental assistance by funding the Home Stability Support program.
Meanwhile, tenants with housing often live in precarious conditions because our existing housing supply is in shambles. The Governor can address this by fully funding the New York City and State Public Housing Authorities and providing aid to increase code enforcement in upstate municipalities, where landlords have been given free reign to neglect and harass without any consequences.
New York State has the resources needed to house homeless families and ensure tenants have safe and healthy homes. We can generate the revenue necessary to fund these initiatives by making billionaires, millionaires, Wall Street and big corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. The budget should ensure the enactment fair-share revenue options like the expansion of the Millionaires’ Tax, a circuit breaker on Trump/GOP tax cuts for the rich, and by closing the carried interest loophole at the state level.