WE FIGHT FOR HOUSING JUSTICE ACROSS NEW YORK.
From Brooklyn to Buffalo, the Upstate Downstate Housing Alliance is building the power of tenants and homeless New Yorkers to end the rental housing crisis in New York State.
We believe that housing is a human right. But for too many families, that right is far from a reality. Rents are rising across the State while wages have remained stagnant. Landlords are getting richer and richer, while tenants are living on the brink of an eviction. Most tenants in New York State live without any basic rights to stay in their homes. This means that families are unable to enforce their rights to habitable housing, living in fear of a retaliatory eviction or a sudden rent hike.
We know that affordable rent is deeply connected to homelessness. But for too long, homeless New Yorkers and tenants have been divided in their fight for their right to a home. In 2019, we are coming together to demand housing justice for all.
Our fight is more urgent than ever. Nearly half of the State’s 8 million TENANTs arE burdened, paying more than 30% of their income in rent. A third of the State’s rental households are severely rent burdened, paying more than 50% of their income in rent.
And on June 15, 2019, the protections that regulate rents for 2.5 million New Yorkers -- regulations that have already been weakened by decades of corporate influence in Albany -- will disappear. Another 5.5 million New Yorkers, most of whom live in small buildings, or in Upstate New York, currently have no renters’ rights at all.
For landlords, this housing insecurity means one thing: profit. For tenants, it means having to choose between keeping a roof over one’s head and medical bills, transportation costs, or healthy food on the table. Learn more the faces of New York’s housing crisis.
Public policy has ignored renters for far too long. Renters make up more than half of our state, and the renters are rising.
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.