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Major Endorsements For Affordable Housing

It has been almost two years since the House Our Future NY (HOFNY) campaign launched. A campaign led by advocates, service providers, elected officials and people with the lived experience of homelessness asking Mayor De Blasio to increase the number of truly affordable housing units purposefully built to move people out of shelters. Currently, the administration has benchmarked 5% of the Housing New York 2.0 plan be set aside for people experiencing homelessness, which is only 15,000 units, most of which will be preservation units. HOFNY is asking that the woefully inadequate number be raised to 10% of the total plan, or 30,000 units, with a heavy emphasis on new construction units (24,000 total). In the two years we have held marches, town halls, overnight vigils, press conferences, advocacy days and numerous conversations with elected officials to garner support for a policy that would make a significant impact in reducing the number of people experiencing homelessness in NYC.

To build on these efforts, one year ago, Bronx Councilmember Rafael Salamanca proposed a bill, Intro 1211, that would mandate all development projects that receive city subsidies to set aside 15% of their units for our homeless neighbors. In January of this year, Councilmember Salamanca received support from 34 councilmembers giving the bill a veto proof majority. And last week, at a press conference at City Hall, Speaker Corey Johnson endorsed the bill, along with Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. All resounding endorsements for legislation that would put us well on the path towards constructing 24,000 new affordable housing units for homeless New Yorkers. The administration has pushed back against this legislation, but Salamanca has proven that it works. In his district he has been able to get developers to set aside 121 units of affordable housing in eight projects. A number that puts us well on the path to achieving the HONFY goal. As Comptroller Stringer said, “the only way to solve this crisis is for the administration to finally recognize that you cannot manage the homelessness crisis, you’ve gotta fix the homelessness crisis.” We know that bad policies created homelessness, thus better policies can end it. As advocates, we must push elected officials to believe that with the right policies, directed at the right interventions, we can end homelessness. De Blasio has often said that he is “comfortable” with his current affordable housing plan. “Comfortable” with over 60,000 individuals living in shelters and thousands more living on the streets and doubled up. Instead what he should be “comfortable” with is taking a decisive approach to realizing that truly affordable housing is a key component to ending homelessness. As a City we must commit to increasing the standard of living for the thousands of homeless adults and children living in our shelters and on our streets.

To build on these efforts, one year ago, Bronx Councilmember Rafael Salamanca proposed a bill, Intro 1211, that would mandate all development projects that receive city subsidies to set aside 15% of their units for our homeless neighbors. In January of this year, Councilmember Salamanca received support from 34 councilmembers giving the bill a veto proof majority. And last week, at a press conference at City Hall, Speaker Corey Johnson endorsed the bill, along with Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. All resounding endorsements for legislation that would put us well on the path towards constructing 24,000 new affordable housing units for homeless New Yorkers. The administration has pushed back against this legislation, but Salamanca has proven that it works. In his district he has been able to get developers to set aside 121 units of affordable housing in eight projects. A number that puts us well on the path to achieving the HONFY goal.

As Comptroller Stringer said, “the only way to solve this crisis is for the administration to finally recognize that you cannot manage the homelessness crisis, you’ve gotta fix the homelessness crisis.” We know that bad policies created homelessness, thus better policies can end it. As advocates, we must push elected officials to believe that with the right policies, directed at the right interventions, we can end homelessness. De Blasio has often said that he is “comfortable” with his current affordable housing plan. “Comfortable” with over 60,000 individuals living in shelters and thousands more living on the streets and doubled up. Instead what he should be “comfortable” with is taking a decisive approach to realizing that truly affordable housing is a key component to ending homelessness. As a City we must commit to increasing the standard of living for the thousands of homeless adults and children living in our shelters and on our streets.

If you want to ask the Mayor to support this campaign, you can send him a letter at, City Hall, New York, NY 10007. You can click the following links to submit a letter online or to join the House Our Future Campaign, where you can sign up for up to date information as we continue our fight end homelessness!

Submit a Letter to the Mayor

House Our Future NY Campaign

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