NYS Legislature Should Do More for Renters and Homeowners

May 28, 2020

Housing Package Does Not Meet the Economic Needs of New Yorkers

We appreciate that the New York State Legislature chose to focus on housing during this brief return to session; however, the package of legislation passed falls far short of meeting the many challenges faced by New York renters and homeowners.   

Government – at all levels – cannot continue to leave the pandemic’s housing crisis unaddressed. They must rise to the occasion with policies and resources that ensure safe and stable housing to all our residents during these challenging times. 

Millions of people across New York State are currently unable to pay rent or mortgages and need significant support from all levels of government to weather this unprecedented health and economic crisis. Tens of thousands remain homeless without reasonable options to social distance or take other basic precautions to protect their health. 

The Legislature has created a policy that will put the economic burden of this crisis squarely on the shoulders of those that can least afford to bear it. We are disappointed that more wasn’t done to properly address the level and scale of these needs.

Every day, we see new data reinforcing what we already know in our communities – that poor, Black, Brown, and immigrant New Yorkers are disproportionately suffering physically and economically due to this crisis. Government’s failure to put in place a robust housing relief package is a failure to protect our communities of color.

We recognize the challenge New York State elected officials face in trying to tackle the growing housing crisis with limited resources. But it pales in comparison to the parallel challenge millions of New Yorkers continue to face trying to tackle personal housing costs with little or no income.

As June 1st looms and yet another month’s rent is due, we cannot simply say to New Yorkers, “make do”. In this unprecedented moment, Government must step up.

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