HOUSING EQUITY. NOW.
Far too many New Yorkers live with housing insecurity and utterly inhumane conditions in public housing.
Countless others pay rent to profiteering landlords, making Manhattan notorious for the lowest home ownership rate in the country (at 20%, compared to the US rate of 64%, and the NYC rate 33%).
Home ownership is among the most significant ways that adults build generational wealth, a key perpetuator of racial equity.
HERE ARE OUR IDEAS.
Resurrect and expand the HDFC program. The HDFC program, started by former Mayor Koch, has been a political football ever since and is steeped in bureaucratic bloat. Reformed and reconstituted back into a program aligned with its original purpose – to increase home ownership – HDFC could improve the quality of life and wealth of many New Yorkers.
Reform Zoning and ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Process): Developers and government decision-makers have not played by the rules — they bend, stretch and contort the law to maximize their profits. While local leaders have experienced some advocacy wins and some losses, most ULURP cases end up traveling through the courts, draining community energy and resources. Local leaders must advocate for policies that force developers to abide by the rules. As Manhattan Borough President, I will stand with the people and against real estate corruption.
Essential Worker Priority for Housing: Neighborhood teachers, firefighters, nurses, and others are some of our most valued government personnel, yet most cannot afford to live in Manhattan. To thrive, our neighborhoods need more local residents to work near their homes.
Reinvent NYCHA: Public housing needs a major reboot, and it isn’t selling off buildings to private companies or privately run organizations (cancel RAD). Residents and communities should take over these buildings, and where possible, options for equity should be offered. Also, poor ventilation, lead paint and water, broken elevators and more continue to affect NYCHA residents (Manhattan is home to 53,000 apartments with approximately 113,000 residents), so we need operational leadership which can execute a new plan to maintain these aging buildings.