Housing Justice

Policy Statement

Housing is a human right. Everyone should be able to live in a stable home that they can afford paying no more than 30% of their income on rent or mortgage payment. Homelessness has increased and not decreased in New York and nationally. We commit ourselves to pass laws and garnering funds to build new affordable housing while offering supports to people to live in existing housing. We recognize that addressing the housing crisis requires a multi-prong approach or both adding and retaining housing stock for all income levels but especially people making less than 30% of Area Median Income.

Local Legislation

New York City—Intro 146. which raised the value of CityFHEPS Rent Supplement Vouchers, passed the city council with a veto proof majority. This voucher will enable many more people in the New York City shelter system to move into permanent housing. By some estimates, raise the voucher value will increase the number of eligible dwellings in the City from 550 to over 77,000. The program will formally go into effect in March of 2022 but there was a move to start making the vouchers available as soon as September 1 to immediately reduce the shelter population. While the voucher is a big help, there is still the need to address the issue of the fiscal cliff where by voucher holders could find if they made a little more income, they would lose their voucher, making their home cost prohibitive because they would be forced to be pay market rent which would only cause them to lose their housing once again. The solution is the allow vouchers to hold on to the voucher until their income is sufficient to afford a market rate dwelling. City departments may try to fix this problem through a rule change that would not require a city council vote but if the rule change does not come soon, the Council will need to act no later than December 1, 2021.

If you wish to advocate for the smooth implementation of the City PHEPS program and to get rid of the fiscal cliff to improve the voucher, please go to https://www.iahcny.org/public-policy-posts/intro-146 for more information.



Albany---Good Cause Eviction. On July 21, 2021 Albany became the first municipality in New York to pass “good cause” eviction protections which would limit landlords to ten reasons for eviction and not permitting rents to be raised more than 5 percent. Other laws passed would require landlords to fix up their property or the city will fix the property for them and send them the bill. For an overview of this program, read this article in New York State Focus.

https://www.nysfocus.com/2021/07/21/albany-passes-good-cause-eviction/

Here is the legal description of Good Cause Eviction

https://www.albanyny.gov/DocumentCenter/View/5854/Local-Law-F-of-2021-Balarin-AA-070821-FINAL-Local-Law-amending-par_?bidId=

https://www.timesunion.com/opinion/article/Editorial-A-fair-plan-on-housing-16158207.php

Hudson: The Hudson City Council passed Good Cause Eviction.

https://citizenactionny.org/2021/09/22/city-of-hudson-becomes-second-locality-to-end-unjust-evictions-with-good-cause-legislation/

We anticipate more cities in New York following the lead of Albany and Hudson in passing Good Cause Eviction and now there is a campaign to pass Good Cause at the state level.

Selkirk Reserve - FAQ, Fall 2021

Selkirk Reserve - How You Can Help

State Legislation

Campaign 4NY/NY in 2015, with a drastic Statewide shortage of housing with support services, the Interfaith Assembly and New York State Council of Churches helped to gain a commitment from Mayor de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo to create 35,000 units of supportive housing statewide over a 15 year period - 20,000 from New York State, and 15,000 from New York City, After securing the first $1 Billion from New York State for its first 6,000 units over 5 years, and $250 million for year 6 (limited due to Covid), the campaign will press the Governor to make another 5 year $1 billion, 6,000 unit commitment in 2022.

Go to the campaign website: WWW.NYNYCampaign.org. Please contact Marc Greenberg (marc@iahh.org or 917-913-0098. Peter Cook (Pcook@Nyscoc.org or 508-380-8289 about joining Campaign 4 NY/NY housing We also urge you to make a request of Supportive Housing Network of New York info@shnny.org to join the coalition.


StatePheps ceiling was raised to comport with rise in the ceiling of the CityPheps Vouchers. Approved by the legislature and sent to Governor’s desk for signature.

NY State Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

As part of the December 2020 Coronavirus relief package and the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Congress provided more than $46 billion dollars in rental assistance to states with roughly $2.3 billion dollars given to New York. New York State is administering these funds to New Yorkers through the NY State Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) opened on June 1, 2021

You can apply for the state’s rental assistance program here. If you need help applying, you can call the ERAP Hotline at 1-844-NY1-RENT (1-844-691-7368). Community Based Organizations are also available to assist with your application, for a list of participating organizations here.

For a number of months the aid was slow in getting distributed to those in need. Governor Hochul, upon her inauguration, moved quickly to improve the distribution of these funds.

November 14: Gov. Kathy Hochul said Friday that the state had applied for a $996 million re-allotment from the Treasury Department and that officials will shut down the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) application portal Sunday. See this article in City Limits for more information.

https://citylimits.org/2021/11/12/new-yorks-covid-rent-relief-fund-is-almost-out-of-money/https://citylimits.org/2021/11/12/new-yorks-covid-rent-relief-fund-is-almost-out-of-money/


Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act (HONDA) was passed by the Senate and Assembly and signed into law by former Governor Cuomo providing 100 million dollars to convert hotels into affordable housing. For more information about HONDA go to

https://citizenactionny.org/2021/06/10/ny-passes-honda-bill-to-turn-unused-hotels-into-permanent-housing-for-at-risk-new-yorkers/

State FHEPS Senator Kavanaugh and Assemblymember Rosenthal authored an editorial

Assembly Housing Hearing was held on Wednesday October 27. It offers an excellent overview of the major issues and policy challenges when it comes to building and preservation of affordable house in New York State by clicking here.

Policy Platform

See these remarks from Ted Houghton from Gateway Housing about policies for the Governor when it comes to addressing housing and homelessness. https://www.amny.com/oped/op-ed-how-the-new-governor-can-help-the-new-mayor-on-homelessness/


Federal Legislation

The New York Housing Conference commissioned a study on the far reaching social and economic impact of significantly expanding section 8 vouchers. Here is a copy of the report and a recording of the presentation https://thenyhc.org/2021/09/24/rln-summer-series-universal-rental-assistance-economic-impact-on-ny/

Our federal elected officials are now engaged in negotiations regarding President Biden's "Build Back Better" proposal which could have a fundamental and transformative impact on our country's capacity to create millions of new jobs, and help hundreds of thousands of Americans in need of affordable housing. Below is an email from our partners with the New York Housing Conference asking for immediate action to help to protect the affordable housing portions of the Build Back Better proposal. The study from the New York Housing Conference will aid you in making a case to congress.

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We are at a critical moment in negotiations on infrastructure and social investment in Washington. The $330 Billion in affordable housing funding in the Build Back Better reconciliation bill is at risk. Senators Manchin and Sinema are calling for a smaller package than the current $3.5 trillion. If they succeed in shrinking it, there will need to be major cuts and according to some news coverage, some or all of the housing funding could be on the chopping block. We need you to weigh in now with leaders in Washington – directly and on social media (draft tweets below) – to tell them to keep the $330 billion in housing funding.

Below is a draft email to Sen. Schumer for you to send today. You can send the email to his housing staff: Zack Rosenblum, zack_rosenblum@schumer.senate.gov and Ryan Eagan, ryan_eagan@schumer.senate.gov

After you send your email, please let Shakti Robbins-Cubas know that you have reached out so we can get a sense of how much activity there is.

Draft E-mail to Senator Schumer- please send this today!

Dear Senator Schumer,

My name is (insert name, position, organization and mission). As an affordable housing (insert role, ie. advocate, developer),I am stressing the urgent need to maintain the full $330B investment in affordable housing as you continue negotiations for the Build Back Better Plan. New Yorkers across the state have been struggling to meet rising housing costs as wages remained stagnant, an issue that was only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In New York, 70% of extremely low-income renters pay more than half of their income on housing and half of all renters are cost burdened.

With this historic investment we can significantly close the 609,000 unit gap of affordable housing for the neediest renters. We can finally address NYCHA’s capital needs and fulfill our promise to the more than 400,000 residents who live in inhumane and deplorable conditions. The proposed $90B for rental assistance, including $75B for housing choice vouchers would fund almost 70,000 vouchers for New York, assisting 151,000 people. This would be a major down payment on President Biden’s campaign promise to create a real housing safety net and provide rental assistance to all eligible households.

Investment in affordable housing is investment in communities. It reduces poverty and homelessness, stimulates local economies, creates jobs and positively impacts the health and educational outcomes. We cannot afford to miss this once in a generation opportunity to completely transform the housing landscape for hundreds of thousands of families across the country.

For more information about this effort you can reach out to Rachel Fee, Executive Director, New York Housing Conference, rachel.fee@thenyhc.org, 917.596.7665 or contact Peter Cook at Pcook@NYSCOC.org or 508.380.8289.


Emergency Rent Assistance Program. 2.3 billion in rent relief was included in the American Rescue Plan for the state of New York. States are responsible for distributing the money. You can apply for the state’s rental assistance program here. If you need help applying, you can call the ERAP Hotline at 1-844-NY1-RENT (1-844-691-7368). Community Based Organizations are also available to assist with your application, for a list of participating organizations here.