In addition to the fight against crime, insecurity and the recovery of the city after the blows it received from the COVID pandemic, the House safe, affordable and stable, and the fight against homelessness, will be one of the main needs that Mayor Eric Adams it must be ready to solve, with efficiency, speed and diligence, for the well-being of New Yorkers. According the Homeless Coalition, in fiscal year 2020, a total of 122,926 homeless went through the public shelter system, including 39,300 minors.
To the almost 50,000 homeless currently living in public shelters, including more than 8,500 children, is seen on the horizon, as a worrisome “tsunami”, the situation that since January 15, when the moratorium on arrears expires in New York, could face hundreds of thousands of families who could not pay their rents due to the loss income and that they would be at risk of being evicted if the State does not take substantive measures. Of the 289,619 requests for assistance received by the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to pay rent owed by delinquent tenants, largely in the five boroughs, hardly any resources have been allocated. in less than 100,000. Furthermore, it is estimated that almost 400,000 additional families, a good part also in the city, they could not apply and are seeing the green and ripe ones.
The future of housing in the Big Apple It will depend in large part on what happens in Albany, say activists and defenders of tenants, such as Lucas Sanchez, deputy director of the organization Communities for Change, who, as an urgent first step, demand that permanent solutions to the crisis be approved and not mere cloths of warm water.
The activist warns that two of those initiatives that would give a break to those who are hanged with their rents and that would help to give greater benefits to tenants and not to large real estate companies, are the “Just cause eviction law”, by State Sen. Julia Salazar, which would prevent landlords from evicting tenants in most cases without a judge’s order, and end the program 421, a benefit that allows developers not to pay a large part of the property tax for the construction of multi-family rental homes. On this second point, the construction companies assure that it could negatively impact the creation of new homes.
But if the guidelines depend on the state government, what then can the new Mayor do to promote the protection of affordable housing ?: Use the power of your voice and your leadership, first and foremost.
“Mayor Eric Adams has a ton of housing challenges down the road, but one very important thing he can and should do is advocate for city and state tenants, following the City Council that passed a resolution. supporting the passage of the just cause eviction law in Albany. The mayor must, from now on, begin to demand that the Governor approve this project in the session that begins in January, ”said Sánchez. “In addition, we must end the 421 program that cuts real estate taxes, because it has only served to enrich them more and they have not built low-cost housing, as they should have done.
The expert on housing issues added that at the City level, Adams must also put a stop to redevelopment projects, because he said that these initiatives affect communities and increase the displacement of vulnerable families, favoring developers.
“From day one, Eric Adams must say no to rezoning, unless there really is affordable housing, because with De Blasio the low-cost housing that was approved in those projects was very few. You also need to use your voice to get the federal government to invest more funds in NYCHA. Adams should use the microphone that he has as mayor to advocate for those changes, “added the activist, who openly said he had zero hope that under the Adams Administration, developers will create affordable housing units, as needed.
“Just look at who financed Eric Adams’ campaign: the real estate industry. So any promise on your part regarding affordable housing for ordinary New Yorkers is worthless. In this matter, he will only respond to the people who financed him, ”said Sánchez. “It is going to be difficult, if not impossible, to have this mayor in terms of affordable housing construction. That will remain in words. We have zero confidence and if it happened, it would be a miracle, and it would only be a handful of units. “
Despite the signs, The Mayor has given his word that housing for the most needy it will be a priority in his mandate. And on his closeness to the developers, despite publicly admitting that he sees them as a positive force for the city and not as the “bogeyman” that critics point out, he assures that he will demand the construction of more affordable units.
“To deal with our housing crisis in New York, the City must quickly build new affordable housing while protecting existing apartments everywhere, with bold and aggressive measures that are even more necessary as we simultaneously fight a pandemic and an economic crisis, ”warns the newly inaugurated Mayor.
The president promises to build more affordable units, reuse city office buildings and hotels for low-cost housing, and about that particular one speaks of 25,000 units, provide housing and aid to the homeless and those struggling with high rents.
“New Yorkers in local shelters, especially those who lived in neighborhoods before and were displaced, will be prioritized for supportive housing,” Adams said. “In addition, we will accelerate the construction of supportive housing units, advancing five years from the schedule of the City’s Supportive Housing Initiative 15/15, which currently aims to create 15,000 supportive housing units in 15 years ”.
Other initiatives that Adams has mentioned to advance his approach to solving the housing crisis include empowering community development corporations and religious institutions by offering properties to build permanently affordable housing, taking advantage of vacant and underutilized municipal properties.
“The goal is that no New Yorker pays more than 30% of their income in rent. That is the most important thing, and whatever we do, it must be an effort with the community. We are going to sit down with community leaders and talk about the plans ”, he said in an interview with El Diario NY.
Adams has also said that he will focus on getting more resources to improve NYCHA’s public housing buildings, which for years continue to report maintenance problems and basic conditions.
In employment matter, the new Mayor assures that after the loss of some 500 thousand jobs In the aftermath of the COVID pandemic, in order to grow a fair economy, it will promote and support new emerging industries that create jobs.
On his to-do list is investing in green jobs, renewable energy production and transmission, building remodels and infrastructure improvements, just like the science industry and supporting startup companies with tax cuts.
“Working class New Yorkers are struggling through this financial crisis and need direct help now and a much stronger safety net for the future. We must also do a better job of finding work for New Yorkers, “said Adams, who in addition to ensuring that he will offer direct cash assistance to New Yorkers in need, insists that he will create “An unprecedented effort to place New Yorkers in new jobs.”