In a recent New York Daily News editorial, NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio stated the following:
“Wherever I go, I meet folks who are doing everything right- working hard, making a decent salary and trying to build a better life. In the New York I moved to 40 years ago, that was enough to feel economically secure.
The city had a lot of problems back then, but finding an affordable place to live wasn’t one of them.
It would have been hard to imagine a city where more than half of our people spend more on rent than they can afford, where entire neighborhoods slip out of reach of working families, where even people we once considered solidly middle class ask themselves: Can we still afford to live here?
Well, let me be clear: It’s New York that can’t afford to lose people like you.
This has to be a place where seniors, veterans, working families and the middle class can all afford to live. Otherwise, it’s not New York anymore.” -NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio
Yesterday, thousands of New Yorkers rallied in front of New York’s City Hall in a show of solidarity for affordable housing.
Reportedly, the rally was organized by the Metro Industrial Area Foundation, and was mostly attended by congregants from New York City churches.
According to the New York Daily News, the foundation organized the rally in an attempt to persuade the mayor to back their plan for affordable housing, which “includes building 15,000 apartments for seniors on vacant NYCHA land.
The New York Daily News also states that Mayor De Blasio was invited to attend the rally by the foundation. However, he was instead marching in the Columbus Day parade.
The rally’s high turn-out, in spite heavy downpours, is indicative of the desperation and exasperation many New Yorkers feel concerning affordable housing.
The following poignant story is from a Brooklyn resident, Angela Graham. It was printed in the New York Daily News in the column “Voice of the People,” on Wednesday, August 17, 2016.
“I’ve been on the NYCHA Section 8 waiting list for eight years. On June 14, I finally received a voucher. I’ve been homeless since June 10, after we were all put out into the street by new owners who didn’t offer us one penny to move. There were so many violations our building was unlivable.
All landlords- and I mean all- don’t take Section 8 and don’t want it. Your own city makes you homeless. I believe they know nobody is taking it but they will not offer you public housing because they’re busy throwing people out there, too.
I saw that it’s a law that a landlord must not discriminate against people with government rent subsidies. My voucher is only for up to $1,425 rent, and guess what, people are only renting rooms at that price, and guess what, Section 8 isn’t paying for you to sleep in a room. So what am I to do?
This system was set up to fail. They’re running people out of their homes and have the nerve to demand you have income of 40 times the rent. Who the hell do they think we are Donald Trump? They price you out and use the famous words “Go down South.” What makes you think I have family down South?
It’s sad that NYCHA issues the vouchers knowing we will not find housing, so will lose the voucher and continue to live in the streets.”
In Crown Heights’ continuing battle to stop the influx of homeless shelters inundating their neighborhood, a group of residents have successfully received a temporary restraining order against the full opening of a shelter on 267 Rogers Avenue. The courageous opponents of the shelter’s opening are demanding that the new building be completely designated for affordable housing.
The 267 Rogers Avenue shelter reportedly has the capacity to house 132 families. The shelter allegedly moved 10 families into the facility before a judge ordered that there be no further move-ins until future rulings are made.
A Crown Heights block association president, and plaintiff in the case against the 267 Rogers Avenue shelter, is quoted in an article on DNA Info as stating, in reference to the homeless families: “We’re not looking to kick them out. We want them there permanently.”
The opponents to the shelter are not just asking that the City abandon its plan to open the shelter. They are farsightedly seeking permanent affordable housing for their community.
According to an April 5, 2017 DNA Info article, the 267 Rogers Avenue shelter, “will share space with affordable housing tenants who will use 20 percent of the new building’s apartments.” I find this baffling!! I’ve never heard of the City implementing such a plan. Who would pay rent to live in a homeless shelter?
The plaintiffs in the aforementioned lawsuit are hoping that the judge rules in their favor and mandates that the facility be used 100% for low-income/affordable housing.
The next hearing date regarding the shelter is on Monday, June 12, 2017 at 2 PM. Kings County Supreme Court, 360 Adams Street, Room 461.