A Demand for Safe and Healthy Public Housing

Our Concerns: 

  1. Buildings are deteriorating, providing uninhabitable living conditions for tenants that threaten both their safety and health.
  2. Climate change poses further threats. Many NYCHA developments, including those in LIC and Astoria, are located in the flood plain, yet few if any measures have been taken to shore up buildings.  
  3. Tenants have few if any alternative options for housing. For many, displacement from public housing means loss of community and homelessness. 
  4. NextGeneration NYCHA/NYCHA 2.0 threatens tenants further, taking away their community resources, giving control of units to predatory, private managing firms, and intensifying density in their communities.

Our Demands: 

  1. Halt NextGeneration NYCHA/NYCHA 2.0 completely – infill, PACT/RAD, and the selling of air rights.
  2. City, state and federal governments MUST revise their budgets and management of public money, and reprioritize NYCHA so that ALL of the $40 billion needed to repair and modernize units and buildings can be allocated now. 
  3. Additional funds should also be put aside to cover health costs and other damages tenants have incurred as a result of ongoing government neglect.

This isn’t only possible, this is necessary, and incumbent upon a all levels of government who have continuously neglected NYCHA residents and ignored their legal obligation to them as landlord.

Our Actionable Proposal:

  1. Impose a moratorium on all new development and major rezonings in Queens and across the city, and reallocate public money towards repairing and modernizing public housing. This includes the billions that would go towards building Sunnyside Yards and the BQX. 
  2. Revoke the decision to spend $10 billion on 4 new jails, and reallocate that money towards repairing and modernizing public housing, as has been proposed by No New Jails NYC.
  3. Support tenants in moving toward resident management so as to avoid neglect and mismanagement in the future.
  1. End state-level tax abatement programs, including 421-a and 485-a, which cost the state about $4 billion annually, and only benefit corporate landlords and wealthy developers. 
  2. Impose a pied-à-terre tax as sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman. This would institute a progressive surcharge on non-primary residences worth $5 million or more. Ranging from 0.5% to 4% on homes worth more than $25 million, State Budget Director Robert Mujica estimates the new tax would generate $9 billion in new revenue over the next decade.
  1. Support and pass Public Housing Emergency Response Act as proposed by Congresswoman Nydia Velaquez. This federal legislation would allocate $70 billion for public housing capital repairs and upgrades nationally, including the money NYCHA needs to make repairs now.
  2. Support and pass the Green New Deal for Public Housing, as proposed by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders. Their plan allocates up to $172 billion over the next 10 years to repair and retrofit public housing units to improve living conditions now and in the future. The GND for public housing also includes a repealing of the Faircloth amendment, which would all for new construction of public housing. This would better help meet the needs of those who are currently unhoused or inadequately housed.
  3. Crack down on tax loopholes that allow large corporations and wealthy actors to offshore income and avoid paying taxes. SEC filings show that Apple alone would need to contribute about $60 billion to the country’s coffers. Moreover, research by the Citizens for Tax Justice and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund shows that jointly, the top 500 largest US companies who hold more than $2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore, would contribute more than $620 billion.

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