We live in the greatest city in the country and it is only natural that people are relocating here to take advantage of our booming economy and high quality of life. While growth provides new opportunities and diversity, it must be tempered with tough decision-making when it comes to development. New Yorkers are tired of city policies that offer sweetheart deals to luxury developers while giving local residents the run-around. New construction in our district should reflect the rhythm and character of our neighborhoods, and must include permanent affordable housing units for seniors, students, working families, and people with disabilities. Since 2000, and according to a report by NYC Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, New York City has lost over 400,000 apartments renting for $1,000 a month or less. Imagine a city where nurses and teachers can afford to live in the communities in which they work.
MARTI'S PLAN for affordable housing
- Identify vacant city-owned lots and revise the city’s land bank legislation to help transform underutilized land into affordable housing. Specifically, create a citywide Community Land Trust that will ensure a community-backed model for converting vacant lots into permanently affordable, multi-family, rent-stabilized buildings and low-income cooperative housing.
- Analyze all existing federal, state, and local tax incentives and abatements intended to induce the creation of affordable housing. Identify where there are gaps or additional funds needed to ensure that more affordable units are built for the individuals and families that need it the most.
- Expand community education and outreach to seniors who qualify to receive The Senior Citizen and/or Disability Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE/DRIE) benefits.
- Protect communities from unsafe and illegal hotels by holding home sharing services accountable and working with the Office of Special Enforcement to crack down on users advertising illegal short-term rentals.
- Analyze the existing availability and cost of services and facilities for seniors and improve access and affordability to create better opportunities for the elderly to age in place.
- Work with local lenders and banks to create a “first-look” program in which lenders offer properties that are at-risk of going into foreclosure or losing their affordability restrictions to good housing developers before they market the buildings more broadly.
- Stand against predatory equity by passing new legislation that publishes physical letter grades on rent-stabilized apartments. Much like restaurant grades, this legislation will evaluate landlords and their building management based on criteria including the number of outstanding housing code building violations, current tenant-landlord legal disputes, and debt service ratios. The grading system will help current and prospective tenants identify the quality of the current landlord, the likelihood that the building will fall into disrepair, the history of tenant harassment, and the risk of foreclosure based on debt levels. It will also help dissuade bad landlords from continuing poor and illegal behavior and identify for the City where proactive intervention is most needed.
- Repeal the Urstadt Law to give New York full control over its rent regulation.
- End vacancy destabilization to bring apartments back permanently under rent regulation and end the practice of selling tenant screening reports to landlords to evaluate prospective new tenants
STUY TOWN + PETER COOPER VILLAGE
- Ensure that Blackstone continues to honor their commitments to preserve 5K affordable units for 20 years, set limits on yearly increases for Roberts tenants, maintain current configuration of open space and submit to public review any proposed air rights transfers.
- Require advance notification for major capital improvements, so residents are aware of the costs and timing of projects.
- Reduce the amount of beds at the 30th Street Men's Shelter to manageable levels and ensure that no sex-offenders are allowed into our neighborhood shelters.
- Prevent homelessness before it starts by investing in affordable housing and moving long-term street homeless individuals directly into subsidized, supportive housing that provides mental health services, debt counseling, legal and job support services.
- Learn from and invest in proven models that provide targeted supportive housing services for homeless individuals and families such as the Scattered Site Housing Model.
DEVELOPMENT + LANDMARKS
- Preserve historically significant housing by increasing the use of landmarking to ensure permanent affordability.
- Notify Community Boards when developers assemble air rights to add transparency to the process.
- Ensure community feedback in implementation of mandatory inclusionary housing plan.
- Monitor existing modular (prefabricated construction) development in New York City and other municipalities and identify ways to improve and scale unionized building projects around the City.
- Create paid resident-run “neighborhood watch” patrols to create local jobs, ensure community safety, and reduce building vandalism.