The Center’s Executive Director Christie Peale joined New York City Council Member Inez Dickens, Assembly Member Keith Wright, and Jacques Jiha, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Finance, on a recent episode of Represent NYC on Manhattan Neighborhood Network.

At the Center, we know homeownership is a journey, and the panel discussed the current challenges New Yorkers face to owning and maintaining a home, as well as the key role that 1-4 family homes play in the city’s larger affordable housing stock.

“A lot of people think of New York as a city of multifamily buildings with a lot of apartments but actually there are over 600,000 1-4 family owner-occupied properties throughout the city,” Peale said

Assembly Member Wright spoke on the importance of homeownership in New York City’s community, “I remember, when I was growing up, homeownership…created a real sense of neighborhood. Anytime you have an economic mix in a neighborhood, it makes for a stronger neighborhood economically and makes for a stronger neighborhood in terms of just it being a community”

The panel also tackled the City’s annual tax lien sale, and how partnerships with city agencies and elected officials are critical to getting homeowners off the list and on to affordable payment plans.

“Do not ignore the notices we send to you,” said Commissioner Jiha. “You only become part of the lien sale when you do not respond to the notices.”

Commissioner Jiha said the lien sales are a last resort. The Center works with the City to raise awareness about homes on the list through the Lien Sale Tracker, showing high concentrations of homes on the list with an interactive map.

Watch the full Represent NYC interview:

Represent NYC Episode 18: Real Estate Taxes with NYC Councilwoman Inez E. Dickens from Manhattan Neighborhood Network on Vimeo.