Affordable homeownership in NYC neighborhoods has been sitting on a razor’s edge, leaving advocates and community allies to grapple with powerful interests in order to ensure stability each year. And every year, lawmakers across New York State vow to make things more affordable, stable, sustainable and equitable. But, do votes get cast to get to those goals?
To answer that question, the Center for NYC Neighborhoods has created a new tool to track legislative activity that instills accountability for New Yorkers into the dynamic: The Affordable Neighborhoods Legislative Scorecard.
In creating the Legislative Scorecard, the Center’s goal is to provide a clear and balanced view of affordable homeownership and equity in NYC’s housing landscape, and to showcase how the City’s needs are being addressed. At the topline, this Legislative Scorecard captures how lawmakers vote on bills related to homeownership, tenants’ rights, and housing protections and reports those votes out to the public.
Given our mission of promoting and protecting affordable homeownership for middle and working class families in New York City, we want to highlight council members’ efforts toward introducing bills that bolster homeownership in the City, protect tenants, and stabilize the City’s housing market.
What’s the Impact?
This new legislative scorecard will provide a clear and balanced view of affordable homeownership and equity in the housing landscape while showcasing how elected officials are working to address NYC residents’ needs.
Generally speaking, we support bills that uphold our vision for Equitable Homeownership: A Blueprint for Thriving Neighborhoods. This includes five guiding principles:
- Community Equity and Justice – equitable access to homeownership regardless of a person’s race and ethnicity; providing homeowners and their tenants with the ability to live in neighborhoods free of blight, displacement, discrimination, and harassment from real estate speculators
- Strong, Healthy Homes – providing NYC homeowners and their tenants with the ability to live in safe, healthy homes, where physical conditions set occupants up for the best possible health outcomes
- Financial Strength – ensuring that NYC families and residents can afford to live in their homes, and have access to safe, fair, and affordable financing to meet their needs toward homeownership and housing; directing NYC families and residents towards help if they are at risk of falling behind on payments; making certain that low- and moderate-income New Yorkers have viable pathways to homeownership
- Aging in Community – providing NYC’s senior homeowners with the resources they need to avoid scams, stay in their homes, and plan for their futures
- Climate Justice – preparing NYC homes, and the people who live in them, for climate change by reducing CO₂ emissions and by making their homes greener and more energy-efficient
How Does it Work?
Council members will be graded across two fronts, on a pass/fail basis:
- Either supporting or withholding support of legislation that advances at least 3 of the principles mentioned above
- Either supporting or withholding support of legislation that advances 4 or more of the principles mentioned above
Lawmakers can earn extra points for introducing or co-sponsoring legislation that we support, and can have points deducted from their final scores for introducing or co-sponsoring legislation that we do not support.
Note: Our scorecard doesn’t reflect the full profile of a lawmaker in a given year, nor display the nuance of each aspect considered by lawmakers when they cast a vote.