We recently hosted our second annual NYC Homeownership Week, an opportunity to talk about expanding homeownership opportunities, particularly BIPOC homeownership, with elected officials, policy makers, and non-profit stakeholders from around the city. Led by the Coalition for Affordable Homes, champions of affordable homeownership in New York State, the conversation was led by our Executive Director and CEO, Christie Peale, and NYC Comptroller Brad Lander. Lander kicked off the session with a keynote calling for an “ambitious agenda” to meet our collective goal to address the lack of affordable homeownership opportunities in the City.

Lander focused on existing policies that preserve and protect homeownership and initiatives that expand homeownership to a much wider range of families. The Comptroller suggested initiatives like property tax reform, replacing NYC’s tax lien sale with a community land trust model, making basement apartments and ADUs safer while protecting owners and tenants, creating a targeted set of homeowner relief programs, and holding financial institutions accountable for a history of denying BIPOC borrowers access to credit and lending that can unlock the possibility of homeownership.

Lander also advocated for thinking outside the box as well as utilizing existing tools when it comes to expanding affordable homeownership opportunities. The Comptroller also mentioned that the City needs to maintain efforts to support BIPOC homeowners while creating new multifamily development and conversions that foster more BIPOC homeownership opportunities, like the creation of an NYC land bank for a “new shared equity homeownership program.

Lander said we want strategies that “deliver a city that continues to grow in a genuinely exclusive way, that has room for the Black and Brown families that have made NYC what it is to continue to thrive.”