Today, the Center for NYC Neighborhoods provided testimony before the New York City Council Committees on Housing and Buildings, Community Development, and Land Use regarding “Housing New York,” Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan.
At the Center, we are pleased to see the de Blasio administration’s commitment to affordable homeownership included in “Housing New York.” The plan recognizes the need to support New York’s working and middle class homeowners and lays out strategies and programs that set out to preserve this critical affordable housing stock. The Center has identified several strategies that are in line with the vision we and our network of community-based non-profits share for the future of housing in the City:
1. Support for foreclosure prevention activities
We commend the New York City Council and the de Blasio administration for the continued support of foreclosure prevention counseling and legal services at the neighborhood level.
2. Combat predatory practices targeted at homeowners and homebuyers
Predatory practices targeted at homeowners and homebuyers require a concerted approach from the City and we strongly support the housing plan’s call to support those efforts to protect New York City homeowners and adopt a strategic approach to preservation.
3. Foster resiliency and lower flood insurance premiums in our coastal communities
We applaud the plan’s commitment to fostering resiliency and to keep flood insurance premiums affordable. We encourage the Administration to formalize the resiliency work that we and our partners began in response to Hurricane Sandy and the looming flood insurance crisis.
4. Explore cost effective approaches to address conditions in informal dwelling units
We support the conversion of informal dwelling units into legal dwelling units when it is safe for tenants to do so. We are pleased to see the housing plan’s commitment to developing methods for bringing these units into the regulated housing system.
5. Increase affordable homeownership opportunities
Since the national mortgage crisis, it has become very difficult for prospective homeowners to obtain a mortgage. The affordable homeownership programs laid out in the plan are essential to providing vital asset-building opportunities for low- and moderate-income households in NYC, and we commend the de Blasio administration for including these programs in the housing plan and encourage them to explore new programs that can help to continue the important work of preserving opportunities for affordable homeownership in New York.
Read the full testimony at cnycn.org/publications.