There has never been a more critical time to preserve our City’s affordable housing stock. That’s why we’ve taken steps to protect tenants’ rights, health, and safety, with a particular focus on seniors and public housing.
“We commend the City Council for creating the Affordable Housing Taskforce to prioritize preservation of already existing affordable housing.”
Katie Goldstein, Tenants and Neighbors
We created the Affordable Housing Preservation Task Force to take advantage of the invaluable understanding Council Members have of their districts, and efficiently link that understanding with the knowledge of community-based organizations and the preservation programs of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). The Task Force works to preserve affordability by creating new policies and implementing localized strategies in Council districts.
In the second year of our term, we enacted laws to protect tenants from unscrupulous landlords, including bills to protect rent-stabilized tenants from overly aggressive buyout offers. Under this legislation, it is unlawful for owners making buyout offers to provide false information to tenants or to contact tenants at odd hours. The legislation also requires that owners inform tenants of their rights in connection with buyout offers, including their right to stay in the apartment, seek an attorney’s advice, and not be offered any new buyout offers within 180 days.
Throughout the first half of our term, we have passed legislation to protect our most vulnerable populations, including seniors and other tenants with mobility issues. The bills we passed require landlords to provide occupants with 72-hours-notice prior to performing work that interrupts elevator service and require the Department of Buildings to refer immediately hazardous elevator-related violations to HPD for action under the emergency repair program.
In the first year of our term, we updated the City’s energy code to stricter standards that could yield energy savings of more than 18% to buildings across the City.
Although crime in the City has reached historic lows, violence in public housing remains unchanged. This Council, under the Speaker’s leadership, is committed to keeping The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents safe. That’s why, in the first two years of our term, we allocated $68.8 million in capital funds to NYCHA for security enhancements and infrastructure upgrades that include closed circuit television cameras, exterior lighting, door replacements, and renovation and reconstruction of common areas.
NYCHA senior centers provide critical services, including recreational, social, educational, and cultural programming for thousands of housing residents, but funding shortfalls have threatened them several times. In the first year of our term, we provided $17.1 million to fund the ongoing operation of 24 community centers and 33 senior centers under NYCHA management, and we continued this commitment last year with $3 million to fund the ongoing operation of 15 more senior centers.
This Council, under the Speaker’s leadership, is committed to ensuring that the voices of the more than 400,000 New Yorkers who live in public housing are heard in City Hall. Over the first two years of our term, we held four Council hearings in public housing developments to amplify the voices of NYCHA residents—something that had never been done in the history of the Council. We continue to place NYCHA residents front and center in Council-driven community planning and engagement efforts.