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Know Your Rights
Category: Housing Justice

VICTORY! NYC Council removes barriers to housing

  • Jose Lopez Co-Executive Director

Yesterday the New York City Council took a major step to address the affordable housing and homelessness crisis.

The crisis is enormous. There is a record number of people living in the city’s shelter system with average shelter stays of up to 773 days. Red tape and unnecessary eligibility requirements have made it difficult to access the city’s rental assistance program. The result: more people are stuck sleeping in shelters and on the streets.

We won a major victory yesterday when the NYC Council passed four pieces of legislation that will make it easier for New Yorkers to get out of shelters and into permanent housing. Learn more here!

These bills will:

  • Remove a rule that requires people to wait 90 days in a shelter before they can apply for a housing voucher.
  • Eliminate the work requirement AND lower the income threshold for eligibility
  • Stop utilities from being deducted from a voucher’s value.
  • Allow people on the verge of eviction to apply for a voucher to help them stay in their apartment.

Mayor Adams has stood in the way of any progress on this issue. He must swiftly sign these bills so that more New Yorkers can access safe, affordable, permanent housing as quickly as possible.

We thank Speaker Adams and lead bill sponsors Councilmembers Sanchez, Caban, and Ayala, and our allies Community Service Society of New York, VOCAL-NY, Legal Aid Society, and Neighbors Together for their leadership in advancing this legislation.

Our members were there to witness this victory and will continue to fight for protections that expand affordable housing and keep tenants in their homes. We are thrilled by this victory, and what it can mean for families across New York City. Thanks for your partnership which makes victories like this possible.

¡Sí se pudo!