New York State faces an out-of-control housing and affordability crisis. Rents and the cost of food and basic necessities have risen dramatically in recent years, and wages and support from the state government have not kept pace. Meanwhile, millions of New Yorkers remain unjustly excluded from tenant protections and key safety net programs like health insurance and unemployment. The result: families are pushed out of their homes and neighborhoods, leading to rampant displacement and the highest homelessness levels in New York State since the Great Depression. Governor Kathy Hochul has no plan to address this crisis. We do.
New Yorkers are living the consequences of decades of inaction to ensure safe, affordable housing for all. For the past two years, the state’s response to the continued housing crisis and the arrival of new New Yorkers has been woefully inadequate. Time and time again, the Governor in particular has catered to the whims of real estate tycoons who see our homes as ATMs, trying to squeeze as much money out of us as possible – raising rents, refusing to make basic repairs, tearing neighborhoods apart, and turning communities into playgrounds for the wealthy. The Governor and legislative leaders can and must now stand up and deliver for tenants and working families.
No matter where you live, when you arrived here, or where you’re from, every New Yorker deserves an affordable, comfortable, and safe home. Homes are for rest, family, and community. It’s where we watch our kids take their first steps. It’s where our loved ones gather around the kitchen table to share meals and to celebrate. It’s where we unwind every day after a long, hard day of work.
We all deserve homes and neighborhoods where we have the freedom to stay and the freedom to thrive. New Yorkers must be able to stay in their homes and our communities. And we must be able to thrive, with good-paying jobs, great public schools, and a strong safety net available to all. This includes all of us–those who have lived here for decades, and the newest New Yorkers who have become our neighbors over the past two years. To achieve this, our state government must ensure that the wealthiest New Yorkers and corporations finally pay what they owe in taxes.
As the largest community-based, membership organization representing immigrants and working-class people of color in New York State, with 27,000 members, Make the Road New York (MRNY) is uniquely positioned to identify and address pressing community needs. Through our network of community centers in New York City, Long Island and Westchester, MRNY employs a multi-faceted approach to supporting immigrant, communities of color, and working-class New Yorkers, providing a full range of legal, educational and survival services.
Our 2024-25 state policy platform centers on smart solutions to address the persistent inequities across our state and improve the lives of immigrant, Black, and brown families across New York State. Governor Hochul and the legislature should enact the policies in this Freedom to Stay, Freedom to Thrive platform to help ensure that all New Yorkers are treated with the respect and dignity we deserve.