Executive Summary

As New York City begins to envision its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the movement for racial justice captures our national attention, the need for safe, healthy, and affordable housing for all New Yorkers has never been more dire. Yet over the last seven years, Mayor de Blasio’s siloed approach to housing planning, with separate and unequal treatment of private housing, public housing, and homelessness, has failed to reduce racial and economic disparities and serve the needs of the lowest-income New Yorkers. This year, we will elect new local leadership. The challenges of this moment require bold leaders who will shake up the systems that have failed us and implement creative programs and priorities that acknowledge housing as a human right. This document provides guidance on how the next administration can ensure the right to a roof for all by rejecting austerity, ending homelessness, promoting racial equity, and prioritizing housing opportunities for those who need them most.

Priority 1

Create an Integrated Housing Plan to End Homelessness and Promote Racial Equity The next administration must create and implement an Integrated Housing Plan that brings together all the agencies involved in housing, building, and planning to create one coordinated strategy focused on ending homelessness and promoting racial equity. In order to accomplish this, they must create a new position of Deputy Mayor for Homelessness, Housing and Planning, and shift responsibility for oversight of and coordination between all relevant agencies, as well as creation of the plan, to this new Deputy Mayor.

Priority 2

Prioritize Need Over Numbers The Integrated Housing Plan must focus on providing permanent, deeply affordable housing for those who need it most and preserving public housing without privatization. 

Priority 3

Improve Access to Affordable and Supportive Housing The north star of the Integrated Housing Plan must be ending homelessness. It must prioritize an interagency approach that streamlines the process for finding and securing affordable and supportive housing options, as well as promoting fair housing. 

Priority 4

End Real Estate Speculation by Supporting Community Ownership The Integrated Housing Plan must stabilize neighborhoods by creating and preserving 100% permanent, affordable housing that is community built and community owned, and working to keep existing residents in their homes.

Priority 5

Ensure All New Yorkers Have Safe and Healthy Housing The Integrated Housing Plan must ensure that no one is permanently displaced due to poor housing conditions or harassment, secure our communities by ensuring the long-term viability of the city’s affordable housing stock, and guarantee that every New Yorker has a safe, healthy, and stable home.

Priority 6

Support Planning that Centers Local Knowledge Within a True Citywide Framework Planning must be a key part of the Integrated Housing Plan to ensure that residents’ voices are meaningfully incorporated, and to create an equitable approach that centers fair housing and neighborhood priorities so that no single community can stand in the way of critical citywide needs, such as affordable housing development and homeless housing.

Addendum: Priorities

New York State

  • Pass the Invest in Our New York Act. Tax high incomes, wealth, big business and the financial sector to fund critical housing needs.
  • Fully Fund NYCHA. The State’s commitment should match the City’s commitment of $2 billion per year.

  • Pass the Emergency Housing Stability and Displacement Prevention Act to create a universal eviction moratorium.
  • Pass the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act of 2020 to clear rent debt accumulated during the COVID-19 housing crisis, while providing mortgage support and financial aid to landlords who truly need it.

  • Pass Good Cause Eviction protections to ensure tenants in unregulated units can stay in their homes.

  • Eliminate Major Capital improvements (MCIs), which pass the cost of repairs to tenants, for all housing that is not subject to a regulatory agreement. 

  • Pass the Housing Access Voucher Program (HAVP), a rent subsidy program for homeless New Yorkers and those at risk of becoming homeless. 

  • End the 421-A tax abatement and invest instead in funding real affordable housing creation.

  • Fully fund 14,000 supportive housing units yet to be funded from Governor Cuomo’s 2016 commitment of 20,000 units statewide, along with annual allocations of service and operating funds needed to support this housing and it’s completion by 2026.

  • Further increase transparency of Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs) to make enforcement against bad landlords easier.

  • Legalize Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). Both the City and State can support an updated regulatory framework for these units.

  • Provide rental assistance to the undocumented. Expand the program that provided one-time rent relief to undocumented New Yorkers in response to COVID-19. 

  • Expand Cease-and-Desist Zones to prevent excessive speculation.

  • Create a Good Neighbor Tax Credit to encourage owners of small buildings that have tenants to keep their rents low.


Thank you to the following coalition members who contributed to this report:

ANHD: Barika Williams, Emily Goldstein

Center for New York City Neighborhoods: Christie Peale, Leo Goldberg, Julian Clayton

Community Service Society: Samuel Stein, Victor Bach

Make the Road New York: Jose Lopez, Javier Valdes, Jennie Stephens-Romero, Daniel Altschuler

Community Voices Heard: Afua Atta-Mensah, Juanita Lewis

MHANY Management: Ismene Speliotis, Celeste Hornbach, Arunabha Chakravarty

New York Communities for Change: Jonathan Westin, Cynthia Norris

RiseBoro Community Partnership: Scott Short, Emily Kurtz

VOCAL-NY: Paulette Soltani

Project Consultant/Report Writing: Lacey Tauber

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