Community members from across New York City share what a right to a roof means to them and their neighbors.

“We elect public officials to actually seek the interest of those who elected them.”

The systems have failed us. Community members from across New York City are calling for a new plan for housing, and we need bold leaders who will work with us to fight for housing as a human right. The next administration’s housing plan must work for all of us. We all deserve a right to a roof.

Pastor Faith, a member of Make the Road NY, works at the Bethel Worship Center in Stapleton Heights, Staten Island. He and his fellow community members were the voices for those who could not be heard during the Bay Street Rezoning process. His experience shows why we need planning practices that center local knowledge within a true citywide framework.

Barbara, a member of Community Voices Heard, lives in public housing in Harlem, Manhattan. She walks us through the garden next to her building as she struggles to recount the horrible conditions her neighbors live in due to consistent disinvestment in public housing. She emphasizes the need for safe, healthy housing, especially public housing.

Felipe, a member of Make the Road NY, lives in Sunnyside, Queens. He lost his job, got very sick from COVID, and was continually harassed by his landlord until he lost the comfortable apartment he lived in. His story highlights why we need to end real estate speculation by supporting community ownership.

Milton, a member of VOCAL NY, grew up in the Bronx and now lives in shelter housing in Brownsville, Brooklyn. He talks about how New Yorkers need access to affordable and supportive housing through an integrated plan to end homelessness and explains how vouchers are a necessary means to get people out of shelters and into homes.

Magali, a member of Los Sures, lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She talks about how her community could afford only a quarter of the housing built in her neighborhood and how her rent never increased before when no one wanted to move to her neighborhood. Magali’s story is an example of why the City needs to prioritize need over numbers.