Governor Andrew Cuomo included affordable housing in his State of the State speech on January 2, 2013. He proposes to build or preserve 14,000 affordable units to remedy the shortage of 356,000 units just in the downstate area alone. He supports the 44 developments that remain in the Mitchell-Lama program. He also praises the underfunded "Tenant Protection Unit" at (D)HCR, which agency has yet to promulgate serious regulations to implement the changes tenants won in June 2011.
Send him a letter thanking him for including housing, and asking for strong regulations to implement the changes tenants have won. (A sample letter is at the bottom of this article.)
SAMPLE LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR:
Dear Governor Cuomo:
Thank you for focusing on the crucial need for affordable housing in your State of the State address. Given that lack of affordable housing, I urge that you initiate additional tenant need protections this year:
- temporary (not permanent) MCI or Individual Apartment Improvement increases,
- an RGB accountable to NYC voters, and
- limiting rent increases in both preferential rent and rent controlled units to RGB annual guidelines.
Your report noted that NYC is short 365,000 affordable units. So in addition to the 14,000 affordable units you promise to build or conserve I hope you will institute something like the very successful Mitchell-Lama program to create those units.
Most importantly, we need to expand rent regulation to ensure more apartments are affordable, and stem the reduction in New York City's affordable housing stock by abolishing vacancy destabilization.