Blog

Recently, the New York City Board of Health passed a resolution directing the Health Department to work with other City agencies to eliminate systemic racism in policies relating to housing, economic opportunities, and other social determinants of health – key drivers of health inequities. “The Covid-19 pandemic must render unacceptable that which has been condoned for generations,” emphasized Health Commissioner Dave A. Chokshi. 

Last Saturday, the local community land trust (CLT) movement joined together for a three-borough day of action, with one united message: New York City must keep Public Land in Public Hands. At community actions in the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn, groups pointed to vacant and underused City-owned land in their neighborhoods, and called on the City to transfer these sites to CLTs for permanently-affordable housing and community-controlled development.

New York City is doubling down on a bold strategy to advance community ownership of land and housing in NYC’s Black, brown and immigrant communities. This year, the City Council awarded $1.5 million to support community land trust (CLT) organizing across the five boroughs—its largest allocation since launching the Citywide CLT Initiative in 2019.

Today, an obscure public body, the NYC Banking Commission, will decide the fate of billions of public dollars when it meets to select which banks may hold the city’s cash for the next two years. The big question before the Commission is whether the city should resume banking with Wells Fargo after cutting ties with the scandal-ridden bank in 2017.

Community land trusts (CLTs) are on the rise across New York State, working to give communities control over land and housing. New Economy Project recently organized a virtual learning exchange for NYC Community Land Initiative members and two of our upstate CLT neighbors: City Roots CLT, in Rochester, and the Fruit Belt CLT, in Buffalo.

The pandemic has placed the MTA at the center of the news, but its violations of New Yorkers’ civil rights have gone on for years. Through our NYC Financial Justice Hotline, New Economy Project has helped dozens of New Yorkers presenting the same disturbing facts: Without any notice, MTA took their tax refunds to pay old, alleged tickets they didn’t recognize.

From coast to coast, a growing number of community land trusts (CLTs) are creating deeply-affordable housing, preventing displacement, and advancing self-determination in Black and brown communities. As the COVID-19 crisis exacerbates racial and economic inequality, and leaves millions at risk of eviction and homelessness, this work is more urgent than ever.