Commodifying Our Communities: The Case for Abolishing NYC’s Tax Lien Sale and Prioritizing CLTs in a New Tax Collection and Property Disposition System

This memo provides a brief introduction to CLTs and proposes alternatives to the lien sale that prioritize CLTs, in partnership with mission-driven, nonprofit developers, as both resources for vulnerable homeowners and recipients of foreclosed properties. The tax lien sale is a missed opportunity to preserve land and housing for permanent public benefit at a time when it is most sorely needed. In the wake of COVID-19, the city must invest in proven community-led institutions, like CLTs, to stem evictions, foreclosures, and speculation, and to promote an equitable recovery in Black and brown neighborhoods hardest-hit by the pandemic. Abolishing the tax lien sale is a critical step toward this goal.

Read the memo, which we prepared with partners at the New York City Community Land Initiative, City College of New York, and TakeRoot Justice.