community equity agenda

New York Attorney General Letitia James released a new report today detailing deep racial disparities in homeownership and access to home financing across the state. Among the report’s top findings is a stark racial gap in homeownership rates in every region in New York, with white households owning their homes at nearly double the rate of households of color. These disparities are a significant contributor to the racial wealth gap and result in higher housing costs for homebuyers of color, making it harder for communities of color to build lasting financial security and overcome decades of systemic discrimination in the housing market. The report also offers policy proposals to help close the homeownership gap. 

This year’s legislative session followed an all-too-familiar pattern of monied interests driving the state’s legislative agenda at the expense of working class New Yorkers. Our coalition strongly denounces Albany’s failure to enact the New York Public Banking Act (S1754/A3352), which would create a framework for local public banks that would leverage public deposits toward investments in affordable housing, small and worker-owned businesses, renewable energy, and other urgent needs in low-income communities and historically-redlined Black and brown neighborhoods.

Public News Service — The New York State Legislature is considering a bill to allow the creation of public banks. The New York Public Banking Act would authorize municipal and other local governments to form and control public banks through ownership interests such as capital stock. The hope is these banks will invest in community endeavors rather than interests in line with making the bank profit. A report from the Rainforest Action Network said some of the largest banks in the nation are heavily invested in the fossil-fuel industry despite world policy shifts to renewable energies.