community-led development

Harlem World — Today, activists and elected advocates gathered on the steps of City Hall to celebrate the end of the Rudy Giuliani-created Lien Sale program. Since 1996, New York City has been selling the right to collect delinquent property tax and water debt at a discount to a privately administered hedge fund-backed Lien Trust.

With yesterday’s Executive Budget proposal, Governor Hochul had the opportunity to present a bold community economic development agenda that addresses long-standing racial and economic inequality that the pandemic has exacerbated. Unfortunately, with few exceptions, this budget proposal offers more of the same.

New York’s approach to economic development desperately needs a reboot. We spend billions of dollars annually on wasteful corporate subsidies and tax giveaways – in the process diverting much-needed resources from higher education, transit, health care and other investments that would advance equity and economic opportunity in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.

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.

The 20 undersigned organizations are pleased to respond to New York City’s Shared Equity Request for Information (RFI). We believe that New York City should be a beacon for cooperative economics, advancing racial and gender equity and community-led development. Our organizations include cooperatives and community land trusts, as well as grassroots and member-led groups that have developed these and other shared equity strategies in Black, brown, and immigrant communities. Also included are organizations that provide critical financing, legal assistance, training and other support to community-led initiatives.

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.