We, the undersigned labor and community groups and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), write to urge you to take immediate actions, as outlined below, to repair and restore the NYS CDFI Fund to its intended purpose.
Over the past fifteen years, New York City’s CLT movement has grown significantly. Amidst the city’s growing housing affordability and homelessness crises, several grassroots movements coalesced around CLTs. We collaborated with the Pratt Center for Community Development to showcase the powerful and growing movement for CLTs in NYC.
AM New York — Progressive City Council members have renewed their push for legislation aimed at reducing housing speculation by giving nonprofits and community land trusts priority on purchasing housing that come up for sale.
The Community Land Act is a bold legislative package that will give CLTs and other nonprofits tools to acquire land for permanently affordable social housing, affordable commercial and community spaces, and other critical needs. We urge the Committee and Council to pass the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act, or COPA (Int. 196), Public Land for Public Good (Int. 637), and Resolution 38 in support of the NYS Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, or TOPA.
Brownstoner — “We demand — we ain’t asking no more — we demand that HPD turn this big, gigantic lot over to the community. Give it to the East New York Community Land Trust, let us build on it what the community needs, not free parking for the NYPD.”
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.