fair housing

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.

Next City — Marcus is a disabled, 66 year-old Vietnam war veteran. He lives in a house in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn that has been in his family since the 1960’s. An only child, he inherited the home when his parents passed, his only piece of generational wealth. But after falling behind on property taxes, the city placed an $11,000 lien on his home. That lien will be sold to a third party, making the debt nearly impossible to pay off.

We urge the Council not to introduce legislation reauthorizing the tax lien sale, and work with community partners, including community land trusts (CLTs), to develop an alternative and equitable system to address property tax arrears and, when appropriate, property disposition. The City’s practice of selling municipal debt to a private, investor-backed trust fuels speculation and displacement in Black and brown neighborhoods, siphoning wealth from communities disproportionately harmed by historic inequities like redlining and disinvestment, and now hardest hit by COVID-19…

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.

Shelterforce — As state and local economies attempt to reopen, and eviction moratoriums expire, millions of Americans once again face losing their homes. While these moratoriums have temporarily protected renters who may be unemployed and unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, elected officials are waking up to the reality that additional, far-reaching legislation is necessary to prevent widespread eviction, homelessness, and another foreclosure crisis.

This is the second in a series of reports on exchanges with community land trusts across the U.S. Read more about our visits with CLTs in California and Seattle.

New Economy Project and NYC Community Land Initiative recently wrapped up a dynamic, two-year community land trust (CLT) learning exchange for NYC groups. In November, we took our learning on the road, visiting mission-aligned CLTs in the Greater Boston CLT Network – the first in a series of planned visits.