financial justice

The pandemic has placed the MTA at the center of the news, but its violations of New Yorkers’ civil rights have gone on for years. Through our NYC Financial Justice Hotline, New Economy Project has helped dozens of New Yorkers presenting the same disturbing facts: Without any notice, MTA took their tax refunds to pay old, alleged tickets they didn’t recognize.

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…

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

[Download PDF] November 18, 2020 NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio City Hall New York, NY 10007 NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson City Hall New York, NY 10007 Re: Not Reauthorizing NYC Lien Sale for Property Tax, Water and Other Municipal Debts Dear NYC Mayor de Blasio and Council Speaker Johnson, We write to you today […]

Fortune — Over 6% of Americans—20.5 million people—are unbanked, according to the FDIC’s latest data, meaning they have no checking or savings account. Nearly 50 million more are underbanked: They have at least one bank account but still use alternative financial services like payday loans and check cashers outside the banking system. 

New York has successfully fought to keep predatory payday lending out of our state, as a matter of racial and economic justice. Now, the Trump administration is seeking to gut New York’s longstanding consumer protection laws, and open the door to high-cost lenders that exploit people who are struggling financially.

Protecting New York’s essential workers will be vital to the state’s recovery, yet they are disproportionately burdened by the impact of the pandemic. At a time when the risk is not being shared equally, why should those currently bearing the biggest load of keeping society together take the biggest budgetary hit? Instead of placing the burden of New York State’s economic recovery on the backs of working New Yorkers, it is only reasonable to ask those who benefit from Wall Street speculation to pay their fair share.