financial justice

Gotham Gazette- Reopening the door to Wells Fargo suggests that city officials have not learned the lessons of the past year, or decades. In the face of New York’s severe affordable housing shortage, climate devastation, and extreme racial wealth inequality—all exacerbated by COVID-19—we need bold action.

A public bank would build wealth and power in communities hardest hit by the pandemic. It’s needed now more than ever.

Members of the Public Bank NYC coalition and the NYC Council slammed the NYC Banking Commission’s decision today to approve Wells Fargo’s request to resume holding New York City deposits – potentially billions of dollars. The Banking Commission – composed of the Mayor, Comptroller and Commissioner of Finance, and charged with selecting which banks may hold city deposits – voted today without allowing any input from the public.

“Thanks to this important legislation, debt collectors are now prohibited from siphoning New Yorkers’ COVID-19 stimulus payments. The new law ensures that federal relief funds actually provide relief to New Yorkers, not windfalls for the debt collection industry. New Economy Project is proud to have worked on this crucial bill with ally organizations, as we continue the fight for racial and economic justice and a just recovery for all New Yorkers.”

The NYS Legislature has just passed a critical bill that prohibits debt collectors from taking New Yorkers’ stimulus payments. The bill will ensure that relief funds actually provide relief—not windfalls for the debt collection industry.  Take Action! Urge Governor Cuomo to sign this bill into law, to protect New Yorkers from financial predation and ensure a just recovery. Call […]

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 […]