A system to replace NYC’s tax lien sale should advance critical affordable housing and equitable development goals. This report outlines a framework through which New York City can enforce the collection of property tax arrears and other debts, in ways that prevent the displacement of vulnerable homeowners, preserve affordable rental units, and expand the pipeline of properties for new 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.
The Baffler — Debra Ack was running out of time. On December 17, New York City would transfer over a hundred million dollars of publicly held debt into private hands—and many of those affected didn’t even know about it. That’s why Ack, along with other volunteers from the East New York Community Land Trust (CLT), were knocking on doors across East New York and other parts of Brooklyn in the days leading up to the transfer.
Ahead of the City’s tax lien sale this Friday, the Abolish the NYC Tax Lien Sale Coalition released a new analysis revealing the lien sale list includes 392 vacant lots that could support the development of over 3,600 affordable housing units. This represents a recurring missed opportunity for the City to partner with community land trusts (CLTs) to acquire these vacant lots and develop deeply-affordable housing for low-income New Yorkers, the organization said.