Public Comments

This response to the Shared Equity RFI discusses ways in which a local public bank in NYC would advance shared equity goals, and provides context on current state and municipal policy efforts toward creating a municipal public bank in NYC. Fundamentally, we see public banking as a catalyst for cooperative and community-led development in Black, brown, and immigrant communities, including those hardest hit by the pandemic.

New York City Community Land Initiative (NYCCLI) is pleased to provide information about community land trusts as a holistic shared equity model of nonprofit and collective land ownership by a community. We understand that New York City (“NYC” or “the city”) has analyzed and is providing support to CLTs through the lens of the city’s existing affordable housing programs. However, this response sets out a framework of CLTs as a more comprehensive shared equity model rooted in housing, economic and social justice – one that allows the communities that are most impacted to exercise agency over land development and stewardship not for profit but for the long-term stability of their neighborhoods. That long-term stability is the key to building community wealth.

The budget adopted by the Mayor and City Council today is the largest in New York City’s history and restores critically-needed funding for schools, health care, and other vital services.

New Economy Project stands in solidarity with Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and condemns violence and racism directed at AAPI and all BIPOC communities. We mourn the deaths of the eight people murdered last week in Atlanta: Daoyou Feng, Hyug Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Paul Andre Michaels, Soon Chung Park, Xiaojie Tan, Delania Ashley […]

New Economy Project and 17 partner organizations in the CLT Initiative seek $1.51 million in City Council discretionary funding in FY2022. We urge the Committee to support this funding request and ensure that CLTs continue to play a key role in stabilizing communities, combating speculation, and promoting a just recovery in Black, brown and immigrant neighborhoods. (See attached one-pager detailing activities and participating organizations.)

New Economy Project coordinates the Citywide Community Land Trust (CLT) Initiative, launched in FY2020 to strengthen and expand CLTs and permanently affordable housing, commercial and community spaces, across NYC. In less than two years, the Initiative has made major progress–helping to launch and expand CLTs in the South and Northwest Bronx, East Harlem and the Lower East Side, Jackson Heights, Brownsville, East New York, and beyond.

This bill creates a safe and appropriate regulatory framework for local governments seeking to establish public banks. Public banks are financial institutions created by government entities, and accountable to the people. Through public banking, cities and counties can manage their own revenues and leverage those funds to support local economic development, including affordable housing, green jobs, equitable financial services, and more.

NYC needs transformative, community-led solutions to our city’s affordability crisis that advance racial equity and a just recovery. I am pleased to testify in support of Intro 1977, the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA), and Intro 118-A, to establish a municipal land bank. Passage of these bills will give communities–and the City, itself–new tools to keep New Yorkers safely housed, expand community land trusts and social housing, and curb speculation in the wake of COVID-19. We thank Council Member Rivera and Council Member Lander for their leadership and urge the Committee to advance this critical legislation.

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…