New York Housing Conference testified before two City Council hearings recently.

First, NYHC testified before a joint hearing of the Committee on Land Use and Committee on Housing and Buildings about Speaker Adrienne Adams’s fair housing legislation. NYHC supports the legislation, which would require the administration to set housing and affordable housing targets for each community board. Every neighborhood must do their share and add affordale housing and housing.

This level of planning, however, should also include strategies for achieving higher production in some neighborhoods, including upzonings to allow for multifamily housing – duplexes and row houses for example – in more neighborhoods. We also want to suggest that housing targets include minimum targets only.

In addition, if we are truly fighting for fair housing, for housing and affordable housing in every neighborhood, the Council must approach rezonings with a citywide lens and stand united to adding housing supply everywhere. Individual Council members should advocate for the best deal possible, but the Council should always be united to support housing and add housing supply. Finally, the Council should support the forthcoming zoning text amendments for housing.

You can read our full testimony here.

We also submitted joint testimony with NYSAFAH to the Committee on General Welfare about public benefits processing delays. In the testimony we called on the city to give preference and create a specific processing unit for tenants in affordable housing with outstanding arrears.

Last spring we issued a report showing that in the nearly 50,000 units of affordable housing for which we collected data, 31% of tenants were in arrears of more than two months, each owing on average $9,565. We are in the process of updating those numbers, but preliminary data shows that arrears are continuing to grow.

It would be a significant waste of resources if tenants in affordable housing end up in shelter because of unpaid arrears, where shelter providers will seek new affordable housing for the family.

You can read the full joint testimony with NYSAFAH here.