Millions of Americans have lost their jobs or seen their hours reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, putting them at risk of losing their housing without government assistance. With widespread job loss and more than 30,000 dead in our state, the virus has taken a toll on low-income communities, with a disproportional impact on Black and Latino households. NYU Furman Center estimates that nearly 1.2 million renter households in NY state have suffered COVID-19 related job loss and that half of these households are low-income.
State and local governments have seen their tax revenues plummet and are unable to meet the need. It is time for Congress to act to protect families and individuals during this health and economic crisis.
We are calling on Congress to pass a federal assistance bill which includes at least $100 billion for rental assistance and $918 billion for state and local aid.
To support this campaign, you can do three things:
- Sign On to Letter to Congressional Leadership calling for $100 billion in rental assistance and $915 billion for aid to state and local governments. You can add your organization to the form below.
- Gather and Share Stories of Housing Need on social media of why housing assistance is needed right now. Use the hashtag #RentReliefNowNY and #RentReliefNow!
- Contact Your Member of Congress and other members of the New York Congressional delegation calling on them to prioritize housing assistance and aid to state and local governments.
Find your local member of Congress here: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
Contact New York’s Senators here:
Sen. Charles Schumer
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer and Minority Leader McCarthy:
On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we call on Congress to fund $100 billion in rental assistance for households impacted by COVID-19 and $915 billion to keep state and local governments funded, in order to continue critical public programs.
With widespread job loss and more than 30,000 dead in our state, the virus has taken a devastating toll on New York State’s communities and its economy, with low-income communities and Black and Latino households bearing a disproportionate share of the health and economic harms. Prior to this health crisis, one out of every three renter households were already paying more than 30% of their income on housing in New York. While enhanced unemployment assistance and eviction moratoriums have aided many renters, these households are facing risk of eviction when benefits end before the economy has even partially recovered.
This pandemic has underscored the importance of housing to the safety and well-being of Americans. Families and individuals have been asked to socially distance to prevent the spread of the virus, and they can only do that with safe and stable housing. This is why rental assistance should be viewed as a critical component of the public health response to fighting this deadly virus. Without it, families will be forced to double up in overcrowded conditions or face homelessness. These outcomes will impede efforts to control COVID-19.
But because of this crisis, many Americans are at risk of losing their housing. As businesses have shuttered to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, millions of Americans have lost their jobs or seen their hours cut. NYU Furman Center estimates that nearly 1.2 million renter households in NY State have suffered COVID-19 related job loss and that half of these households are low-income. Assuming 25% job recovery, they project that in August (once enhanced benefits expire), the rental assistance need among low-income households in New York State will be approximately $391 million per month. Without government assistance, many will be unable to afford their rent.
However, revenues have declined dramatically for city and state governments, and they will be unable to provide the needed housing assistance. At risk are also a wide array of programs such as education, social services and affordable housing.
As leaders of the House and Senate, it is in your power to take action. Together, the following organizations and elected officials call on you to act with urgency to include critical funding for rental assistance and aid to state and local governments in the next federal funding package.
Please share this page with your social network and encourage friends and allies to join the campaign.
The deadline to sign-on to this campaign is Monday, July 17, 2020.
The following organizations have signed on to the letter.
New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh, District 26
New York State Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi, District 28
New York State Assembly Member Brian Barnwell, District 30
New York State Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, District 36
New York State Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz, District 45
New York State Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus, District 46
New York State Assembly Member Walter Mosley, District 57
New York State Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, District 75
New York State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, District 76
New York State Assembly Member Karines Reyes, District 87
New York State Assembly Member Donna Lupardo, District 123
New York State Assembly Member Pamela Hunter, District 128
New York State Assembly Member Harry Bronson, District 138
New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, District 3
New York City Council Member Carlina Rivera, District 2
New York City Council Member Keith Powers, District 4
New York City Council Member Diana Ayala, District 8
New York City Council Member Barry Grodenchik, District 23
New York City Council Member Antonio Reynoso, District 34
New York City Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., District 36
New York City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, District 38
New York City Council Member Brad Lander, District 39
New York City Council Member Kalman Yager, District 44
New York City Council Member Debi Rose, District 49
Shaun Donovan, Former HUD Secretary & OMB Director
Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President
Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
Ruben Diaz Jr., Bronx Borough President
Jumaane Williams, New York City Public Advocate
Marc Jahr, Former New York City Housing Development Corporation President
Gary Rodney, Former New York City Housing Development Corporation President
Mathew Wambua, Former New York City Dept of Housing Preservation & Development Commissioner
Rafael Cestero, Former New York City Dept of Housing Preservation & Development Commissioner
334 East 92nd Street Tenant Association
The Actors Fund
American Academy of Housing and Communities
The Arker Companies
Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation
Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development
Benchmark Title Agency LLC
Carroll Gardens Association, Inc.
Center for New York City Neighborhoods
Central Park Gardens Tenants’ Association
Chhaya Community Development Corporation
Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York
Citizens Housing and Planning Council
Coalition for the Homeless
Community League of the Heights. Inc
The Community Preservation Corporation
Community Service Society of NY
Curtis + Ginsberg Architects LLP
Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation
Dunn Development Corp.
Enterprise Community Partners
Federal Home Loan Bank of NY
Fifth Avenue Committee
Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation
Goldstein Hall PLLC
Greater Syracuse Tenants Network
Habitat for Humanity New York City
Highbridge Community Development Corp.
Housing Justice for All
Housing Rights Initiative
The Hudson Companies Inc
Hudson River Housing
Human Services Council
Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing
JOE NYC Corp.
Kinetic Communities Consulting
LeadingAge New York
Legal Aid Society
Low Income Investment Fund
Magnusson Architecture & Planning
MBD Community Housing Corp.
MHANY Management Inc.
MLappin & Associates LLC
Mount Vernon United Tenants, Inc.
National Housing Conference
National Panhellenic Council of NYC, INC
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
New Destiny Housing
New York City Housing Partnership
New York Land Bank Association
New York State Association for Affordable Housing
New York State Council of Churches
New York State Rural Housing Coalition, Inc.
Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition
The NRP Group
Power of Two, Project of the Fund for the City of New York
Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY)
Red Hook Initiative
Red Stone Equity Partners
Regional Plan Association
Regions Affordable Housing
RiseBoro Community Partnership
Selfhelp Realty Group
Settlement Housing Fund
Slate Property Group
St. Catherine’s Center for Children
St. Nicks Alliance
Supportive Housing Network of New York
Urban Builders Collaborative LLC
University Neighborhood Housing Program