On April 8th, the Network, in partnership with Trinity Church Wall Street, Enterprise Community Partners and the National Association of Social Workers - New York City Chapter, hosted its first ever mayoral forum, “A New New York: A Mayoral Town Hall on Supportive Housing.” View the full forum below or here. For the press release see here.
The forum was moderated by POLITICO New York reporter Janaki Chadha and Network Senior Policy Analyst Tierra Labrada, and also featured pre-recorded questions from supportive housing staff and tenants, who provided a real-world view and posed questions on crisis response, NIMBYism and wage equity.
During the town hall, six of the leading mayoral candidates were asked about their overall housing plans, and specifically where they stand on supportive housing.
Candidate participants included: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Joycelyn Taylor, and Andrew Yang. The following is a sample of what each candidate had to say.
“We need to create real partnerships with the communities and have a real engagement, which is something that the city has failed to do far too often.” Said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “There will be those NIMBYs, but we need to be clear that housing is a city-wide issue. Everyone should have a right to housing. “
“Too often, supportive housing, drug treatment facilities, and others are put into communities of color,” said Shaun Donovan. “I've proposed a citywide process that would become part of ULURP to ensure that we have a fair distribution of supportive housing and others across the city. And that would also ensure that we're getting a better process in place that cuts down on some of the resistance that we see.” Shaun Donovan
“We need to look at our zoning. There are places in the city where we don't allow even two-family homes, let alone multi-family homes. We need to fundamentally rethink this,” said Kathryn Garcia. “We need to look at where we are rich in transit, jobs and schools, and make sure that that is where we are putting our affordable housing. That's a citywide view.”
“We should be able to cut a billion dollars from the NYPD budget by rethinking what a public safety plan would look like,” said New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer. “We have an opportunity now to create a plan that would invest more money into communities of affordable housing, mentorship programs for young people, making sure we keep kids away from the criminal justice system, and move this money to actually prevent people from over being over-policed in communities.”
"We need to ensure a living wage for residents of the city who are working and providing essential services,” said Joycelyn Taylor. “We can’t just talk about how much we appreciate them. We need to show them we value them by giving them a living wage.”
“There should be no delay where nonprofit contracts get verified more slowly than other types of contracts. That is just flat wrong,” said Andrew Yang. “The city not being able to pay its bills on time is not an administrative problem. It’s an abuse of organizations that are trying to do the right thing. We need to pay our bills, so that you can pay your bills, and you can operate with visibility and transparency.”