The Network facilitated a number of meetings between supportive housing providers and congressional representatives to advocate for funding increases as part of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition’s Virtual Lobby Week at the end of July. Network members from across New York State met with their members of congress and congressional staff to illustrate the dire need for emergency rental assistance and aid to states and localities.
In a meeting with Representative Anita Lowey’s staff, President and CEO of Westhab Richard Nightingale explained how lack of aid to states and localities has led NYS to withhold 20% of funding for housing and behavioral healthcare programs which will have a devastating impact on communities of color: “The pandemic has had an incredibly disproportionate impact on communities of color, and these cuts are going to affect those same communities. It’s an incredible blow.”
In a meeting with Representative Anthony Brindisi, Michael La Flair, Director of Community and Government Relations at Housing Visions emphasized the dire need for rental assistance. “Most of our renters are one missed paycheck away from a major disaster,” he explained, “and for some, there haven’t been many paychecks.”
Representative Antonio Delgado acknowledged the importance of housing stability to economic revival efforts, saying “If we are thinking about truly getting to a place where you can grow an economy from the ground up and provide people stability, a central building block is affordable and supportive housing, which allows people to locate a job from a place they can anchor themselves.”
Due to high demand, we continue to schedule meetings with legislators through the month of August. Please contact Emily Levine if you are interested in scheduling a meeting with your representative. Thanks to Representatives Espaillat, Delgado, Katko, Brindisi, Tonko, Zeldin, Lowey, Reed and their staff members for taking the time to meet with us!