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Velázquez Kicks-off Discussion on NYC’s Housing Crisis

Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez
Kate Davis

Yesterday, Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) kicked off talks on creating a legislative plan for dealing with the City’s – and nation’s – affordable housing crisis. Joined by local officials, and representatives from New York housing organizations, the group discussed ways to develop a new agenda to preserve affordable housing, as well as make improvements to programs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to ensure adequate access to housing opportunities for families throughout the New York, and the country.

Congresswoman Velázquez released the following statement on the roundtable:

"With the recent changes that have taken place in Congress, and within the state legislature, this roundtable is an important first step to establishing an agenda that is going to put housing on the forefront. Right now our City is facing an affordable housing crisis – while there are programs available that can help residents cope, only a third of the eligible households that qualify for that assistance, actually receive it.

"We need to start addressing this issue by first preserving the affordable housing that already exists in our City. Today’s event will give us an opportunity to look at a variety of ways to preserve reasonable options by coordinating efforts at the city, state and federal level. There is no doubt that innovation will be key, but we should also be building on what has proven effective in the past.

"While maintaining affordable housing stock is vital to addressing this problem, we must also take steps to ensure HUD is meeting the City’s and nation’s housing needs. It is critical that HUD programs function together effectively in order to successfully target lower-income households. As it stands today, for every 100 extremely low-income renters, there are only 76 affordable rental units available, illustrating the serious need for housing alternatives. We must also be evaluating HUD on how they are implementing programs and regulations. Closely examining matters such as this will help guarantee that low and moderate income New Yorkers have ample access to affordable housing opportunities for generations to come.

"From preservation to making improvements at HUD – these are the types of focuses this group will build on as we work toward developing a new legislative vehicle to address the housing crisis facing New York, and our nation. As we prepare to start the 110th Congress under new leadership in Washington, and a new legislative session, today’s discussion will serve as the foundation for addressing our communities’ affordable housing needs in the coming year."

Kate Davis is Press Secretary to Congresswoman Velâzquez


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