Christine Quinn, Speaker of the New York City Council, has just delivered her 2012 State of the City address. During her speech, she highlighted several policy proposals affecting affordable and public housing. Her speech touched the following areas:
Small Business – The Speaker states that the City Council, led by Councilperson Inez Dickens, in conjunction with the NYC Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Small Business Services will use New Markets Tax Credits proceeds in the form of a $10million loan fund for small business in communities with high rates of unemployment. [HNNYC: Is this possible? New Markets can be used for things other than development projects? Apparently so.]
Affordable Housing Preservation – The Speaker stressed the need to preserve as many buildings as possible throughout New York City as they come to the end of their affordability periods. Calling it “permanent affordability”, the Speaker says that the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) will require some of the largest projects to provide 60 years of affordable rents to its residents.
Combating Homelessness – The Speaker stated that homeless families need to be given priority for acquiring Section 8 vouchers and housing from the New York City Housing Authority. The Speaker stated that these initiatives are not just about a moral imperative to help the homeless, but it also reflects fiscal responsibility. It costs the city $800 per family per month for a rental subsidy for a homeless family as opposed to $2500 per family per month to house them in a shelter.
Code Enforcement & Buildings - While not very clear on specifics, the Speaker and Councilwoman Gale Brewer will work to provide HPD with expanded powers to prosecute landlords who do not clear violations and make necessary repairs to their buildings. The Speaker acknowledged that private developers aren’t the only ones that have not done their share of building upkeep. Speaker Quinn stated that the Council will provide a greater financial commitment to NYCHA by providing them with more funds to make over 100,000 repairs in its buildings in a timely manner.
Read the close to full speech here (apparently some of things were added t the last minute)