Housing

Across Rockland and Westchester Counties, and across our country, the lack of affordable housing has become a crisis. Like so many of the challenges we face as a nation, the housing crisis is deeply intertwined with economic and racial injustices. In America, the richest country in the world, we cannot accept that so many people struggle to afford a home.

In our district, this issue is compounded by the frequency of single-family zoning and the large population of very wealthy people able to afford high real estate prices, which inadvertently drives up costs across our community. According to a 2019 report on housing affordability by the New York State Comptroller, in Westchester 28.2% of renters face a severe cost burden for housing, while Rockland County leads the state with a shocking 36.3% of renters facing a severe cost burden. The statistics for home ownership show a similar burden. 

Our district needs to build more affordable housing to increase supply and drive down prices. We need to fund the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s existing programs to levels commensurate with the crisis we face, and we must allocate federal funds to directly address the long-term and insidious impact of housing discrimination.

Children without secure housing cannot learn as well at school, and adults without secure housing cannot perform as well at work.  If we want to invest in the future of our communities in Westchester and Rockland, we need federal housing legislation that gives all of our residents sustainable access to affordable housing.

The urgency of this crisis requires a combination of innovative federal actions as well as expanded investment in traditional housing-support mechanisms for a comprehensive and modern approach that provides housing security to all Americans.

In Congress, I will fight to:

  • Create a federal Homeowner and Renter Bill of Rights to create a legal framework to better protect homeowners and renters from predatory lending practices and housing discrimination while providing necessary protections for members of the LGBTQ, disability, elderly, and veteran communities. 

  • Boost the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) to encourage investment in new and rehabilitated low-income housing.

  • Increase funding for the Housing Trust Fund, which provides grants to states for building new affordable housing for extremely low-income households

  • Directly address discriminatory housing patterns by allocating specific federal funds usable only for affordable developments in areas historically impacted by discriminatory redlining policies 

  • Provide grant funding to local municipalities struggling with homelessness and affordability for low-cost “modular” housing, which can be made quickly and cheaply with new technology

  • Combat homelessness by passing Congresswoman Waters’ Ending Homelessness Act to provide housing vouchers and case managers, among other resources, to individuals facing housing insecurity and homelessness

  • Repeal the Faircloth Amendment to open up opportunities for the construction of new public housing units

  • Incentivize adaptive reuse programs by providing federal funding to help local and state authorities repurpose old or abandoned malls, schools, or other such structures to build affordable housing, while also supporting community and economic revitalization

  • Use federal housing funding as a mechanism to promote climate-friendly solutions which can reduce costs to renters and homeowners by utilizing efficient appliances, heating and cooling systems, and electrical infrastructure. 

 

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