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MEDIA ADVISORY: Poughkeepsie Tenants to Demand a Just Budget That Addresses Skyrocketing Rents



Eli Berkowitz, Hudson Valley Lead Organizer, Community Voices Heard, 845-541-1122


Community Voices Heard members will speak out at the Common Council meeting on Monday to demand Mayor Rolison listen to tenants and address skyrocketing rents

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – On Monday, November 7, Community Voices Heard Poughkeepsie members will mobilize to demand the Mayor use federal American Rescue Plan public funds for rent relief and tenant protections. At the Common Council meeting, Community Voices Heard members will speak out about how the housing crisis is impacting them and their families.

Last week, on October 25, Community Voices Heard members held a press conference at City Hall in response to the Mayor’s budget plan, which does nothing to address rents that are spiraling out of control. They delivered a letter to the Mayor, requesting a meeting within two weeks. The meeting has still not been scheduled.

American Rescue Plan COVID-relief funds are public money that should go toward making life more manageable for regular, working Poughkeepsie residents. One in three renters in Poughkeepsie spend more than half their income on rent. Rents have been increasing at rates that far outpace growth in income and earnings. Sixty-five percent of Poughkeepsie residents are renters who can’t afford rising costs.

The Mayor's proposed budget does nothing to address the Poughkeepsie housing crisis. Mayor Rolison plans to spend $8.83 million in federal COVID-relief funds on things like computer systems for City Hall and SUVs, instead of helping families who were most impacted by the pandemic. Those funds should be used as intended by the Federal government to respond to the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19.

Community Voices Heard has engaged in over 700 conversations with tenants across the city about where they want this ARPA public money to go; the overwhelming answer has been rent relief and tenant protections.

We demand the Mayor deliver a budget that recognizes the city’s housing crisis and does more for tenants. Poughkeepsie residents need and deserve housing they can afford.


Community Voices Heard (CVH) is a member-led, multi-racial organization principally comprised of women of color and low-income families in New York State. CVH tackles tough issues and builds power to secure racial, social, and economic justice for all New Yorkers. Through grassroots organizing, leadership development, policy changes, and creating new models of direct democracy CVH is creating a truly equitable New York State.

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