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STATEMENT: CVH Responds to the Deeply Disappointing FY25 New York State Budget

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


STATEMENT: CVH RESPONDS TO THE DEEPLY DISAPPOINTING FY25 NEW YORK STATE BUDGET


April 20, 2024 (NEW YORK, NY) – Community Voices Heard, the largest Black-led organizing institution in New York State, issued the following statement today: 


Our members know without a doubt: making billionaires and corporations pay their fair share, protecting tenants, and fully funding public housing are key to making our state stronger.


Our members do essential jobs, care for their families, and contribute to our communities. They – and every New Yorker – should have a decent home and be able to make ends meet. We put our trust in our elected officials to be good stewards of public dollars and provide our State’s most vulnerable residents with the services they deserve. Today, they let us down.


Good Cause

New Yorkers work hard to pay rent and stay in their homes, but they are facing record rent increases and evictions – particularly Black women, who are evicted at twice the rate of white tenants. The Governor and Legislature had a real opportunity to create common-sense tenant protections through Good Cause. Instead, they proved that they are only interested in protecting their real estate donors.  The new “protections” require upstate localities to “opt in,” and include loopholes around building size, which will leave millions of tenants across the state – including our members in Westchester, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, and Beacon – out of these basic tenant protections.


Public Housing

After fierce organizing from CVH members in public housing across the state, we won some funding in the budget. However, the $140 million for NYCHA and $75 million for public housing outside of New York City is not nearly enough. Public housing needs $4.5 billion statewide for capital repairs to preserve 40,000 units over the next five years, and $500 million for rent arrears for public housing residents to prevent evictions of thousands of families.


Preserving public housing is a key part of the solution to New York’s ever-growing housing crisis. Without a meaningful investment from the state, public housing will continue to be demolished or sold off. It is shameful that New York continues to disinvest from such an important source of affordable housing.


Housing Access Voucher Program

We are also deeply disappointed in our State leaders for abandoning the Housing Access Voucher Program (HAVP), which would have helped low-income New Yorkers who are homeless, facing eviction, and at risk of losing their housing because of domestic violence or hazardous living conditions. Doing nothing is not free; housing insecurity also leads to higher indirect costs, such as health care, food stamps, and other social services. Vouchers are a tremendous return on investment, saving us millions in the long run and keeping families in their homes.


Rent Stabilization Rollbacks

In the final stages of budget negotiations, we learned that real estate lobbyists fought to rollback landmark tenant protections we won in 2019. These protections stopped landlords from harassing rent-stabilized tenants – forcing tenants out of their homes so they could jack up the rent. Between  2002 and 2021, New York City lost 47% of its low-rent stock. With these landlord loopholes back in place, New York state will lose thousands of rent regulated apartments and put a target on the back of rent-stabilized tenants.


Invest in Our New York

Finally, our State leaders had the chance to right decades of inequity by taxing New York’s wealthiest corporations and ultra-rich residents, and investing that public money into our communities. The majority of New Yorkers agree: raising taxes on the top 5% and richest corporations is the right thing to do for working-class New Yorkers. Instead, our leaders opted to continue tax breaks for billionaires.



We cannot let New York State be run by the real estate industry and the ultra-rich. We must protect every tenant in the state from unfair evictions and egregious rent hikes. The State now has five weeks left in their legislative session to deliver for working-class, low-income, and Black and brown New Yorkers. We call on Speaker Carl Heastie and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins to step up and deliver for us – their constituents – and everyday New Yorkers.


CVH’s full platform is available here: cvhaction.org/2024-legislative


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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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