Johnson, Cornegy Announce Funding to Keep New Yorkers in Their Homes
Yesterday, Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) and Councilmember Robert Cornegy (D-Brooklyn) announced that the City Council is funding several programs to help renters and homeowners in crisis.
The FY 2021 budget includes $21 million in funding for said programs, including $3.1 million for housing preservation and $3.2 million for foreclosure prevention. It also includes $2.5 million for Stabilizing NYC, an initiative to combat predatory equity.
“We had a housing and affordability crisis before COVID-19 hit,” said Johnson. “We can’t let this pandemic make a horrific situation catastrophic. We worked together to flatten the curve, now let’s work together to prevent unnecessary evictions and homelessness. We need to stabilize our neighborhoods and keep on fighting to ensure New York City is affordable for all.”
Espaillat Calls for Rental Assistance in Next Stimulus Package
Yesterday, U.S. Reps. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan, Bronx) and Jesús Garcia (D-IL) sent a letter to House and Senate leadership urging them to include emergency rental assistance in the next stimulus package.
A recent survey from the U.S. Census Bureau found that 24 million Americans worry that they won’t be able to make their next rental payments. A provision for $100 billion in rental assistance passed the House as part of the HEROES Act, but was excluded from the Senate version of the bill.
“This is an unprecedented time for New York’s 13th congressional district and communities around the nation as we continue to address the impact of COVID-19,” said Espaillat. “Families need our support more than ever and Congress has a responsibility to support those most severely impacted by the pandemic and help them recover. We know that low- and moderate-income renters are bearing the brunt of the crisis’s economic toll, and our efforts must continue to help those most in need and provide crucial financial support. It’s the only way we can move forward and provide real solutions for millions of families facing evictions.”
Williams Supports Police Reform Group’s Intervention in 50-a Lawsuit
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D) announced his support yesterday for Communities United for Police Reform’s intervention in a lawsuit that law enforcement unions are filing against the City.
Last June, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a bill to repeal New York Civil Rights Law Section 50-a, which severely restricts the public release of NYPD officers’ personnel records. Weeks later, five police unions filed suit against the City to block them from repealing the law.
“Prompt and full effectuation of the 50-a repeal requires dismantling the structures and policies that served to expand 50-a’s coverage and replacing them with ready and full public access,” said Williams. “Proposing and garnering support by the public and elected officials for particular policy changes demands providing full, real time facts concerning past and present NYPD conduct. Shrouding large swathes of misconduct and disciplinary records from scrutiny would render it impossible to hold the NYPD accountable.”
Velázquez Seeks Flexibility for School Nutrition Programs
U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D) is writing legislation that would extend COVID-19 waivers for school nutrition programs into next year.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), enacted earlier this year, allowed schools greater freedom in enacting emergency measures to provide students with nutritious meals. Since then, these waivers have allowed states to utilize various meal delivery options to feed their students. However, many of these waivers will expire by September.
Velázquez’s bill would allow the waivers to continue into next school year. It would also grant the waivers to schools that are technically open but enforcing social distancing.
“Schools across the nation are contemplating a range of scenarios as they consider how the fall and the new academic year will look,” Velázquez noted. “We need schools to have maximum flexibility as they help children continue receiving nutritious meals.”