|Last night a diverse coalition of tenants and affordable housing advocates met at Queens Borough Hall in Kew Gardens as part of the Queens Affordable Housing Borough Meeting.|
Marilyn Charles captured the mood of the crowd with her story:
"I have lived in Queens for over 30 years. As a longtime resident, I fear the impact that bad rent laws and sky-high rents are having on me and my community. We need an affordable place to live."
The New York is Our Home citywide campaign is organizing tenants to fight to preserve affordable housing in New York by changing unfair rent regulation laws.
Marilyn's story is already to common. From 2002 to 2005, rents increased citywide by 10 percent. And if we don't act now, it will become even more common. Over the next ten years, the City will lose an estimated 300,000 affordable apartments. There's a looming exodus of working families from New York City.
The Queens Borough Meeting was one in a series of meetings happening across the city, all leading up to a massive rally May 23rd expected to draw thousands of New Yorkers that will highlight these troubling trends. The May 23rd rally is at the Stuyvesant Town public housing development in Manhattan. Rally participants will demand protections for the rapidly dwindling City supply of affordable housing.
I'll give the last word to Julie Miles of Housing Here & Now, Director of the New York Is Our Home Campaign:
"Securing the hundreds of thousands of affordable units that we are losing is the most important action government leaders can take to solve the affordable housing crisis."