**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
February 3, 2021
Contact: Yuridia Peña, [email protected], (718) 790-0837
SHAUN DONOVAN PUBLISHES ALL HANDS ON DECK PLAN FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Donovan’s Housing Platform sets out to revitalize and expand affordable and sustainable housing, aggressively address homelessness through strategic investment, reform land use, and utilize housing efforts to help revitalize the city’s economy.
The plan improves emergency rental assistance, strengthens Fair Housing Protections and the City voucher program, and calls for a right to housing to replace the right to shelter.
NEW YORK, NY — Former Obama-Biden administration Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan built on his Campaign of Ideas with his landmark Housing Plan, entitled ‘All Hands on Deck: Providing Safe, Affordable, and Equitable Housing for Every New Yorker.’ The over 7,500-word platform outlines how a Donovan administration would address a plethora of housing issues, from preservation and expansion of public housing to improved data collection and analysis geared toward providing the best services possible to New Yorkers.
This plan follows a series of other ambitious, comprehensive policy proposals, achievable only through Donovan’s equity-driven approach that prioritizes gathering input from every relevant community, advocacy group, and business sector. Among these are his plans to create 500,000 jobs for New Yorkers by the end of his first term, open libraries 7 days per week in every neighborhood, make every neighborhood in the city a “15 minute neighborhood” — where every resident has access to a great public school, fresh food, rapid transportation, a park, and a chance to get ahead within 15 minutes of their front door — and launch equity bonds, whereby every New York City child will receive $1,000, plus up to an additional $2,000 each subsequent year.
“Fully realizing the right to affordable housing in New York City is a massive challenge in the best of times; in the midst of this pandemic, we are at a crisis moment. We need an all hands on deck approach from everyone — city, state, and federal governments, private companies, advocates, and New Yorkers in every neighborhood — to tackle this crisis. I have dedicated my entire career to issues of housing, motivated by the suffering and struggle that I witnessed New Yorkers experiencing through the 1970s and 1980s,” said NYC mayoral candidate Shaun Donovan. “The solutions to our housing problems are within reach, but we need to be willing to rethink how we tackle them. We cannot solve homelessness with homeless programs alone. We need to finally invest adequately in NYCHA and HPD, not just revitalizing public housing, but preparing it for the future through efficiency and climate resiliency efforts. We need to make it easier for New Yorkers to become homeowners and build their wealth. These are all necessary steps, and I’m confident that I’m the only candidate who can get us to where we need to go.”
The platform emphasizes a comprehensive approach to removing the obstacles that often keep New Yorkers from having options regarding where to live and security in their housing.
Highlights of the platform include:
- Creating a new, flexible rental assistance program, funded by $330 million that the administration will save from reducing reliance on shelters, with additional support from the state and federal governments.
- Protecting tenants from harassment and eviction through a citywide expansion of the Universal Access to Counsel (UAC) program.
- Supporting homeowners by expanding the capacity of legitimate foreclosure assistance organizations, developing a flexible mortgage assistance program, launching a home repair program for seniors, and other initiatives.
- Making the historic commitment of up to $2 billion per year in City capital dollars toward accelerating repairs across NYCHA’s portfolio, reducing operating costs through energy-efficiency and resiliency investments, and overhauling NYCHA’s governance structure to improve performance and resident engagement.
- Committing an additional $2 billion per year to helping HPD create new affordable housing programs and expand existing programs, with the goal of producing over 30,000 units per year.
- Expanding housing choice for all New Yorkers by strengthening Fair Housing Protections, improving the City’s voucher program, and making it easier for New Yorkers to afford homes.
- Creating and fully implementing a simple, client-focused process of placing homeless individuals and families into safe, affordable permanent housing, as well as a service-enriched model of aftercare for formerly homeless New Yorkers.
- Applying an inclusionary housing program on a citywide basis, creating an evenly-applied standard and set of robust incentives to encourage new production of affordable homes in every neighborhood.
- Working with the City Council and borough presidents to reform the community board appointment process and ensure that community board meetings accurately reflect the opinions of the community.
- Creating well-paying jobs for hardworking New Yorkers — including the creation of a minimum construction wage — and implementing a comprehensive resident hiring and training program.
- Investing in real-time, individual data across all city agencies and updating success metrics to account for the number of New Yorkers helped, their situations, and their backgrounds, as opposed to focusing mainly on units built.
A Donovan administration would be committed to ensuring equal and high-quality housing opportunity for all New Yorkers. The extensive platform was praised by housing experts:
“Affordable housing is at the nexus of creating an equitable and diverse New York City — a city that serves all its citizens. Our next mayor must be someone who deeply understands the individual complex challenges that our city’s housing and neighborhoods face, and who has concrete, practical ideas about how to solve them. Shaun Donovan is the clear choice,” said Marc Jahr, former President of the New York City Housing Development Corporation. “At a moment when New York City is facing a growing housing crisis with — in the wake of the pandemic — the potential of getting much, much worse, we must take a comprehensive approach to addressing our city’s affordable housing and community development needs. Any credible plan must address the New York City Housing Authority’s profound challenges, housing for the homeless, keeping New Yorkers in their homes, and ensuring that every New Yorker’s housing is safe, clean, and affordable. Donovan’s plan addresses all of these issues effectively, in addition to promoting homeownership, viewing housing as an opportunity to support our economy, contributing to the “greening” of the city, and, crucially, asking all neighborhoods to contribute to the fair and accessible housing of New Yorkers. I fully support this plan and look forward to seeing it in action.”
“I have had the good fortune of knowing Shaun since his days at the Community Preservation Corporation, and I had the opportunity of working with him when he was HPD Commissioner. As a developer of affordable housing in New York City for the past 33 years, I have witnessed many challenges and nuances in our industry, and I truly believe that the current economic and financial crisis is by far the most daunting challenge facing our great city,” said Robert Ezrapour, Member of the Advisory Board of the Furman Center and Principal at Artimus Construction. “Shaun has the experience and understanding of our industry to be able to lead us as our mayor, and to take the necessary steps to help stabilize our industry.”
For more details on Donovan’s Housing Platform, please visit shaunfornyc.com/issues/housing/.