It’s finally Friday, and this week’s been jam-packed with exciting housing-related news!
1. This week, the Furman Center released the 2012 edition of the “State of NYC Housing & Neighborhoods.” The findings are dismal: Between 2007 and 2011, median incomes significantly decreased while rents rose. Over 1/3 of the city’s residents are spending over half their income on paying the rent. To read the full report- including detailed data about the impacts of post-recession NY on the built environment, homeowners, renters, and the City’s demographics, click here.
2. On Monday, the Tenant PAC endorsed Public Advocate Bill de Blasio for Mayor. According to the PAC (as reported by the Gothamist):
Bill de Blasio gets our endorsement for his commitment (in his words) to “re-set the agenda” for a genuine progressive city government, to “de-program the Bloomberg years”; for his opposition to privatization and to government as a handmaiden to private profit takers; for his support for mandatory inclusionary zoning requiring developers to include affordable apartments in all new buildings; and for addressing the economic inequality that is driving more New Yorkers into hardship and poverty.
4. Richmond, CA is the first city in the country to use the power of eminent domain to address the foreclosure crisis. In a move that’s being opposed by banks, cities across the country are working to buy up mortgages in bulk to reduce homeowner’s debt and reduce the risk of foreclosure and displacement. In Richmond, a city of mostly black and Hispanic residents, nearly half of homeowners with mortgages are experiencing trouble with their mortgages. To read more about this exciting program, click here.
5. This week, fast food workers went on strike in 7 cities for the right to unionize and for living wages. Terrance Wise, a fast food worker at both Burger King and Pizza Hut in Kansas City was interviewed today on Democracy Now. He asks:
What else do we have to lose? We are already slowly dying in our day to day lives…So why not speak up, and stand up, and let the nation know that we are suffering? This is this is really a cry for help. This great nation should not turn its back on working class people that need help.
The way we see it, this campaign for living wages and the right to organize are extremely relevant to our work in tenant organizing. Housing is unaffordable because rents are high but also because wages are low. If people are struggling to both buy food and pay the rent while working full time, something is clearly wrong. Stay tuned for more from us on this in the next few weeks! And to continue following this exiting campaign, visit Fast Food Forward’s website.
Have a great weekend!