Friday, May 25, 2007

Housing Works AIDS Update 5/25/2007

From Housing Works AIDS Update:


Activists surround Stuy Town to save affordable housing (but where's the media on the HIV rent-cap demand?); HASA for All campaign keeps on going

What a shame! What a pity! We can't live in New York City!

So cheered some 5,000 to 7,000 New Yorkers at the "Hands Across Stuyvesant Town" rally that launched the New York Is Our Home affordable housing campaign on Wednesday, May 23. It's not clear whether the rally's gimmick—forming a human chain around the massive middle-income Stuyvesant Town complex—really happened — but the event attracted a diverse crowd of passionate tenant's rights, housing, and homeless advocates, including HIV/AIDS organizations like Housing Works and the New York City AIDS Housing Network. A handful of pols turned out, including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, City Comptroller William Thompson, HIV-positive State Senator Tom Duane and State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried.

The march called attention to the problem of the shrinking supply of affordable housing in New York and demanded a handful of reforms, including ending rent destabilization and protecting and expanding Section 8 and Mitchell-Lama housing. Unfortunately, mainstream press failed to mention one of the campaign's other demands: a statewide cap of 30 percent on the amount of money low-income HIV-positive people must put toward their rent. (Then again, the New York Times didn't even cover the demo.) New York is Our Home hits Albany on June 5 to push for Mitchell-Lama reform and is creating a map of rent increases (help 'em out with it).

[post edited for length; read the rest here]