Maya Wiley Unveils Comprehensive Housing Policy to Build a Just and Livable City

Wiley: Housing is a human right, and we are going to make it a reality for all New Yorkers.

Plan establishes Rent Guarantee that will ensure that no family making less than 50% of AMI pays more than 30% of their income on rent.

New York — Today, Maya Wiley unveiled her transformative housing policy agenda to address homelessness, make affordable housing affordable and ensure housing justice for all New Yorkers. She made the announcement in Washington Square Park alongside City Council Member Stephen Levin, homelessness advocate Shams DaBaron, housing experts and community leaders. Wiley’s plan is a sweeping, detailed set of policies aimed at addressing the intersecting crises of affordability, evictions and homelessness in New York City.

Wiley unveiled her plan at a moment when New York is facing an increase in homelessness and evictions. Currently, over 400,000 New Yorkers are on the verge of eviction and one million are rent-burdened, with the majority of struggling families and individuals coming from Black and brown communities. Wiley’s plan will address the need for more affordable housing, permanent solutions to homelessness and an ambitious rent relief program that will guarantee that individuals and families making 50% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI) do not pay more than 30% of their income on rent.

Maya Wiley recognizes that housing is a fundamental human right and so does her housing plan. Her plan includes:

  • Ending the cruelty of street homelessness and radically decreasing family and single adult homelessness by enacting housing first policies.
  • Making affordable housing truly affordable.
  • Keeping public housing public.
  • Maintaining and expanding homeownership and wealth-building in communities that have been left out.

“For decades now, housing has been the single most important and most vexing public challenge our city has faced. We are facing an affordability crisis, an evictions crisis and a homelessness crisis, and it’s time for a plan that combats these intersecting challenges and ensures real housing justice for all New Yorkers,” said Maya Wiley. “My plan is a sweeping, transformative blueprint that will curb homelessness, guarantee affordable rent, reinvest in and renew NYCHA and enable homeownership and empower generational wealth-building for marginalized communities. Housing is a human right, and my plan will make it a reality.”

“Maya Wiley’s housing plan is a comprehensive, empathetic and visionary platform that will usher in a new era of housing justice in New York City. After decades of failed policies and half-measures, it’s time for transformation, and Maya’s plan will be that catalyst for change,” said City Council Member Stephen Levin. “From guaranteeing affordable rent for all working-class families to breaking the cycle of evictions and shelters and homelessness to create long-term solutions, Maya’s plan will transform housing in our city and ensure safe and affordable housing for all New Yorkers.”

“When Maya came to the Lucerne and listened to us away from the cameras, I knew then that she was the real deal. I am so honored today to whole-heartedly endorse Maya Wiley, a leader who listens, who cares and who stands ready to enact real change,” said Shams DaBaron, homelessness advocate. “Her housing plan is just what our city needs to not only recover but also to thrive. With Maya’s plan we will end homelessness. With Maya’s plan, every New Yorker will be housed.”

“Maya Wiley is an exceptionally qualified, principled, transformational leader for which this moment calls. Throughout the country, Black women are stepping into positions of power as mayors of some of our biggest cities, and it’s time for New York City to join that list,” said Fordham Law School Professor Catherine Powell. “It is time that we coalesce around leaders who examine issues through an intersectional lens and tailor policies to meet the needs of every community. That leader is Maya Wiley.”

Wiley’s housing agenda is a bold, transformative plan that will finally address the affordable housing and homelessness crises in New York City. The full plan can be viewed here. As Mayor, Maya will support the following:

End the Cruelty of Homelessness and Radically Decrease Homelessness:

  • Act immediately and cut off a key feeder to the shelter system—evictions—by enforcing a strong eviction moratorium for the duration of the pandemic and ensuing economic crisis.
  • Fix the glaring holes in recent reforms to the City’s Rental Assistance vouchers, expanding protections for New Yorkers and fighting for State funding.
  • End discrimination by landlords against renters who use government subsidies and renters with a history of involvement with the criminal justice system.
  • Create an aftercare system that prevents a return to homelessness.
  • Create an adequate supply of permanent supportive housing to reduce the single adult shelter population and street homelessness.
  • Move aggressively to acquire and convert hotels and other distressed properties into permanent supportive housing.
  • Provide tailored support to domestic violence survivors, who are often negotiating trauma while raising children, and specialized solutions for the LGBTQIA+ population.

Make Affordable Housing Affordable:

  • Usher in a new era of housing affordability by ensuring that the City only invests public money or land where there is a clear public benefit.
  • Guarantee affordable rent for all individuals and families making 50% or less of  the  Area  Median  Income  (AMI), ensuring they do not pay more than 30% of their income on rent.
  • Aggressively expand the City’s Rental Assistance program so it becomes an effective tool to ensure affordability long-term.
  • Dramatically expand and preserve the supply of affordable housing in the city by building 100% permanently affordable housing on public land and use public funding as a tool to promote equity, not private benefit.
  • Create a Community Land Bank to help provide the funding of our new era of a just and livable New York.

Keep public housing public by reinvesting, renewing and repairing NYCHA as our most reliable source of affordable housing:

  • Make $2 billion in critical investments in and changes to NYCHA that preserve it as the City’s most reliable source of affordable housing, led by NYCHA residents themselves.
  • Improve the quality and habitability of housing at NYCHA by integrating it into the City’s code enforcement.
  • Invest in NYCHA residents by creating real and robust resident engagement programs and support for families.
  • End the gun violence disparities in and around NYCHA by solving crime, addressing the root causes of crime, and expanding the use of violence interrupters and directing them to NYCHA’s most vulnerable developments.

Expand homeownership and generational wealth-building:

  • Expand opportunities for New Yorkers to become owners, helping them build wealth and capital, while creating protections against further gentrification, segregation and marginalization.
  • Give struggling low-and middle-income homeowners needed support to keep their homes by reform the Tax Lien Sale and create naturally affordable housing through Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Conversions.
  • Support first time homeowners in accessing better financial terms to support their long-term financial sustainability and reduce costs by providing down payment assistance and creating new avenues to homeownership through the use of Community Land Trusts.
  • Create opportunities for renters and communities to purchase properties, gain equity, and invest in where they live.

Maya has been endorsed by 1199SEIU, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, Gloria Steinem, Cecile Richards, Amsterdam News, Community Voices Heard, Higher Heights for America, EMILY’s list, AmplifyHer, State Senator Michael Gianaris, Former Assembly Member and Former DNC Vice Chair Michael Blake, Assembly Member Deborah Glick, Assembly Member Khaleel Anderson, Assembly Member Jeff Aubry, Assembly Member Latoya Joyner, Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi, Mark Green, Nathalia Fernández, Robbie Kaplan, Council Members Helen Rosenthal and Steve Levin, and former City Council Member Jimmy Vacca. She has also received the endorsement of New York Progressive Action Network (NYPAN), the 504 Democratic Club, the Working Families Party, and Democracy For America.  She has received ranked choice endorsements from The Jewish Vote and Progressive Women of New York.

Since entering the race, Wiley has introduced several innovative policy proposals, including her New Deal New York, a piece of her economic vision that will create 100,000 jobs; a plan to save small business; a Universal Community Care plan to provide $5,000 grants for the 100,000 most in-need New York City; her Community First Climate Plan; an education plan that hires 1,000 teachers; a policy to prevent maternal mortality; a proposal to combat gun violence; an arts, culture and tourism platform; a women’s agenda; a plan to create safe communities and transform policing; and a plan to fight evictions.