Neighborhood Affordability

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With rising rents and fewer middle-class jobs, New York City is becoming increasingly unaffordable for the average New Yorker.

UNH is working to holistically address the factors that contribute to this state of unaffordability. Following in the footsteps of past trailblazers like Jacob A. Riis and Lillian Ward, today’s settlement house leaders advocate for policies that drive neighborhood affordability.

We envision a world where New Yorkers have options when looking for affordable housing, and where someone who wants a full-time job can find one that pays the bills.

To promote Neighborhood Affordability, UNH supports:

Affordable Housing

New York City is becoming increasingly unaffordable. UNH fights for policies that protect tenants, promote public housing, and encourage the development of housing that is truly affordable for all New Yorkers.

Economic Development

UNH partners with good government groups calling for accountability & transparency in government spending to ensure that taxpayer dollars are deployed as thoughtful investments, and that the return on those investments—namely jobs that are created—are available to New Yorkers who need them.

Workforce Development

In a City with a thriving economy, every New Yorker who is looking for a full-time job should be able to secure one. In order to achieve this vision, we advocate for investments in workforce development and skills training that help low- and moderate-income residents land career-track jobs with living wages.

Current Policy Agenda

City Level

Flip Tax

To slow the loss of affordable housing a "flip tax" would discourage speculative buying of one- to five-family homes in New York City. A flip tax would have no impact on prospective home buyers, but would weaken the potential return on flipped properties by imposing a steep tax on properties sold within two years of their original purchase.


New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)

NYCHA provides housing for more than 400,000 New Yorkers, and manages community space for more than 250 non-profit run community centers, child care centers, and senior centers. Unfortunately, after years of Federal and State divestment, NYCHA has an immense capital improvement backlog. UNH advocates for the establishment of a capital fund dedicated to non-profits operating out of NYCHA-based sites to empower them to address pressing capital needs.


Rent Regulations

Rent regulations protect New York City tenants and keep apartments affordable for long-term residents, slowing the displacement caused by gentrification and rising rents. UNH supports the renewal of rent regulations in 2019, the repeal of the vacancy bonus (which can financially motivate landlords to harass their long-term tenants), and the repeal of de-regulation laws that led to the loss of 152,000 regulated apartments since 1997.

Policy & Advocacy

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