Like many communities throughout the City, South East Queens suffers from a lack of affordable housing. My office will make it a priority to build on the work of Council Member Daneek Miller where he secured over 2,000 new affordable units to the community.
In order to secure this housing, we must welcome appropriate development on major corridors and in downtown Jamaica that can provide real additional affordable housing units while still respecting the character of neighborhoods in the Council district.
We have seen time and time again what has happened due to the lack of affordable housing for our neighbors. No one in South East Queens should be put in the position of being forced to move out of our community because of a lack of affordable housing.
We have been fortunate to have so many of our community members continue to call Southeast Queens their home. The reason they’ve committed to our community is because of homeownership opportunities that allowed them to invest in our neighborhoods. However, for far too many New Yorkers who live in Southeast Queens, homeownership is out of reach despite their commitment to living here long-term.
My office will increase programming that educates and encourages on first time homeownership opportunities. I will provide young adults’ access to financial literacy programs that will guide them to build the necessary credit or financial record they need to become homeowners. I’ll facilitate equal access to credit and help make navigating the complex process as easy as possible. It’s only through persistent programming that we can continue to sustain the commitment and investment our community leaders have made.
Homelessness is at an all-time high throughout NYC for many reasons. High costs of living, safety of shelters, effects of mental illness and countless other variables all contribute to this citywide crisis. The lack of affordable housing and ongoing foreclosure crisis only further exacerbates this. I am committed to working with both homeless outreach and social service providers to aggressively conduct outreach to those New Yorkers that need help the most.
The foreclosure crisis has truly hit SEQ. Strong aid packages are needed to help keep people in their homes. Lack of employment is a factor in individuals being able to maintain their mortgage payments. In 2015, when as aide to Council Member Daneek Miller, we started the Foreclosure Buyback program. This program funded by the City Council helped keep homeowners in their homes by purchasing distressed mortgages for one-to-four family homes. This was unfortunately ended by the Trump administration, but my office will fight to make sure that this essential program is reinstated to help homeowners, especially in our community that suffered extensively during the last recession and still find themselves threatened.