2022 Policy Priorities

The New York City Community Land Initiative (NYCCLI) is a coalition of community land trusts (CLTs) and other housing and social justice organizations working to advance community stewardship of land, housing, and neighborhood development. We are advocating for state and local policies to strengthen CLTs, combat speculation and evictions, develop and preserve deeply- and permanently-affordable housing, and advance a just recovery in Black and brown communities.

New York City Legislative and Budget Priotities

  • Pass the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (Intro 0196): COPA gives CLTs and other mission-driven nonprofits a first right to purchase multifamily buildings when landlords sell. Modeled on similar legislation implemented in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, COPA would curb speculation and level the playing field for nonprofits to expand the supply of permanently-affordable, community- and tenant-controlled housing. We urge the City also to adopt Res. 0038-2022 calling for passage of the NYS Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act.
  • Public Land for Public Good (Intro 0637): Most City-owned land currently goes to for-profit developers, contributing to market-rate development and displacement in low-income Black and Brown communities. We urge the City Council to pass Intro 0637 which would prioritize disposition of City-owned land to CLTs and other nonprofit entities.
  • Abolish and Replace the NYC Lien Sale: Legislation authorizing the NYC Lien Sale expired in February 2022. We urge the City Council to pass legislation prohibiting NYC from resuming the lien sale, a Giuliani-era policy that destabilizes and extracts wealth from Black and brown communities. NYC must pursue equitable tax collection policies–including collaborating with CLTs to prevent displacement and convert financially distressed buildings into permanently affordable housing.
  • Fully Fund the Citywide CLT Initiative at $3 million: Launched in FY2020, the citywide CLT discretionary funding initiative has helped catalyze CLT organizing, education, training and technical assistance. Full funding of $3 million will support 20 organizations working to develop and preserve deeply-affordable housing, community and commercial spaces, and advance a just recovery in Black and brown NYC communities.

New York State Legislative and Budget Priorities

  • Allocate $50 million a year for five years to a new Community Land Trust Acquisition Fund (S.8265). This funding will enable CLTs across the state to acquire and develop housing for New Yorkers in greatest need, including low-income tenants and homeowners at risk of eviction and foreclosure. The Fund should support an array of social housing models that CLTs are pursuing to meet local community needs and foster tenant and community control – including mutual rental housing and shared-equity homeownership.
  • Pass the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA – S.3157/A.5971) to give tenants a first right to purchase their buildings, and a right to match outside offers, when landlords sell. Modeled on successful programs in other states, TOPA would give tenants and community groups a powerful new tool to negotiate for better living conditions and reasonable rents, combat property flipping, and expand New York’s supply of permanently-affordable social housing.
  • Allocate TOPA funding of $1 billion a year for five years, to create more than 20,000 permanently-affordable housing units across New York State, in high-cost markets like New York City and the Hudson Valley as well as cities like Rochester and Albany. We also call for $40 million a year for five years for training, organizing and technical assistance to support tenants in completing TOPA conversions.

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