March 10, 2022 – The New York City Community Land Initiative (NYCCLI) calls on Governor Hochul and the NYS Senate and Assembly to include robust support for community land trusts (CLTs) and non-speculative, community-controlled housing in New York State’s next budget. CLTs are on the rise across the state, from New York City and Rochester to Buffalo, Albany and beyond. Strong support in New York’s FY2023 budget will help ensure that CLTs have the resources they need to develop and preserve deeply- and permanently-affordable housing, combat speculation and displacement, and advance a just recovery in low-income and Black and brown communities.
We urge the NYS legislature and Governor Hochul to:
- Allocate $50 million a year for five years to a new Community Land Trust Acquisition Fund. 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 combat property flipping, stabilize housing, 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.