AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Big Turnout at Housing Fair

August 27, 2019 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS Hundreds of DC 37 members and retirees took their first steps towards buying a home at the union’s 14th annual housing fair on Aug. 24 at 125 Barclay Street. “Home ownership is possible for our members,” said Ruth Pena, director of the Municipal Employees Housing Program. “We start with budgeting and saving for the purchase to closing on a house, condo or coop apartment. We offer a range of service providers — real estate agents, home inspectors, mortgage lenders, and more. We work within members’ budgets and even repair their credit report.” Members participated in workshops and classes Saturday afternoon that helped them prepare for home ownership. Those searching for apartments can access a special 5 percent set aside of affordable rentals. Members who may be homeless or victims of domestic violence can also find safe housing through the program. [More...]

The Future of Housing in Your Community

February 28, 2019 // 0 Comments

As DC 37 activists, you can play a part in helping to shape the direction and development of your neighborhood. Part of the union’s Leading the Way campaign includes a series of Community Association meetings in March that the DC 37 Political Action Dept. will host on the topic: The Future of Housing in Your Community. These midweek evening meetings are scheduled for members’ convenience in every borough. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend one near you. Invite your coworkers and neighbors, the union’s got your back and theirs too. Political Action Dept. staff will be at each venue to provide up-to-date information and answers to your questions about housing, union benefits and services, and more. Be sure to support your union at this upcoming community event. All DC 37 members and retirees are welcome. Invite and bring your concerned coworkers, friends and neighbors. [More...]

Local 1549 Conference: A Call to Action

January 31, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES About 200 shop stewards, activists and union leaders attended Local 1549’s annual conference on advocacy and political action on Jan. 26. Each year, the local holds the conference reviews its political and legislative priorities. Its purpose is to educate shop stewards and chapter chairs about key and critical issues, giving them background information to share with their coworkers. But beyond spelling out the local’s agenda, the conference serves as a call to action. Local leaders and panelists reinforce to conferees the importance of getting involved in politics and community issues—in addition to being the voice of the union in their workplaces. “We have to protect each other,” said Local 1549 President Eddie Rodriguez. Local 1549’s 2019 agenda includes: The 911 surcharge. Winning back jobs taken over by the state to the Human Resources [More...]

Housing Program Marks 13th Year

August 7, 2018 // 0 Comments

BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS Flooding downpours did not stop members from attending the annual August housing fair at the union hall, where many met real estate professionals who offer mortgages, inspections, credit counseling, and other housing-related services. “I came because I’m looking to purchase my first home,” said SSEU Local 371 member Shermaine Taylor. “I got lots of great information on grants and mortgages and even student loan forgiveness. Everything I learned at the union I’m sharing with my coworkers.” “Thirteen years ago, under the leadership of Lillian Roberts, I was tasked to put together a housing program for members,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. At the time more than 300 DC 37 families were living in homeless shelters. The city’s affordable housing stock dwindled as the Bloomberg administration ushered in a luxury housing construction boom. [More...]

A Progressive Housing Plan

December 8, 2017 // 0 Comments

Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced that the city is on track to build and protect 200,000 affordable homes by 2022 — two years ahead of schedule — and is taking on a new goal of 300,000 affordable apartments by 2026. The city has secured 77,651 affordable homes, enough for more than 200,000 New Yorkers, since de Blasio took office, according to the mayor’s office. The city also boasts more housing for low-income New Yorkers than ever before, and more protections to keep New Yorkers in their homes. “We are building an engine that will keep families in safe, decent and affordable homes for decades to come,” the mayor said. “We will keep this a city for seniors, veterans, working families and the middle class.” All this is welcome news, indeed — and more evidence of the mayor’s focus on making the city livable for all of its residents. Back in January 2014, the mayor [More...]

DC 37 Launches Office of Community Partnership

May 16, 2016 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Immigration reform, affordable housing and the city hospitals budget crisis are among the issues the union’s new Office of Community Partnership plans to address. DC 37 launched the OCP at union headquarters during a breakfast meeting with union leaders and community activists on May 16. “This is just the beginning of a conversation we need to have as we begin to develop a plan of action,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido at the meeting. Since becoming executive director, Garrido has emphasized the need for labor unions to reach out beyond their own membership and work on issues that concern the broader community. “A good labor union fights for all workers,” Garrido said Sondra Youdelman, executive director of Community Voices Heard, was one of the many activists who attended the meeting and was encouraged by the union’s new initiative. [More...]

Mayor’s Plan Offers More Affordable Housing in East New York

April 7, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES and MIKE LEE DC 37 released an analysis of the Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan for East New York’s housing showing that proposed rent levels for new affordable housing to be significantly less expensive than apartments currently renting in that neighborhood. “The status quo is just not working — it’s leaving East New York without the tools or investments needed to protect against rising rents,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido on April 7. “We looked hard at the facts. And the facts are that under the city’s plan, East New York will become more affordable for working men and women such as our members.” The DC 37 report shows union members and other working families who live in the Brooklyn neighborhood are struggling with rising rents. Rents in the neighborhood rose 26 percent between 2000 and 2013. About 40 percent of residents in [More...]

City Council Approves Union-Backed de Blasio Housing Plan

March 26, 2016 // 0 Comments

BY MIKE LEE After certain modifications, the New York City Council voted in support of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious and innovative housing plan, which he presented in late 2015. The City Council overwhelmingly approved the housing package — the Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning and Zoning for Quality and Affordability — on March 22. The proposals follow on the heels of other de Blasio policy changes, including a first-ever rent freeze for a million rent-regulated tenants. Also, the mayor intervened to ensure tenant protections in the recent sale of Manhattan’s Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town apartment complex. The initiative is a clear break from the retrograde policies of previous mayors, and it requires private developers receiving tax breaks and state and federal subsidies to make a quarter of new housing units affordable for working families. The plan will [More...]

Support the Mayor’s Housing Plan

March 12, 2016 // 0 Comments

BY MIKE LEE Later this month, the New York City Council will make a decision on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious and innovative housing plan, which he presented in late 2015. A final vote by the City Council is expected by March 22 on the housing package, called the Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning and Zoning for Quality and Affordability. The proposals follow on the heels of other de Blasio policy changes, including a first-ever rent freeze for a million rent-regulated tenants. Also, the mayor intervened to ensure tenant protections in the recent sale of Manhattan’s Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town apartment complex. The initiative is a clear break from the retrograde policies of previous mayors, and it requires private developers receiving tax breaks and state and federal subsidies to make a quarter of new housing units affordable for working families. Also included in the [More...]