housing

Join the Campaign to Support Tenant Rights

April 30, 2019 // 0 Comments

By RUDY OROZCO Affordable housing is one of the most critical issues in New York. As part of the Housing Justice for All coalition, DC 37 supports an Albany legislative agenda that would expand tenant rights, stabilize neighborhoods and eliminate the control corporate landlords have over housing throughout the state. The coalition is pushing the state legislature to pass nine bills before the session ends at the end of June. Each bill helps protect tenant rights by limiting the ability of landlords to gouge prices and raise rents exorbitantly. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido noted our union’s progressive history and its commitment to helping all of New York’s working families. “We have always been concerned with more than wages, working conditions and pensions for our members,” he said.  “The fight for stronger tenant rights and more affordable housing is among our [More...]

Welcome to DC 37

November 26, 2018 // 0 Comments

At Meetings Around the City, Public Service Workers Are Signing Up With the Union By GREGORY N, HEIRES DC 37 continues to sign up new members under our Leading the Way campaign to promote the benefits of union membership and encourage rank-and-file participation. Last month, DC 37 held five meetings with mid-level city employees whose misclassified job titles had kept them out of the union during the Bloomberg administration but are now eligible to join or re-join. A sixth meeting was also held in November for City University of New York employees, who recently won a new contract. Union Offers Job Security Many workers who signed union membership cards at the meetings indicated that job security was their top reason for joining. Monifa Thomas, a 20-year city employee who is now a senior project manager at the Administration for Children’s Services, described job security as “an [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...]

Burning Down the House

June 18, 2018 // 0 Comments

By JEREMY JOHN On April 25, Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Trump administration, pulled the curtain back to what typifies the worst aspects of the regressive views shared by the alt-right extremists now in power since the November 2016 election. His proposed scheme, called the Make Affordable Housing Work Act, deals a brutal blow to decades of efforts by previous administrations — both Republican and Democrat — to create affordable housing and to maintain and expand the social safety net for millions of vulnerable Americans who need a decent place to live. Under the proposal, millions of families living in subsidized public housing will see their rents rise from 30 percent of adjusted income to 35 percent of their higher annual gross income. This subtle distinction makes a powerful difference. By changing the rules on income, the increase in reality is [More...]

Among the Richest Nations, the United States is One of the Poorest

February 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DAVID BRAND Poor Americans are getting sicker, dying younger, and even living on the streets more often as extreme poverty threatens the lives of millions in the world’s wealthiest country. Now the United Nations is taking action. Last year, the UN sent a team led by Philip Alston, a human rights expert and law professor at New York University, to investigate poverty in California, West Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. “Despite great wealth in the U.S., there also exists great poverty and inequality,” Alston said in a statement. “The idea of human rights is that people have basic dignities [and] that is the role of the government to ensure that no one falls below a decent level.” The UN has identified the U.S. as having the second-highest rate of poverty among a group of the world’s richest countries. According to the U.S. [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...]

New City Program Places Homeless with Host Families

November 5, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES An innovative new city program backed by the union will help the homeless to leave their shelters to live with a host family. The city will run the program through its Pathways to Housing service, which addresses homelessness by combining housing with treatment for mental and physical health, substance abuse, education and employment. The new Pathway Home Program will encourage homeless individuals and families to live with friends or family members (host families). Host families will receive $1,200 to $1,800 a month in compensation, depending on their household size. In October, DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and Commissioner Steven Banks of the Dept. of Social Services sent a joint letter to the union’s members about the Pathway Home Program. The union is partnering with the city to alert members who might be interested in serving as a host family. The [More...]

“I Look Forward to Helping Union Members on the Job”

June 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

Stacey Peyton, Records Access Officer, Local 1359 Do you remember that Verizon wireless commercial? The one where the guy would say “Can you hear me now?” And he would have millions of people behind him. That visual, all of the folks behind this one man asking if he can be heard, has always stuck out in my mind. To me, that perfectly represents what it is like being part of a labor union. It was 27 years ago that I started working at the NYS Homes and Community Renewal Office of Rent Administration. My coworkers and I process requests for access to public records about apartment buildings, rental histories, and anything else that may be necessary for people looking into where they live or may be considering moving to. This information is essential in many cases to help keep a safe, clean, and comfortable roof over the heads of New Yorkers. Together with a staff of 12 people who I [More...]

Union Outlines Priorities at Annual Meeting with City Council Members

May 2, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO Dozens of City Council members were at DC 37 headquarters last week to meet with leaders and activists about the union’s budget and legislative priorities. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido put the future of public hospitals atop that list. “Our public hospitals are a critical safety net not just for uninsured New Yorkers, but for everyone,” Garrido said at the union’s annual City Council breakfast. Garrido also reiterated union support for universal free lunch for public school students, capital improvements for public libraries, the Department of Parks and Recreation, public housing and other priorities. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito paid homage to the hard work of DC 37 members and pledged to stand with us during the upcoming budget negotiations with Mayor de Blasio. “We take your concerns and priorities to heart,” she [More...]

Taxes and Inequality

April 24, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Thousands of demonstrators across the United States on April 15 — Tax Day — called for President Donald Trump to release his taxes. The protest was a reminder of the country’s unfair tax system and glaring inequality. And it was the opening act of resistance to what stands to become the next big political battle: tax reform. Having failed to replace and repeal the Affordable Care Act with the Republicans’ health-care plan — which in itself would have deepened inequality — Trump aims to implement the greatest tax overhaul since President Ronald Reagan’s changes to the tax code in 1986. This is very troublesome, because the policies coming out of the White House and the Republican-controlled Congress have favored the rich and powerful — and the Trump administration’s tax “reform” plan continues in that vein. Trump’s federal budget proposal [More...]