You are hereBlogs / Executive Director's Blog
Executive Director's Blog
On June 24, 2011 after nearly two years of organizing and advocacy by the Real Rent Reform (R3) Campaign - (a coalition which includes 75 groups including the Interfaith Assembly), Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a 4 year extension of the rent regulations covering the housing of over 2.5 million New Yorkers.
In answer to the question "After losing hundreds of thousands of affordable apartments over the past decade due to weakened rent laws, how did New York's over 1 million renter households do?" Different members of R3 and our allies have different answers. But considering the fact that tenant and affordable housing advocates were outspent at least 200 to 1 by the real estate lobby, and that this renewal was the first in nearly 2 decades without weakening amendments, our answer is "David fought Goliath to a draw after being beaten for 18 years." In addition to R3, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the State's Black, Latino and Asian caucus deserve great credit for this result. The Assembly is proud to have played a small but significant role in this effort as well, organizing many meetings between faith leaders and elected officials and most recently, with Habitat for Humanity and others, presenting a letter to Governor Cuomo with nearly 150 religious leaders calling for stronger rent laws.
Check out the Assembly's community blog - starting now and growing soon.
Look for our front line reports - from homeless and formerly homeless people accessing and reporting on services.
The Interfaith Assembly addresses the crisis of homelessness and the shortage of affordable housing in two ways. Through our empowerment programs we help those who have been homeless to recover from the trauma associated with their homelessness, and with our advocacy partners we work to “Build the Blessed City Together” and promote public policies that will – produce affordable housing; prevent homelessness, provide important services; and promote income and employment.On both these fronts, there has been much recent activity.
In the area of empowerment, in late 2007 the Assembly received a generous grant in memory of Andrew Stallman which has enabled us to assist three community partners in replicating the very effective life-skills program that we helped to establish in 1989 with New York Catholic Charities. These include "Break Through", established by Mercy Haven, Inc. in Sayville on Long Island; "Rebuilding Towards Manhood" organized by the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica; and in partnership with Congregation Ansche Chesed and other upper west side congregations, the first Synagogue based program entitled Face to Face" ("Panim al Panim"). The Assembly also assisted St. Francis Xavier Church to re-activate its own Education-Outreach Program in downtown Manhattan.We are currently exploring the development of a number of other life-skills program sites as well as working with Fordham University in developing a project to document the long term effectiveness of this program model.