Inspired, strengthened and sustained by faith, the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing is committed to confronting the unconscionable and unacceptable reality of homelessness in New York City. Recognizing society's shared responsibility and working as partners with those who have experienced homelessness, the Assembly will mobilize communities of faith to empower all people, to advocate public policies to eliminate homelessness, and strive for the transformation of society.


Occupy the Courts on Fri. Jan. 20 -- Say No To "Citizens United"

From Coffee Party Board Member Eric Byler:

On Friday Jan. 20, the Coffee Party is joining Move to Amend and democracy advocates across the US to hold more than 80 rallies in front of federal court buildings, including the US Supreme Court. These rallies will launch grassroots campaigns for ballot initiatives and resolutions rejecting the "Citizens United" decree for unlimited, anonymous spending to influence our elections.

 

Momentum has been building in recent months, with resolutions passed by city councils in Los Angeles and New York City, and the Montana Supreme Court asserting that states have the right to prevent the corporate purchase of their governments.  Let's make this happen in states, towns, and cities across the country.

 

Here are some actions you can take:

 

NYC to determine if it will continue to provide Advantage Rental Housing Subsidies

Earlier this month, the City mailed notices to all current Advantage tenants advising them that their January 2012 Advantage rent payments would be sent to their landlords.

A Department of Homeless Services lawyer advised us late Friday that those notices were sent "in error" and that the City is awaiting a court decision on whether it has to pay January rent.   Counsel for the City have informed us that if no decision is issued by January 19th, the City will commence paying January rent on that date.

 

Here is Friday's email from DHS counsel:
It has come to our attention that all eligible Advantage tenants received a letter sent from HRA stating that the City is paying Advantage rent for January 2012 (despite the typo in the letter).  This letter was sent in error.  At this point, the City has not paid January 2012 Advantage rent.  The City is awaiting a court decision on whether the City still has an obligation to pay January rent on behalf of eligible Advantage tenants.  Once that decision is made, the City will inform tenants and landlords as to the status of the January 2012 Advantage rental subsidy payments.  DHS is updating its website and 311 to reflect this information, and will send out a corrected letter upon receiving a court decision, as in the prior two months

 

For January 2012, Advantage landlords received an accurate letter stating the above. 

NYC Housing Authority's Strategic Plan

John Rhea, the New York City Housing Authority's chairman, talks on The Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC, about their new strategic plan to -- including selling off air-rights and other strategies to raise revenue to support the city's public housing.

Biblical Economic Justice: Supply and Demand Isn't Enough

Rabbi Dr Bradley Shavit Artson argues that the moral requirment to honor human dignity requires that society look beyond a rigid adherence to the efficient law of supply and demand to meet the needs of people in society; especially those of society's vulnerable.

Read his essay in the Huffington Post.

Excellent Overview of Housing and Mortgages on Affordable Housing

This guide aims to help persons of low income gain an understanding of the options available when it comes to finding affordable housing and getting a mortgage. By the end of this guide the reader should have a better grasp of the following:

  • The advantages and disadvantages of home ownership for low income earners.
  • How to determine whether the home you are interested in really is affordable.
  • The process for finding, getting a contract on, and closing on your new home.
  • The responsibility for budgeting for incidentals.
  • Considerations regarding homelessness and home ownership.
  • Programs that may help you achieve your dream of home ownership.

Read more at Housing and Mortgages on Affordable Housing

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