New York State policymakers will make a number of critical decisions related to affordable housing over the next few months that will shape the upcoming years of affordable housing policy in New York. In the wake of a public health crisis that exacerbated a preexisting housing affordability crisis facing millions of families statewide, it is vital to get those decisions right.
On September 15, New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH) will host our Fall Virtual Symposium. This is an important opportunity to hear policy and industry leaders discuss the challenges and opportunities we all face right now.
NYSAFAH typically convenes two industry-wide conferences a year, but the upcoming one is especially important. It will come just after nearly 62,000 New Yorkers filed for unemployment claims – a sure sign that families are in desperate need of financial support and likely lack proper housing security. And it comes at a time when public officials and advocacy groups are hearing from residents and community leaders on the ground who are struggling to recover from the pandemic.
New Yorkers need concrete solutions that engage public and private partners in a collective and achievable mission. That is exactly what NYSAFAH’s conferences aim to achieve by convening policymakers, industry leaders, and advocates and discussing unanswered questions about federal rent relief, the role of affordable housing in economic recovery, racial inequality in housing, and more.
Delivering the keynote address will be former Obama Administration Official Shaun Donovan, who previously served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He will speak to the critical role the production and preservation of affordable housing can play in the current pandemic, and the need for collaboration at all levels to properly address the state’s housing crisis.
Additionally, Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz and Senator Brian Kavanagh – New York’s leading elected officials in the affordable housing space – will discuss their efforts to provide a lifeline to the industry and keep New Yorkers in their homes while providing a jolt to the development of affordable housing that has proven to yield a much-needed kickstart to New York’s economy.
Finally, we will tackle the role of housing in systemic racial inequalities with which the entire nation is grappling right now.
Fair Housing Justice Center Executive Director Fred Freiberg will join industry leaders like real estate developer and urban revitalization strategy consultant Majora Carter to discuss just how our industry can tear down long-standing barriers to equality and build a more equitable New York.
NYSAFAH is always proud to bring public and private stakeholders together to facilitate important discussions about how to advance smart housing policies and protect our state’s most vulnerable, but we are especially proud of our role right now in this environment.
These next few months will be critical. We must not let up in the shared fight to tackle our state’s housing crisis.
Photo top: East Clarke Place Court. Photo by Albert Vecerka/Esto, RKTB Architects, P.C.