Activist Check-in: Heat Waves & Housing Justice

by | Aug 11, 2022

Dear Activist –

It’s been hot out there. And of course that has us thinking about the escalating climate crisis and what we need to do to combat it.

It also has us thinking about the 92,000 unhoused New Yorkers, and what not having access to secure, stable housing means for them in this kind of weather. New York’s ongoing housing crisis is a shameful testament to what happens when elected officials prioritize the demands of corporate landlords and the ultra-wealthy ahead of the needs of everyday people and families.

But when we organize, we win! Thanks to the passion and dedication of activists across the state who refuse to back down, we’ve recently won some critical victories. Read on to learn more about these victories – and how you can get involved in our ongoing housing justice work.

A big congratulations to our members in the Hudson Valley! The Kingston Common Council took a big step forward to ensure housing justice for Kingston tenants by declaring a rental emergency under the Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA), stabilizing rents for around 1,200 eligible units – about 20% of Kingston apartments. This makes Kingston the first upstate municipality to adopt rent stabilization as a means of protecting tenants from massive rent hikes during New York’s ongoing housing crisis. It also sets the stage for other cities and towns to take the same step to protect tenants. Hear what our Hudson Valley Lead Organizer Tyler Vanderhaag had to say about this historic win on WBAI Radio’s Housing Notebook!

Screenshot of Hudson Valley 1 article with photo of a press conference with housing activists and former State Senator Jen Metzger speaking at a podium. Headline reads: Kingston adopts rent control; City opts into limited law

Housing activists and former State Senator Jen Metzger at a For the Many press conference. Credit: Hudson Valley 1

In the Capital District, tenants at a large Albany apartment complex won a major victory against a corporate landlord who had been ignoring basic tenant concerns like addressing mold, infestations, sewage, and flooding while raising rents by up to 50% and harassing tenants. Residents at the 279-unit Capitol Crossings apartment complex – historically low-income and subsidized renters – organized and won concessions including agreements to address the tenant concerns, rent stabilization, and protections from unjust evictions.

We’re so proud of our members and leaders for doing the work to bring these victories home. It shows what we can accomplish when we organize and sets the stage for even more housing victories. Together, we will create a New York where every person has safe, stable housing!

So how can YOU join the fight for housing justice?

  • Come to an event or chapter meeting to meet your fellow activists and grow the movement for justice in your community.
  • Become a member of Citizen Action! Our dues-paying members provide the grassroots support we need to transform New York into a truly equitable state. Join us to move our progressive agenda forward and fight back against corporate donors and the ultra-wealthy.
  • Engage with us on social media. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to stay current with how we’re building a New York State that truly works for everyone – and how you can get involved in the fight for justice.

In Solidarity,