Brooklyn Councilman David G. Greenfield congratulated the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on its decision to exempt New York City from new federal housing subsidy rules, saying that the rule changes would have choked NYC’s ability to preserve and create affordable housing.
“Along with several of my colleagues on the City Council, I asked HUD in September to reconsider its application of this rule in New York City, on the grounds that it would have devastating effect on our affordable housing market,” Greenfield said. “I am very happy that HUD listened to us and decided not to apply this rule to New York.”
The proposed rule on Small Area Fair Market Rents, while well-intentioned, would have created major problems for New York City. Specifically, 55,000 Section 8 households would have ended up paying more in rent every month.
“Imposing this rule would exacerbated New York’s housing crisis and put thousands of families at risk of eviction,” Greenfield said. “In my district alone, nearly 1,600 families would have been adversely affected – more than half of all the Section 8 participants that I represent. That’s why I fought to make sure HUD didn’t apply its one-size-fits-all rule to New York.”
Based on the advice of Greenfield and his colleagues, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has agreed to exempt all cities with an apartment vacancy rate of 4% or less. New York, with a vacancy rate of 3.45%, will be exempt from the new rules.
“This is a great day for thousands of New Yorkers who are no longer at risk of losing their homes,” Greenfield said. “I want to thank the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as my colleagues on the City Council – especially Council Member Ritchie Torres – for their advocacy and leadership in achieving this victory.”