Where’s the Money?: “There’s no money.”

Time and again, we are told by public officials that there is no public money to fix NYCHA. That private investment is the only option. As a starting place for contesting this, the Justice For All Coalition compiled a list of pots where that money could come from – some existing, and some that could be created. This preliminary inquiry demonstrates that if officials dedicated a modicum of time and effort to this task, they could easily address all repair needs now.

City

  • Stop all new development and major rezonings in Queens and across the city, and reallocate public money, time and resources towards repairing & modernizing public housing.
  • Revoke the decision to spend $10 billion on 4 new jails, and reallocate that money and a portion of the NYPD budget towards repairing and modernizing public housing.
  • Cut the NYPD budget in half and allocate some of that money to repairing public housing.

State

  • Pass “the millionaires tax” as sponsored by Senator Julia Salazar. This would create a progressive tax on incomes over $1 million and funnel $2 billion to NYCHA annually.
  • End state-level tax abatement programs, including 421-a and 485-a, which cost the state about $4 billion annually, and only benefit corporate landlords and wealthy developers.
  • Impose a pied-à-terre tax as sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman. This would institute a progressive surcharge on non-primary residences worth $5 million or more and generate $9 billion in new revenue over the next decade.

Federal

  • Support and pass Public Housing Emergency Response Act as proposed by Congresswoman Nydia Velaquez. This would allocate $70B for public housing capital repairs and upgrades nationally, including $40B for NYCHA.
  • Support and pass the Green New Deal for Public Housing, as proposed by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders. Their plan allocates up to $172 billion over the next 10 years to repair and retrofit public housing units to improve living conditions now and in the future. The GND for public housing also includes a repealing of the Faircloth amendment, which would all for new construction of public housing. This would better help meet the needs of those who are currently unhoused or inadequately housed.
  • Close tax loopholes that allow large corporations and wealthy actors to offshore income and avoid paying taxes. SEC filings show that Apple alone would need to contribute about $60 billion to the country’s coffers. Moreover, research by the Citizens for Tax Justice and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund shows that jointly, the top 500 largest US companies who hold more than $2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore, would contribute more than $620 billion.

Want to help? See where your elected officials stand on these topics, and pressure them as needed.


Posted on: January 23, 2020

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