There was an affordable housing crisis in Ulster County before the pandemic; now it’s worse. Low-income, immigrant, and Black families are caught in the crosshairs.
According to the 2014-2018 American Community Survey, 55.1% of Ulster County renters are cost-burdened — that means at least 35% of their monthly income goes for housing. More than 30% are severely rent burdened, paying more than half of their income toward housing costs.
With your support UIDN has helped nearly 100 immigrant households in Kingston with emergency rent money. That sort of support is not sustainable or scalable. We’re facing a potential train wreck when the statewide eviction moratorium ends.
In response, UIDN has joined with other groups to form the Ulster County Coalition for Housing Justice and is working with others around the state to prevent evictions and foreclosures until we have a viable Covid 19 vaccine, and implement policies that ensure affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households.
We believe officials have a moral and pragmatic responsibility to prevent greater suffering. Eviction moratoriums have been extended by 180 days in other places. We must do the same here in Ulster County. Please join us by signing and circulating our petition.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act (H.R.6800) in part, to address the housing crisis, and the current version would protect some 11 million undocumented immigrants in our county. Please urge the Senate to pass this version of pandemic relief.
Thank you for your support. Stay tuned for more information and opportunities to act as UIDN works with other community groups to learn about and advocate for immediate and longer term solutions to our Ulster County affordable housing crisis.
Your efforts make our community healthier and stronger!
The housing crisis is nationwide. For a quick overview see Jamelle Bouie’s April 2021 New York Times opinion piece, Where Are the Least Fortunate Americans Supposed to Live? To see what’s happening at the grassroots in NYS, check out Housing Justice for All, a campaign for stronger tenant protections, an end to evictions, and an end to homelessness.
The campaign is led by the Upstate Downstate Housing Alliance, a coalition of tenants, homeless people, manufactured housing residents, and advocates. Members represent Long Island, NYC, Westchester, the mid-Hudson Valley, the Capital Region, the Southern Tier, the Mohawk Valley, and Western NY.
For a deeper dive, try one of these books published in 2019.
Homewreckers: How a Gang of Wall Street Kingpins, Hedge Fund Magnates, Crooked Banks, and Vulture Capitalists Suckered Millions Out of Their Homes and Demolished the American Dream Aaron Glantz (432 pp) reports on a heart-wrenching investigation into America’s housing crisis and the modern-day robber barons who are making a fortune off the backs of the disenfranchised.
Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (368 pp) uncovers how exploitative real estate practices continued even after redlining and other housing discrimination were banned. For a summary, see Taylor’s Q&A with The Nation, There Is No Housing Crisis: It’s Just Housing Under Capitalism.