Affordable housing is so important to former Brooklyn Democratic Party County Committee member Jennifer Berkley that she took a leave of absence from her job as a housing advocate and tenant organizer at the non-profit advocacy organization Tenants and Neighbors to enter the race in May.
She wants to “put more resources towards eviction prevention programs, tenant organizing, and informing tenants of their rights,” and champions the creation of a database of local landlords with “exceptionally high volumes of no fault, no cause, or holdover evictions” (cases that are generally not about rent) on their records in housing court.
Berkley thinks the 421-a program is flawed. For new developments, Berkley says the Article 11 tax incentive (under which Housing Development Fund Corporations can develop or rehabilitate affordable housing) is an effective “mechanism to sustain or build new affordable units.”
But to really make housing more affordable, Berkley says, “It requires someone at the negotiating table [who is] thinking about working class people …. A lot of the work can be done with City Council members taking a harder line with developers.”
She adds, “We have to take advantage of vacant lots. But I fear that under the current council member, we’re just going to see more luxury housing.”
For more information on Berkley's plan to hold landlord's more accountable for displacing long-term tenants from the community, click here.
To read the article in its entirety, including the background information Jen provided the reporter at the beginning of the piece, click citylimits.org.
Please contribute to Jen's campaign here to help us spread the word.