North Star Fund made a $2,000 Rapid Response grant to Met Council on Housing/MCREF for two actions supporting New York tenants: “We are the Faces of Cuomo’s Housing Crisis” march and the “Block Party for a Just Rezoning” in Inwood.
Who is the Met Council on Housing/MCREF?
The Met Council on Housing/Met Council Research and Education Fund (MCREF) is a tenants’ rights membership organization of New York City tenants who believe in the motto of “housing for people, not profit.”
Both of these actions fight for the rights of tenants that are under attack by current housing policies. The march was organized by the Housing Justice for All campaign, a coalition of tenants and homeless New Yorkers from across the state. The march demanded the strengthening and extension of rent control laws to the rest of the state, funding for public housing and an end to the homelessness crisis.
The block party in Inwood aimed to raise the profile of rezoning efforts there and make sure rezoning does not take place without guarantees of real affordable housing, zoning the small business corridor in order to limit development, and providing a pipeline for union construction jobs for the community.
The timing of the march was strategic: one year before the sunset of the rent laws and days before the end of the legislative session in Albany. It takes advantage of a contested Democratic primary for the governor’s seat this fall. All candidates running for governor were invited to attend and speak.
The block party was timed to take place before the mid-August city council meeting (which will likely include a vote on the rezoning) in order to pressure Council Member Rodriguez to vote no to the city’s rezoning efforts unless major changes are made.