Mayoral candidate Maya Wiley wants to invest millions of dollars in federal stimulus money to create a direct rent relief program for thousands of New Yorkers facing eviction and possible homelessness.
In a plan unveiled Wednesday, the program would be funded, in part, with $251 million included in the most recent federal stimulus package and be administered through the city’s Department of Finance and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Wiley supports passing a pied a terre tax, a vacancy tax, a mansion tax or a stock transfer tax which she said would help raise revenue to help the impending housing crisis which was already in the making prior to the pandemic.
Those proposals have faced stiff opposition in Albany in years past, and the relationship between whoever is elected mayor and Gov. Andrew Cuomo will eventually play a crucial role in the city's recovery.
Wiley, who formerly served as Mayor de Blasio’s Chief Corporation Counsel, is one of several candidates who supports an eviction moratorium. By the time a new mayor takes over in 2022, thousands of New Yorkers could be on the brink of losing their housing as the financial impact of the pandemic continues.
The plan also includes a provision to help some landlords impacted by tenants unable to pay the rent. According to the campaign, the program would allow qualifying landlords to receive direct aid from the city for rent owed. The city, in turn, would help ensure tenants are not evicted from their homes.
Much of what Wiley is proposing would be contingent on Albany and passing state legislation.
Several state lawmakers have been urging Governor Cuomo to support rent relief for tenants, but it's unclear what the legislature will do in the coming months as both the city and state face massive deficits and both tenants and landlords big and small face financial difficulty.