After both Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Secretary Hillary Clinton visited New York public housing and detailed the affordable housing policies they would pursue as President, advocates sent letters thanking the candidates for responding to their request to do so. NLIHC had joined New York City Council members Ritchie Torres, Jumaane Williams, and Brad Lander in urging presidential candidates to visit New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) public housing properties in the lead up to New York’s primary elections on April 19 (see Memo, 4/18). Other signatories to the letter included Community Service Society, Community Voices Heard (SVH), Power Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE), Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) and the Legal Aid Society.
The follow-up letters state, “On behalf of our coalition of public housing resident leaders, advocates, community-based organizations and elected officials, we write to sincerely thank you for answering our call to tour a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) public housing development as a part of your campaign in New York’s Presidential primary, and to strengthen your commitment to address pressing issues of affordable and public housing facing low-income families across the United States.” The letters thank each candidate for their affordable housing proposals, specifically expressing gratitude for each candidate’s “newly articulated commitment to fight for increased funding for public housing,” and requests follow up meetings with the candidates’ staff “to discuss the inclusion of affordable housing issues in the 2016 Democratic Party Platform to be adopted at the Democratic National Convention this summer.”
Advocates also wrote to the Republican presidential candidates, expressing disappointment that none responded to the request to visit public housing developments or to announce their plans to end the affordable housing crisis. Advocates also requested meetings with the Republican candidates’ staff to discuss the inclusion of affordable housing issues in the Republican Party Platform.