Shimamura campaign unveils housing commitments in race for Upper East Siding council district

Tricia Shimamura, courtesy of her campaign for city council.

Tricia Shimamura is building a plan to expand housing stabilization programs and increase the affordable housing stock if voters come through for her in the June 22 Democratic primary to succeed Councilman Ben Kallos who is term limited.

Shimamura, a former staffer for Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, said she will support the Section 8 and CityFHEPS voucher programs as well the creation of new subsidies, making public hearing on land use more accessible and providing funding for NYCHA improvements.

“Housing is a human right that falls at the intersection of so many of the crises facing our city,” Shimamura said. “We were facing an affordable housing crisis long before this pandemic, and now it’s going to take bold, immediate action by City Hall and Albany to guarantee that all New Yorkers have access to the housing they deserve. By strengthening tenant protections, closing loopholes that developers exploit, expanding our affordable housing stock, and implementing zoning reform that prioritizes community-led development, we can combat this crisis while building stronger, more diverse communities.”

Housing vouchers provided by the city have been long-deemed not enough to cover the cost of rent, forcing many recipients to use their vouchers in New Jersey resulting in more economic hardship. Shimamura committed to support Intro. 146, which would address housing subsidies falling on average about $500 short of market-rates in the five boroughs.

The Uniform Land Use Review Process could be improved, according to Shimamura by the city providing childcare, flexible meeting times, and making virtual participation an option even after the pandemic so communities can take advantage of every opportunity to weigh in on developments.

Shimamura is not the only candidate in the crowded race hoping to end the housing hardship in this race.
Rebecca Lamorte has been vocal in terms of support for the by Housing Rights Initiative’s litigation against 88 real estate brokers and landlords who allegedly refuse to accept Section 8 housing vouchers, several of whom operate in the Upper East Side. In mid-March, she called this an act of racial discrimination as the majority of voucher recipients are black and brown New Yorkers.

Former New York City census director has also committed to expanding supportive housing, providing job training resources, mental health services, child care and health care in her plan to bring racial equality to housing in the five boroughs.

Shimamura, Menin and Lamorte face a battle against several candidates in this district include Christopher Sosa, Billy Freeland and Kim Moscaritolo.

Read the full proposal from Shimamura’s campaign here.

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