We Demand Community Control of Land Use

We aim to challenge the affordability crisis in New York City by advocating for community control of land use

Community Control of Land Use New York (CCLUNY) is a community group founded by anti-gentrification and Government reform activists, who seek community control over land use in New York. We aim to challenge the affordability crisis gripping New York City by, in turn, challenging those, who set adverse land use and housing policies that betray the needs of tenants.

In New York, land use and housing policies are set by elected officials, who largely decide Government policy based on the corrupting role of money in politics. When over $1 of every $10 entering the campaign finance system originates from firms or individuals associated with members of the Real Estate Board of New York, those campaign donations obviously get made for a reason : to purchase industry-friendly Government policy. Consequently, tenants of public housing, rent-regulated apartments, and market-rate apartments face unsafe living conditions, harassment, discrimination, violations of fair housing laws, and extortions of rents upon lease renewal. Even small business holders of commercial leases face terms of lease renewals that are so unaffordable that they lead to business closures and layoffs.

If we expect to see reform and accountability in New York regarding land use and housing policy, we must first stand up to elected officials, who violate the public trust by allowing money in politics to determine the unaffordable and unjust conditions of our tenancy. Secondly, we must empower and support each other to propose a vision for how we want city planning and zoning to be carried out in our neighborhoods. Thirdly, we must defend our public assets, in the form of public housing, public parks, public nonprofit corporations, and other public buildings, from being sold or leased to private real estate interests, sometimes for as little as $1 dollar. And lastly, we must have a binding say in all matters related to land use and housing policy. Right now, decisions made on behalf of the public in the community board level only have an advisory role in Government. We need to reform the zoning change procedure so that the public has a binding role in determing public policy about land use and housing policy.

We hope that you will participate in the information-sharing, the thought leadership, and the advocacy work we do in New York. This is your city, and this is your state. We can no longer accept that elected officials turn a deaf ear to you. Your voice must be heard.