On May 16th, “Do Something Good for Your Neighbor Day”, the NYC Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit (PEU), NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), and NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) hosted an event at Roberto Clemente Plaza in the Bronx from 11AM – 3PM.
The event highlighted the role every New Yorker can play to address the housing crisis, by encouraging New York City landlords to rent to voucher holders. Participants send an email to their landlord to encourage them to rent to voucher holders. This outreach is part of the Public Engagement Unit’s “I Vouch for Vouchers” campaign, which elevates the voices of owners and brokers who work with voucher holders. The campaign includes marketing graphics and videos with first-hand experiences of brokers and owners, as well as an innovative public-private partnership with StreetEasy that included educational resources and a fireside chat for property owners and brokers. This new phase of the campaign will spotlight tenants who are organizing to help make a voucher recipient their neighbor.
Renting to a voucher holder is not only about moving New Yorkers out of shelters, it also makes business sense for landlords and brokers. Vouchers cover costs including a 15% broker fee for each unit, security covering 1 month’s rent, and free, individualized assistance from PEU Specialists throughout the entire lease-up and rental process.
“Landlords and brokers can play a huge part in moving New Yorkers from homelessness into stable housing,” said Adrienne Lever, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit (PEU). “Innovative events and inter-agency partnerships like these are a complement to the calls, texts, and on-ground outreach our team does every day to connect with landlords and brokers and support them in the process of renting to voucher holders.”
“SBS is proud to do our part to help New Yorkers find and maintain employment, which is critical to supporting New Yorkers into permanent housing,” said NYC Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Kevin D. Kim.