Cities After…Office Spaces as Homes - Pt. 4: Housing Justice with Cea Weaver

[S02 E18] New

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In this fourth and final episode of the Cities After…Office Spaces as Home mini-series, Prof. Robles-Durán talks to Cea Weaver, a prominent housing organizer in New York City who coordinates Housing Justice for All. In 2019, Weaver coordinated a statewide coalition to pass what many consider the most progressive housing laws in recent decades. She is currently working with the City Planning Commission to figure out what to do with vacant office towers and how to facilitate their conversion into affordable housing. Robles-Durán and Weaver speak about Housing Justice for All and what they’re working to achieve, New York’s importance in the history of rent control and tenant organizing, the homelessness crisis, and some of the specific policies and programs Cea is working on implementing.

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About our guest: Cea Weaver is a housing organizer, community advocate, and urban planner in New York City. She currently coordinates Housing Justice for All, a New York statewide coalition of over 100 organizations that represent tenants and homeless New Yorkers in Albany, the State’s capital. In 2019, Cea coordinated the 2019 campaign to strengthen and expand tenants' rights across the state and, in 2020, worked to win an eviction moratorium during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has worked in affordable housing policy and planning in NYC for over a decade. In 2021, Cea Weaver became Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams’ first nomination to the City Planning Commission (CPC). In 2022, she was appointed by Williams to the NYC Adaptive Reuse Task Force, charged to convert obsolete office buildings to other potential uses, such as housing, schools, labs, and more. The Task Force includes 12 experts appointed by the Mayor, City Council Speaker, and Public Advocate.

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Showing 2 comments

  • Theo Chino
    commented 2022-11-24 18:16:52 -0500
    Cea Weaver is an opportunists hack.
    She pushes Leberals ideas and she calls them Socialism.

    The tenant movement in New York would be better without her in it.

    I run the website https://show the books.org
  • Edward Dodson
    commented 2022-11-16 15:11:06 -0500
    Back in the early part of the 20th century, a New York official named Lawson Purdy managed to get the city to exempt all new construction from the property tax. During the years this exemption was in effect, New York experienced a great construction boom. Purdy advocated that all property improvement values ought to be exempt from taxation, that the city should rely on the value of land (i.e., of locations) for public revenue.

    Economic theory tells us that IF a community imposes an annual tax on locations equal to the potential annual value of each location that the SELLING PRICE of locations will fall and fall very close to ZERO. While falling land prices takes away net worth from households that own land, the effect of this reform in taxation is to make it possible to construct housing affordable to working households. This occurs because speculation in land will no longer be possible. Owners of land will either bring the land they hold to its highest, best use or sell to someone who will.

    Absent the above systemic reform, the only way to mitigate the dysfunctional character of our property markets is for government to subsidize the construction of new affordable housing units, the sale of which is subject to restrictive covenants that require any future resale to be limited to households that meet some household income test.

    If a city holds title to vacant land, this land can be offered for development (preferably by non-profit community development groups). In a city with the population of New York City, the best type of development is multi-story buildings structured as a limited-equity cooperative.

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