June 29, 2007

Hon. Eliot Spitzer
State of New York
Executive Chamber
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Spitzer:

As a State Senator for more than 1,800 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) tenants, I urge you to sign S.4329 (Lanza)/A.7905 (Lopez). This bill, which creates parity between public housing authorities and private sector landlords in terms of the shelter allowance for tenants on public assistance, is very important to New Yorkers who live and work in public housing.

As you know, public housing is no less expensive to operate than similar housing owned and operated by private landlords. In fact, given the supportive and social services that housing authorities are expected to provide, public housing is actually more costly to operate. However, these vital programs are becoming unsustainable for our under-funded public housing authorities. If these public housing authorities are to continue to provide quality housing and services to public assistance recipients, New York State must pay them no less than it does private sector landlords.

Public housing service cuts are not just theoretical: Recently, NYCHA announced that it will be forced to lay off 500 employees, reduce services, and look at other drastic measures, which will have a negative effect on New York Cityfs most needy population.

New York State has a responsibility to carry its fair share of the public housing rent burden and enactment of S.4329 /A.7905 will go a long way towards fulfilling that obligation. This bill will give NYCHA the revenue that it deserves and desperately needs to avoid the aforementioned cuts. Moreover, this bill will ensure that many hardworking union workers will avoid layoffs.

I appreciate your consideration, and welcome your support for this measure.


Thomas K. Duane

29th Senate District

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