Reform Party City Council Candidates Bob Holden and Paul Graziano laid out a plan on Tuesday in front of Elmhurst’s Pan-Am homeless shelter to ease the homelessness crisis in the city.
Graziano, an urban planner running against Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), presented the idea of mandatory as-of-right zoning, which forces developers to create affordable housing, rather than rely on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing plan, which only forces the developer to create affordable housing when the plan is out-of-context.
His idea is to create 15 percent of a new development for low income residents and 25 percent for middle income residents. In addition, he wants the median income established by zip code or community board and not the greater New York City area.
Holden, who is challenging Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale), would like the city’s homeless to also be taken care of by faith-based organizations and not-for-profits that can provide short-term housing. The Bloomberg administration, Holden said, provided tougher restrictions on those who could volunteer to help the homeless and since then churches have not been at the forefront of the homeless crisis. He believes that this method will be more cost-effective, easier for providing services and safer for homeless individuals.
He also suggested the formation of volunteer community advisory boards to be filled with local experts who can help the homeless and those in danger of homelessness with resume writing, jobs skills, social work and financial advisement.
Read the full story this Thursday in the Queens Tribune.