I read some good news this week, about much needed affordable housing in New York City. Cardinal Dolan met with Mayor De Blasio to discuss making available "properties in the archdiocese's portfolio for affordable housing and emergency shelters." Cardinal Dolan was quoted as saying, "We want them to be used for the mission of the Church-namely for teaching, education, health care, housing, charity-and this fits in." Speaking of Mayor De Blasio he said, "He and I work for the same people, namely God's people, the people of this city and they've told us this is an urgent need. Let's do it."
Mayor De Blasio is a non-practicing Catholic but considers himself to be a spiritual person, who admires Pope Francis.
Mayor De Blasio has consistently said that he wants to do something about the housing crisis in NYC. Something must be done. Poor people as well as middle class working people can no longer afford to live in New York City and the surrounding areas. Prices of apartments, even to rent have soared in the last 10 years. Prices to buy a home or condo are steadily becoming out of reach for most working class New Yorkers.
In the neighborhood in Brooklyn where I grew up, hard working teachers, police officers, firemen, transit workers, merchants and others were able to buy a starter home (as my parents did) and give their families a good life in the city. That is becoming less and less realistic as prices continue to rise out of the reach of the lower and middle classes. It's a shame, because its all of those people who give NYC the ethnic and cultural diversity which makes it such a vibrant place to live.
And so the partnership between the city and the church, working together to give New Yorkers the opportunity to live in affordable housing is a very good thing. Certainly God's work.
I saw a program on TV about a year ago, about families living in shelters and what they go through. It saddened my heart. I wrote an e-mail/letter to Mayor De Blasio, asking him to address this growing crisis. I was surprised to get a reply. He promised he was going to do something to get families out of shelters and into decent homes. He said it was a priority of his administration.
So obviously this was good news I read this week, very uplifting and promising.