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In an effort to combat escalating housing costs, the Honorable Christine Quinn, Speaker of the New York City Council, in a State of the City Address given on February 15, 2007, announced a new set of initiatives.

Among them is a Renter's Tax Credit Act (RTCA), a bill which she plans to bring to the state legislature. The RTCA would provide tax relief of approximately $300 per apartment for working and middle class New Yorkers -- defined as families of four earning $75,000 or less, or, individuals making $43,000 or less.  Quinn hopes that this credit will ease the hardship of rising rents.  As she noted in her remarks, "Two-thirds of New Yorkers rent their homes, and for too long, they've been forgotten and ignored when it comes to tax relief."

Quinn also seeks to bring middle-class homeowners back to the fold.  As Quinn stated, "In 1970, the middle class made up nearly 50% of the City; in 2000, it was 30%, and the numbers are decreasing every year."  To stem the decline, Quinn has proposed revisions to city programs such as the Renters to Owners Opportunity Fund (ROOF). This Fund, which is currently available to families earning less than $56,720 a year, would be expanded to include those making approximately $92,170 a year; thus allowing a larger group of home purchasers to be eligible for assistance with closing costs and down payments.

To read the complete version of Speaker Quinn's remarks, please use the following link: www.nyccouncil.info/soc

To view a videotaped version of  the speech, please use the following link: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/media/021507-Quinn300k.asx