Millman Introduces Legislation to Provide Affordable Housing and Work Space to Artists

June 7, 2006
Brooklyn, NY – Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman has introduced Assembly Bill 11596, legislation to develop a grant program to help secure affordable housing and work space for artists in New York. The bill would establish a pilot program to assist artists in obtaining shared-use facilities, which serve as both a residence and a studio, performance or gallery space in which to practice or display art.

Soaring real estate values in the region are threatening the economic viability of the arts community in New York, forcing artists to move to lower cost areas in other parts of the country. This trend is having a detrimental effect on New York’s unique stature as a world leader in arts and entertainment.

“Because of particular economic burdens and space requirements, artists are often forced to rely on financial assistance and grants to subsidize the costs of their profession,” said Assemblywoman Millman. “However, keeping New York’s arts community afloat by providing affordable housing and work space is more than worth the cost when taking into account the economic benefit in commerce and tourism generated by this valuable resource.”

Assemblywoman Millman’s 52nd Assembly District includes DUMBO and Vinegar Hill, prime examples of how the arts community has transformed these areas into thriving residential and commercial centers. Unfortunately, although artists were the driving force behind the revitalization of these neighborhoods, they are being driven out by the corresponding rise in property values.

“As New Yorkers, we pride ourselves on the breadth and diversity of the arts community that has shaped the unique character of this City and State,” said Assemblywoman Millman. “But we are on the verge of losing this priceless asset unless we truly commit ourselves to helping artists secure affordable housing and work space. Now is the time to reaffirm our support for the creative community in New York.”