The Community Service Society of New York

04/05/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/05/2020 15:22

Statement on the Passing of Tom Waters

It's with profound regret that I have to report the death of our friend and colleague Tom Waters. He passed away on April 4.

Tom was known to virtually everyone at CSS and widely respected among New York City's housing advocates. He was part of the CSS community since 2005. His examination and analysis of low-income housing programs and rent-burdened communities as part of the organization's Policy, Research and Advocacy department was critically important to CSS.

Even more notably, Tom's research allowed CSS to put a critical spotlight on low-income tenants struggling to make ends meet and avoid homelessness. His reports on the dwindling supply of subsidized and regulated apartments helped illustrate the severe shortage of affordable housing driven by neighborhood change, and how existing policies came up short in addressing the housing needs of low-income New Yorkers. And through his coalition-building efforts and organizing background, Tom forged successful alliances with other housing advocates to push for policy change statewide.

Tom was both a brilliant analyst and a powerful advocate. Thanks to his efforts, we have witnessed significant change in how city and state policymakers, and the public, view the housing crisis and respond with legislation to protect the most vulnerable New Yorkers. For example, his long-term advocacy for stronger rent laws (both as a CSS analyst and a board member of Tenants & Neighbors) helped build the foundation for the 2019 expansion of rent regulation in New York State.

On behalf of CSS, we collectively send our deepest condolences to Hilary, their son Daniel, and his entire family. He will be sorely missed.