On the Market: Double Counting Affordable Housing; the Port Authority’s Reputation

wallyg, flickr.

wallyg, flickr.

Tricky math: Crain’s claims that all of the 8,700 units of affordable housing that de Blasio has boasted about adding to the city’s tally have already been counted under Bloomberg, putting a serious damper on the administration’s boasts. Both sides say that financing and the signed affordable housing agreement a countable project make, but de Blasio’s administration is claiming credit for projects that the Bloomberg administration put extensive planning into, with the argument that they’ve also logged many hours. In truth, most large projects in the city will span multiple administrations, but that means the numbers of added units are no where near as high as official rhetoric would claim.

And when you finally get the affordable housing built, finding local residents who qualify for the onerous requirements can be difficult. DNAinfo reports that some affordable units at 66 Rockwell Place in Downtown Brooklyn are sitting empty because the developer has been unable to find local residents who qualify—they make too much money. Though some housing advocates say the real reason is a set of onerous and nitpicky application requirements that have disqualified many applicants.

John Oliver called the Port Authority Bus Terminal “the single worst place on earth,” and skewered the Port Authority’s attempt to stop housewares store Fishs Eddy from selling dishes and bowls with a border of New York landmarks because the Port Authority is worried that “a whimsical plate will destroy its reputation.”

In The New York Times Alexandra Lange nails what’s so off-key about the de Blasio’s West Elm redecoration of Gracie Mansion: “For New York City’s first family, the move to Manhattan from Park Slope clearly felt more like an upheaval than a dream realized. The story line was less about being true to the house’s roots than being true to their own.” The West Elm redecoration is the continuation of a fiction, she writes, in which nothing about the de Blasio’s lives has changed but their number of bathrooms, nor is it, she points, undemocratic to appreciate a part of New York history.

The practice of purchasing development rights has preserved many a Hamptons field, but increasingly, the pricey real estate is being used not for agriculture, but for pricey horse paddocks and large private yards, according to The New York Times. The practice can be particularly irksome to the public, whose dollars go to buy the development rights, but who then often find the land subsumed into a gated community rather than use for agriculture.

Can’t afford a camping trip outside of the city? DNAInfo suggests that you try sleeping on the roof. Hey, it’s cooler than inside and you can see the stars.

Crain’s takes a look at the prosperity that has flowed along the L train and the entrepreneurs who have benefited—restaurants like Roberta’s, countless trendy bars and restaurants. It’s an interesting-enough phenomenon, if a well-documented one, though one startling fact is lodged in the piece: McKibbin Lofts now has $2,000-a-month studios.