Seven years ago, when the Westside mega-development known as Hudson Yards was but a twinkle in the collective eye of real estate moguls and Bloomberg officiates, grumbling had already begun about inequality among the neighborhood’s residents. Those residents, of course, had yet to arrive. And the complaints seemed stranger still given that Hudson Yards had, Read More
Affordable Housing or Lack Thereof
With New Mayor and Different Governor at the Helm, Increased HIV/AIDS Housing Subsidy to Become a Reality
Today Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an affordable housing initiative for low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS that will cap the rent for those receiving housing subsidies at 30 percent of their income. Long a goal of advocates, who say that the income cap is necessary to save many of those living with the illness from penury, a similar measure was introduced as a bill four years ago, but was opposed by Mayor Bloomberg and ultimately vetoed by then-Gov. David Paterson, who cited a lack of funding. Read More
A NYCHA caretaker has been arrested after she allegedly took cash payments from individuals desperate to secure a placement in public housing. Magnolia Diaz, 49, who has been employed by NYCHA as a caretaker since 1997, supplemented her $40,019 annual income by collecting bribes from individuals whom she falsely promised to secure apartments for, according to the city Department of Investigation. Read More
Is NYCHA’s Land Lease Plan Dead? Housing Authority Does Not Intend to Designate Sites Before de Blasio Takes Office
The New York City Housing Authority’s controversial land lease plan, in which the cash-strapped agency would have raised direly needed repair funds by building market rate apartments on public housing land, looks unlikely to become a reality, at least in the form proposed by the current administration.
Today NYCHA announced that despite receiving promising proposals for 11 of the 14 possible development sites in six of eight housing projects, it does not expect to move to a conditional designation of any of the sites until 2014, after Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a staunch supporter of the plan, is out of office. Read More
Advocates trying to speed up the construction of affordable housing that was promised as part of the controversial Atlantic Yards project are letting bygones be bygones when it comes to Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s support of the original deal.
A slew of pols rallied this afternoon to halt the project’s sale to a foreign-contractor, Greenland Holdings Group of China, in yet another effort to ramp up construction of long-promised affordable housing in the area. But when asked about whether Mr. de Blasio should have been more vocal on the issue, a complete silence followed a brief response from one official. Read More
In a bid to block the New York City Housing Authority’s controversial land lease plan from moving forward, a group of opponents are filing a lawsuit today in New York State Supreme Court—the second such lawsuit to be filed against the plan, which seeks to raise much-needed funds by building market-rate apartments on public housing land. Read More
A good New York City apartment is hard to find and even harder to replace. And so New Yorkers display an unbending will when it comes to holding onto one—the official motto of the Manhattan rental market should be never, ever, ever let go. And few do—intimidation, lawsuits or a big fat cash settlement are generally the only things that can part a New Yorker from a beloved (or at least not hated) apartment.
So it’s unsurprising that a group of low-income Knickerbocker Plaza tenants is fighting a city attempt to relocate them to smaller units in the complex. Section 8 tenants at the former Mitchell-Lama complex in Yorkville were recently informed that they’ll either need to move to smaller units that comply with new guidelines or pay more to remain in their comparatively spacious units. Read More
Unlike most forms of government assistance—for example, food stamps, Medicaid or Social Security—which are doled out equally to all of those who qualify (even if in sometimes less-than-ideal amounts), affordable housing in New York City is allocated in a far more random fashion. To win a coveted place below-market-rate unit—way below-market-rate, in fact—you used to have to bookmark the city’s affordable housing lottery page and keep going back to it to find out which new developments were accepting applications, and fill each one out individually.
To win a place, it’s not unheard of to have to spend years applying—one couple The Observer spoke to for our piece on (upper-)middle-income affordable housing said they’d been submitting applications for 15 years before they finally hit the jackpot. Read More
In 1971, the State of New York passed the Urstadt Law, which took away New York City’s ability to set rent controls that were stricter than what the state—dominated by considerably more conservative upstate politicians—would allow. For 25 years the city has tried to coax developers into creating affordable housing through “inclusionary zoning” programs, which dangle density bonuses and tax abatements in exchange for building (or in some cases, maintaining) below-market apartments in their new buildings or nearby.
Some developers take the bait, but not many. Now, as Michael Bloomberg’s 12 years are up, his would-be successors running in the Democratic primary seem to have found a way around the Urstadt Law: they want to make the inclusionary zoning programs mandatory. Read More
“We must develop a new, scalable housing model that is safe, affordable and innovative to meet their needs,” Michael Bloomberg said back in 2012 when he announced a pilot plan to build smaller-than-currently-legal apartments on a city-owned site in Kips Bay. Monadnock Development, Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation and nARCHITECTS eventually won the “adAPT NYC” competition, and are putting up a 55-unit building on East 27th Street between First and Second Avenues.
Safe and innovative, sure, but are they really affordable? Read More