The Air Up There
Affordable Housing or Lack Thereof
During the 1970s fiscal crisis, the city acquired significant quantities of property by way of owner abandonment and tax foreclosure, which it used in subsequent decades to subsidize affordable housing development. Virtually none of that land remains available today, however, and as we recently noted, the now-stratospheric cost of privately held land poses myriad obstacles to new affordable housing production, particularly in neighborhoods with good public schools, ready access to transportation and employment centers.
Affordable Housing or Lack Thereof
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 Houisng or Lack Thereof
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.
The 12 Days Of Christmas Gift Guide
In his State of the City address yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged once again to “preserve or construct nearly 200,000 units of affordable housing—enough to house between 400,000 and 500,000 New Yorkers—to help working people by literally putting a roof over their heads.”
And, after announcing the remaining members of his housing “dream team” last Saturday—with Shola Olatoye heading up NYCHA, Vicki Been at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Gary Rodney as president of the Housing Development Corporation, Carl Weisbrod as City Planning chair and Alicia Glen as deputy mayor for housing and economic development—Mr. de Blasio has finally revealed when we can finally expect some details: May 1st.
If that most irksome of holiday types—the man who has everything—can be said to have sub-categories, the real estate development mogul must rank with the most rarefied and, indeed, the most difficult to shop for. Golf clubs and pinstripes, Maseratis, vacation homes, power and influence: these are desires long-since fulfilled. Still, we’ve managed to come Read More
TF Cornerstone has prevailed in its bid to build the second phase of Hunter’s Point South, the massive, middle-income housing complex on the Long Island City waterfront. TF Cornerstone, who lost out to the Related Companies to build the first phase in 2011, will partner with Selfhelp, a senior citizen non-profit, on the second phase, to build two towers designed by the ODA, with SLCE Architects as the architect of record.
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development announced its selection this afternoon, which it made after putting out an RFP; TF Cornerstone has extensive experience in the neighborhood, having developed the seven market-rate residential towers on the former Pepsi-Cola site, the last of which is slated to open sometime next year.
There are so many unexpected problems that can arise during major renovations—interior demolition work reveals not only water damage, deterioration, rot, asbestos, rodents but, as Penn South recently discovered, hoarders.
Elderly hoarders at the affordable housing complex in Chelsea, which is undergoing a massive project to replace its heating and cooling systems, are costing the co-op a staggering $40 million, according to DNAinfo. And that’s in addition to the $100 million that the complex is already spending on workers and materials.
On the topic of those struggling to find affordable housing in his city, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is quick to find the silver lining.
“Somebody said that there’s not enough housing. That’s a good sign,” he argued during his weekly Friday morning radio sit-down with WOR’s John Gambling.
The Real Estate Board of New York is not known for its support of the underclass. In years past, the vastly powerful industry group has wielded its influence to try to weaken and eliminate rent regulation. However, the group is now doing its darnedest to appeal to the masses, attempting to harness the widespread concern about the city’s growing income gap in its ongoing fight against landmarking.
While Mayor Bloomberg is furiously trying to push through as many projects as possible before his departure (the Midtown East rezoning, SeaPort City, making people take the stairs), his commissioners have, as commissioners are wont to do in the last months of an outgoing mayor’s term, been making arrangements for life after Bloomberg. New York City Housing Preservation and Development commissioner Mathew M. Wambua is the latest to depart, leaving to take a position as president of RHR Funding LLC, part of the Richman Group’s mortgage lending business, the agency announced today. He will be succeeded by deputy commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas.
Mr. Wambua, who has held the position since the spring of 2011, inherited the task of bringing Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, which aimed to create or preserve 165,000 units, home, so to speak. The mayor’s office credits Mr. Wambua with creating or preserving 47,000 of those units during his time in the position. He also oversaw the first phase of the Hunter’s Point South affordable housing development, which with 5,000 units, will be the largest such complex built since Co-op City.