After Hurricane Sandy, rent-stabilized tenants living in damaged buildings with diminished services were told—and believed—that they would be able to get rent reductions for the entire time they were without services.
The Rent Stabilization Code stipulates that reductions are given from the time the service is lost. But, as rent-stabilized residents at Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town have discovered, they might only be eligible for reductions starting in March—a four-month discrepancy that could be worth thousands of dollars per tenant.
Planes Trains & Automobiles
Staten Islanders, rejoice: the MTA is reopening the old South Ferry station on the 1 line!
At least, that’s what it looks like in a video posted late Sunday night to Subchat, an online forum popular with MTA employees and aficionados.
It’s not the holiday homecoming that Hurricane Sandy refugees had dreamed of, but a temporary apartment is a definite upgrade from a shelter, a hotel room or a couch.
As of this week, refugees will be able to peruse some 2,500 apartment listings specifically set aside for Sandy victims on both Urban Edge and the FEMA website.
“I do not believe, anymore, that this is once in a lifetime, once in a hundred years, once in a generation or just a fluke,” Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a few days after Sandy blew through town, and it appears many New Yorkers agree with him. A new Quinnipiac poll out today finds that two out of three state residents believe their community will be hit by a serious storm sometime in the next decade.
What is remarkable, then, is that the same poll also found that almost nine out of 10 New Yorkers believe we should rebuild in the areas hit by the superstorm. But most New Yorkers also want to build back with greater resiliency. The poll found that 65 percent of those responding want improved building codes to be implemented before anything is rebuilt in the flood zones, while 23 percent believe communities should be built as they were. Only 8 percent want to prohibit redevelopment.
When Hurricane Sandy’s flood waters receded from Lower Manhattan, the sense of relief was short-lived for the businesses, residents and non-profits who returned to find their buildings waterlogged and severely damaged. The South Street Seaport Museum, with an estimated $22 million in damage, was among the more tragically doused.
That all the Museum’s historic boats and exhibits escaped basically unscathed was a consolation, certainly, but the Museum could hardly show them to anyone without heat, electricity, elevators or escalators.
Sandy silver linings
At least there’s one benefit for those whose homes were destroyed or significantly damaged during Hurricane Sandy. Today, the city council voted to give owners of such properties an interest-free extension on their next property tax bill— a three month grace period that extends until April 1, 2013 (tax bills are usually due on January 1).
One of the victims of Superstorm Sandy was the city’s CitiBike bike share program. After the program was delayed last summer due to computer problems, many of the bikes and stations that were awaiting deployment were warehoused at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Much of the yards flooded when the East River burst its banks Read More
Recently, The Observer reported on a secret plan the Bloomberg administration has been developing for years now to create a disaster housing model that suits the peculiarities of city living. The city has settled on a model built on stackable shipping container apartments, but the housing remains a few years away from being deployable.
Still, some news yesterday reaffirmed the importance of the city developing its own disaster housing model, since national models may not work here, due to issues of density and open space suitable for installing the infamous FEMA trailer. Indeed, FEMA announced that it will not be setting up its own shelters in New York because there is not enough room, as WNYC reports.
The sign at the entrance to Beth Israel Medical Center on First Avenue at 16th Street screams “EMERGENCY ROOM,” but five hours into her wait to be seen for sharp pain in her ribs, it didn’t feel that way to Yamira Velazquez.
Her regular hospital, Bellevue Hospital Center, shut down after Hurricane Sandy ripped through the northeast. So did both NYU Langone Medical Center and the VA Medical Center next door. Bellevue won’t reopen its emergency room until at least February. NYU and the VA have not yet announced dates.
And so, like thousands of others seeking immediate medical care, she ended up in the emergency room at Beth Israel, the last standing hospital for two and a half miles in any direction.
It’s beginning to feel a bit like the letters section of the New York Review of Books around here.
Yesterday morning, The Observer published a post highlighting another outlet’s revelation that developer and civic leader Bill Rudin was somewhat pleased that the Hugh Carey Brooklyn Battery Tunnel had flooded, thereby protecting some of his buildings downtown. (Some experts agree that the tunnels should actually be designed to do exactly that.)
Unexpectedly, Mr. Rudin’s office sent a statement from him to The Observer in the afternoon, speaking generally about the need to plan for the future, but not directly addressing the issue of the tunnel or MTA Chief Joe Lhota, who had told Capital New York, “I wasn’t particularly pleased with the comment.” Now, unbidden, The Observer has received a statement from Mr. Lhota that praises Mr. Rudin.