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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
 

Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing

  • vacant lot


    On 43rd Street in Far Rockaway, Queens, sit five adjacent, vacant lots. Cordoned off by a chained-link, gray metal fence, the lots—owned by the city’s Department of Housing and Preservation (HPD)—are covered in weeds and garbage. They are “eyesores for the community,” said Alexis Smallwood, a local community organizer, in an interview with Gotham Gazette. “Vacant lots should be used for community spaces or real affordable housing.”

    These five lots are examples of the hundreds the Department of Housing and Preservation (HPD) could utilize for affordable housing. Since issuing an audit and fuller report in early

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  • housing rally sign via nyccomptroller

    City Hall ralliers with Metro-IAF-NY (photo: @NYCComptroller)


    Thousands of New Yorkers, many of them residents of public housing, braved the rain on Monday, October 9, to rally outside City Hall to push Mayor Bill de Blasio to adopt a new direction for his affordable housing plan. Their alternative proposal, which had been presented by the leading advocates to the mayor ten days prior, calls for a radical investment in building new housing for low-income families, especially seniors, which critics say has

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  • affordable housing

     De Blasio unveils his housing plan (photo: Ed Reed)


    As elected officials and candidates march in the annual Columbus Day parade on Monday, a separate gathering of members of church congregations, senior centers, schools, and homeowners associations will convene outside City Hall to present an affordable housing plan that they believe is a viable alternative to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s current program.

    The coalition of Metro Industrial Areas Foundation and East Brooklyn Congregations plans to lead 5,000 people in the rally on Monday to push the

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  • whats the data point


    What's The Data Point? Episode 12 - 77,651 with Maria Torres-Springer, housing commissioner in the de Blasio administration [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    For this episode of the podcast, we bring you excerpts of a speech the city's housing commissioner, Maria Torres-Springer, gave at a Citizens Budget Commission event on Wednesday, September 20, followed by 15 minutes of Q-and-A with the commissioner. You'll hear a brief

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  • sts op ed

    photo, including three of the authors, via the Progressive Caucus


    We’ve seen it in our districts. A new landlord takes ownership of a building and starts a construction project that never finishes in order to evict long-term residents. They may turn off the cooking gas indefinitely; they may even knock out the boiler with no explanation.

    For too many New Yorkers, this nightmare is their reality. The stories are plentiful: heat and gas shutoffs in the middle of winter, jackhammering causing cracks in apartment walls, loss of power, and lead dust in the air lasting for

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  • whats the data point


    What's The Data Point? Episode 6 -- 100,000, with Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development.  [You can download What's The Data Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    For this episode of What's The [Data] Point?, a podcast from Citizens Budget Commission and Gotham Gazette, we were joined by Alicia Glen, New York City Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, who discussed the rezoning of East Midtown, the de Blasio administration's new jobs

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  • 535 carlton pacific park

    Part of the 535 Carlton Pacific Park lottery ad


    Ashley Cotton's June 22 Gotham Gazette op-ed “Tackling New York’s Housing Affordability Crisis” is deeply deceptive, part of the long-running spin from the developer of the Pacific Park (formerly Atlantic Yards) project.

    It's on par with the misleading mayoral press release June 13 for the "100% affordable" 535 Carlton, which I analyzed in ...

  • pacific park bk

    Pacific Park Brooklyn (photo: Max Touhey)


    Crystal Patterson is a fourth-generation New Yorker whose city roots run deep: she was raised in East Flatbush, has family in Bedford-Stuyvesant and works in Midtown. Yet, even though Crystal calls New York home, for years she had no home to go to; she was one of the hundreds of thousands of city residents who struggled to find safe, affordable housing.

    Today, New York is experiencing an unprecedented affordability crisis. In all five boroughs, from Williamsbridge in the Bronx to Williamsburg in Brooklyn, the cost

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  •  hum listings

    (photo: Tarry Hum)


    The New York City Council recently passed an “Aggravated Illegal Conversions” bill by a 49-0 vote. The legislation -- sponsored by City Council Members Gentile, Williams, and Grodenchik, and Brooklyn Borough President Adams, and signed into law by Mayor de Blasio -- significantly increases the civil penalties for owners who illegally subdivide their residential property to create

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  • HPD Maria Torres-Springer

    HPD Commissioner Torres-Springer, middle (photo: @MTorresSpringer)


    Discussing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan on Friday, the city’s housing commissioner stressed that it is also a program for community development.

    Speaking at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism's Center for Community and Ethnic Media, Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer, head of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, gave an update on the administration’s 10-year 200,000-unit ...

  • nyc hdc rendering

    (NYC HDC rendering)


    For more than a year there has been wrangling and discord among developers, housing advocates, organized labor, and our elected leaders over an agreement on spending for affordable housing. A “memorandum of understanding” was drafted, but a budget and legislative session came and went in Albany without a consensus.

    Now, we finally have a state budget that gives us more than $2 billion in spending on housing. It will have its critics, but by and large this plan puts in front of us the resources and the political will to address the

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  • Cuomo de Blasio


    A new $153 billion New York state budget was passed through the Legislature Sunday evening, nine days into the new fiscal year, following a particularly lengthy and tumultuous negotiation period.

    After Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a budget deal Friday night, the Assembly approved the budget Saturday, while State senators -- called back to Albany from their districts -- moved through the final budget bills the following day.

    Within the spending plan are items that have serious ramifications for New York

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  • affordable housing rendering nyc hpd

    (rendering of new affordable housing being built in the Bronx, via HPD)


    In Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2017 State of the City speech delivered at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, he referred to the affordable housing crisis as a threat to “the very soul of the city.” The singularity of that “soul” captures de Blasio’s desired outcome of “the tale of two cities,” which he has said exists in New York,

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  • de blasio housing

    Mayor de Blasio at a ground-breaking (photo: The Mayor's Office on Flickr)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced that he will allocate much-needed additional funds to increase housing opportunities for 10,000 low-income families and seniors citywide. The New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH) commends the mayor on providing nearly $2 billion in new housing subsidy for low-income families, which will further alleviate New York City’s housing crisis by maximizing low-income housing production.

    Now it is time to put those resources to work by

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  • De Blasio at State of the City

    Mayor de Blasio delivers State of the City speech (Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    At his fourth State of the City speech on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared an ambitious agenda to create thousands of jobs while continuing to expand affordable housing for the city’s most vulnerable residents.

    Speaking at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem, de Blasio acknowledged in blunt terms that New York City is facing an affordability crisis that has been years in the making, resulting from rising rents and relatively stagnant incomes. “This affordability

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  • housing press conference evictions down

    "Keeping New Yorkers In Their Homes" (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    I’m a tenant lawyer: I work for a nonprofit that receives funding from the City to defend low income people in their eviction proceedings and keep them in their homes. I can do a lot for tenants and I know Right to Counsel for indigent folks facing eviction is good policy, everyone should have a lawyer in housing court. While I can help people facing unlawful eviction, I cannot make housing more affordable in New York City. But the real reason most

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  • hand raised de blasio town hall

    (photo: Michael Applebaum/Mayor's Office)


    Inwood opponents of a luxury tower widely touted as bringing affordable housing to the community are exhibit A in “Bill de Blasio Versus NIMBYism,” a Gotham Gazette article published October 7.

    But as one of several grassroots organizations who fought this project, we at Inwood Preservation are disappointed in the undeservedly negative and inaccurate picture of sincere citizen

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  • eliz st garden protest

    photo: Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden


    In response to City Council Member Margaret Chin’s op-ed column in Gotham Gazette published Oct. 6; from Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden President Jeannine Kiely and D. Kristin Shea:

    Council Member Margaret Chin is our only elected official who supports developing Elizabeth Street Garden. She seems dead set on “winning”

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  • BdB town hall queens miller

    Mayor de Blasio at a town hall (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    In recent weeks, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s policies have run up against an age-old forces of inertia and resistance in the city, especially one that springs forth in policy debates on everything from housing to bike lanes to school desegregation and even closing down Rikers Island jails. That force -- NIMBY or Not In My Back Yard-ism -- has taken distinct forms on different issues, but has been causing the de Blasio administration trouble and frustrating the mayor. At

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  •  margaret chin committee

    Council Member Chin, the author (photo: Charles Eshelman)


    No one said it would be easy.

    When voters overwhelmingly elected Mayor de Blasio almost three years ago, New Yorkers chose an elected official who pledged to tackle the tough issues plaguing us — including a promise to create 80,000 units of new affordable housing for a city in desperate need.

    Almost three years later, Mayor de Blasio — in partnership with many of my City Council colleagues — is making steady progress towards that goal. In March,

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  • south brooklyn illegal conversions affordable housing 

    A home that has been illegally converted (photo: Tarry Hum)


    Described as “a secret world of New York City housing” by The New York Times, several actions by the Department of Buildings (DOB) this summer exposed the ubiquity of illegal subdivisions in South Brooklyn’s immigrant neighborhoods.

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  • NYCHA NextGen Olatoye BK

    NYCHA Chair Olatoye at a NYCHA event (photo via NYCHA on Flickr)


    There are several pieces to the affordable housing puzzle in New York City. One is the city’s large public housing stock, home to about half a million people across the five boroughs. Another, at times overlapping piece is Section 8 vouchers, also known as Housing Choice Vouchers, which are federal subsidies that allow low-income tenants to live in a variety of locations, depending on where those vouchers are being accepted.

    The New

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  • Been de Blasio housing

    HPD Commissioner Been & Mayor de Blasio (photo: Demetrius Freeman, Mayor's Office)


    Commissioner Vicki Been, head of the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), is planning to return to teaching at NYU Law School, Gotham Gazette has learned.

    According to the school’s course offerings, Been will be teaching a Spring semester property law course on Monday and Wednesday mornings, 8:50-10:40 a.m., beginning in January. According to an HPD spokesperson, Been is not leaving the administration.

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  • eric adams home conversions

    Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, the author (photo via @BPEricAdams)


    Communities like what we have in Brooklyn represent the future of the United States — vibrant places where people from around the world come to achieve their ambitions.

    After many years in which many of our great cities declined in stature, young professionals and couples now want to build their careers and start families in urban America, and older adults want to enjoy their golden years in cities as well. I often say that there are only two kinds

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  • housing rally

    Advocates outside Gov. Cuomo's office Wednesday (photo via Coalition for the Homeless)


    Housing advocates have done a job shirked by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders this session and crafted a plan for how the state should spend $1.9 billion on affordable and supportive housing over the next five years.

    The governor and Legislature agreed to dedicate $1.9 billion in the April 1 budget, but negotiations on how to

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