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Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing

  • Wary of Gentrification, East Harlem Braces for Rapid Change

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    Hank Prussing's mural, The Spirit of East Harlem (via @ManhattanCB11)


    Pearl Barkley moved to East Harlem in the 1950s, when she was six years old. Her family lived in the Jefferson Houses on 115th Street, where she lives today and works as an organizer with Community Voices Heard, an economic justice advocacy non-profit.

    “Many people remember the fires, the abandoned boarded up buildings, and the people who left,” Barkley said in an interview. Essential services began disappearing from the

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  • Key Piece of City's New Housing Deal Will Protect Tenants from Harassment

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    Housing plans (photo: Ed Reed for the Office of Mayor)

     


     

    Last week, New Yorkers learned that a bill creating a new Citywide Certificate of No Harassment program would be part of the city's new housing deal. The legislation, which will be finalized by a new task force before being adopted, will require landlords to get a certificate confirming that they have not harassed their tenants before demolishing or altering a building.

    This provision of the housing deal is especially good news for tenants across the city.

    As

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  • New York City Interests Given Varied Priority in Three Albany Budget Plans

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    De Blasio & Heastie (Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio didn't need to see the Assembly and Senate one-house budgets to know where he stands with each chamber - Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is a close ally of the mayor, his fellow New York City Democrat, while Senate Republicans hold a major grudge against de Blasio for leading a failed effort to boot them from the majority two years ago. Most Republican legislators, who control the Senate but not the Assembly, are also philosophically opposed to much of de Blasio's

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  • Sides Near Deal on Major Zoning Changes Aimed at Creating Affordable Housing

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    De Blasio rallies for his housing plans (photo: Demetrius Freeman, Mayor's Office)


    After months of public discussion and weeks of private negotiation, the City Council is on the verge of passing, with tweaks, two sweeping changes to the city's land use rules that are key to Mayor Bill de Blasio's housing plan.

    Sources familiar with negotiations say that some details are still being worked through, but that the major tenets of the controversial changes to city zoning text are all but set. A deal may be announced as early as Monday

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  • Housing Groups Defend Homelessness Report After Pushback from Cuomo Administration

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    A Vocal-NY protest (Matt Curtis/Vocal-NY)

     


     

    Housing groups are coming to the defense of a report issued this week that critiques Gov. Andrew Cuomo's homelessness policies and questions his attempts to place the blame for a rising homeless population on Mayor Bill de Blasio.

    Kristi Berner, spokesperson for the State's Office of Temporary and Disability insurance, slammed ...

  • Private Sector Retirement Security Plans Become Next Progressive Cause

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    De Blasio delivers his State of the City (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office) 


    Experts warn that the entire country could be headed for a financial crisis caused by the fact that an aging workforce has not been saving for retirement.

    Whether due to cutbacks of public pensions, the lack of retirement plans offered by private employers, or workers forced to raid their savings, it appears to a growing number of advocates and politicians that many Americans will be forced to keep

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  • Richards Puts Communities of Color at Forefront of Housing Debate

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    City Council Member Donovan Richards (photo: William Alatriste)


    "Why am I here?" City Council Member Donovan Richards asked rhetorically, speaking with energy beyond what you would expect from someone in the midst of chairing 20 hours of land use policy hearings over two days. The question wasn't Richards rethinking his career path or delusion brought on by testimony after testimony about zoning code, it was a way of punctuating his explanation that of course he had to put communities of color at the forefront of discussions about affordable housing in New York

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, Feb. 15-19

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    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday February 19

    PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Mayor de Blasio celebrates the launch of the LinkNYC wifi hubs, via The Mayor's Office; Governor Cuomo rallies to promote paid

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  • Goodbye to 'First Generation' NYCHA

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    photo: David Schalliol, from Affordable Housing in New York 


    Should NYCHA give up its controversial plan to generate revenue by adding mixed-income 50/50 percent (market/affordable) buildings at the Wyckoff Gardens and Holmes Towers public housing developments? Many residents and activists at these two sites dedicated for "infill" as

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  • Next Steps the State Must Make to Create and Maintain Affordable Housing

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    photo: a groundbreaking, via the Governor's Office


    As the Legislature moves ahead with its 2016 session in Albany, a top priority must be creating and maintaining affordable housing across the state. We cannot be content with fellow New Yorkers sleeping in three-quarter houses, with too many to a room, because it’s the only alternative. It is only so long until the next severely rent burdened tenant - spending more than 50 percent of their earnings on rent - ends up homeless because they cannot afford their

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  • At Hearings, City Council to Examine Mayor's Zoning Proposals

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    Council Member Donovan Richards (photo via @DRichards13)


    Amid light flakes of snow, about 20 ralliers stood outside City Hall Monday morning and unleashed a flurry of criticism of a key piece of Mayor Bill de Blasio's affordable housing plan. De Blasio's plan to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing relies in part on proposed changes to the city's land use rules, which are set to go before City Council review this week.

    Members of the Real

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  • Real Affordable Housing for Our Communities

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    photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office


    When I think about my family's future in New York City, I wonder: will there be an affordable, safe, and healthy apartment where I can raise my children and still be able to provide them with everything else that they need?

    This is the question that our city government has to address if it wants to protect low-income and working class New Yorkers.

    My husband and I live in Bushwick in a one-bedroom apartment with our three children—one of whom has special needs—and

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  • De Blasio Pushed to Include Local Jobs in Neighborhood Rezonings

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    Mayor de Blasio talks with parents (photo: Ed Reed, Mayor's Office) 


    Community advocates are making it clear that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plans to rezone neighborhoods are not acceptable unless they include broader economic development initiatives like local hiring.

    As part of his ambitious affordable housing plan, de Blasio has announced several communities the city plans to rezone first in an effort to create more density, build affordable units, and improve neighborhoods. When the mayor initially

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  • Planning Commission Vote Will Send Zoning Proposals to City Council

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    Council Member Greenfield leads a press conference (photo: William Alatriste) 


    The next ten days are an especially critical period for Mayor Bill de Blasio's housing plan. While negotiations around a new state-level program to incentivize affordable housing production continue and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has promised to soon flesh out general affordable housing plans he announced during his recent State of the State speech, city-level changes being sought by de Blasio are on the move.

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  • Calls for Public Discussion of New Affordable Housing Incentive Program

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    The REBNY gala (photo via REBNY on Facebook)


    Earlier this year developers and labor unions failed to reach a deal to renew the controversial 421-a tax abatement program that is designed to entice the development of affordable housing. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislators agreed to extend the program early last year while putting the longterm future of the program in the hands of the special interests that benefit from it--an unprecedented move that was met with loud criticism.

    With negotiations failed and the program expired, it appears that real estate

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  • Homeless Young Adults Can Fall through a Crack in Shelter System

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    Julie Laurence, Chief Program Officer at Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS) with one of their members at their drop-in center. (Photo by City Limits/Adi Talwar)


    Turning 21 is a milestone with a different meaning for a homeless youth in New York. When that day arrives, he or she usually must leave the city's youth shelter system, and they also lose many essential services. If they haven't found permanent housing

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, Jan. 18-22

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    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday January 22

    PHOTO OF THE WEEK: City Council Members and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, via @ydanis; City Council Member Donovan Richards, Gov. Cuomo, Bronx BP Diaz Jr., via ...

  • De Blasio Calls for Albany to 'Make Right' on Program at Center of Rift with Governor

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    Cuomo and de Blasio in 2014, photo via Governor's Office


    When Mayor Bill de Blasio exploded in frustration with Governor Andrew Cuomo on June 30 of last year, there were three key issues that set him off. The mayor felt that in the final negotiations of the Albany legislative session that had just ended, Cuomo had not been an ally on rent regulations, mayoral control of city schools, and the 421-a tax break program meant to spur affordable housing development, each of which was extended in a way that the mayor and many other city officials saw as

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  • Mayor and Speaker: Rezoning Plans Will Change Before Council Vote

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    The Speaker & the Mayor (photo via the City Council)


    Speaking at separate events over a two-day span, both Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito acknowledged significant community pushback against the mayor's rezoning proposals and said that those plans will be tweaked before the Council votes on them.

    On Monday, de Blasio was asked about the largely negative reaction across the city to the zoning

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  • De Blasio Housing Chief Looks to Allay Fears, Build Support for Rezonings

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    New York Law School's Ross Sandler & HPD's Vicki Been (Phoebe Rosen for NYLS)


    Vicki Been, commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, said that the city’s affordable housing plan is on track and responded to critics on Friday, emphasizing that the plan is less about simply building units and more about “making neighborhoods better.”

    Speaking at a breakfast hosted by the CityLand publication of New York Law School, Been gave a balanced, thorough

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  • East Harlem Tenants Group Rejects De Blasio Housing Plan, Offers Its Own

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    A Movement for Justice in El Barrio rally


    An East Harlem tenants group is gearing up to battle Mayor Bill de Blasio over his housing plan, saying that the plan will see local mom-and-pop stores bought out by chains, further incentivize landlords to push tenants out, and destroy the culture of Spanish Harlem.

    The group, Movement for Justice in El Barrio, is countering the de Blasio rezoning proposal that they call a "luxury housing plan" with a 10-point agenda of its own designed to preserve current housing stock and protect the community from gentrification. It

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, August 17-21

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    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday August 21

    PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Mayor de Blasio at a Thursday ground-breaking for what will be affordable housing for low-income seniors and Mayor de Blasio on Thursday evening at the site of an explosion, both via ...

  • Another Way of Looking at Infill Housing Development

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    The Mayor's NYCHA plan (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The mayor touted the number of affordable apartment units - 20,325 - as a one-year record, and far from anything seen in the city since Mayor Ed Koch’s ambitious housing plans of the ‘80s. The 20,000-plus, which includes both new and preserved units, is a big first step toward the de Blasio administration’s plan to build 80,000 entirely new affordable units and preserve another 120,000 over the next ten years. And, at a

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  • 7 Points of Contention as City Budget Deal Finalized

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    Mayor de Blasio & Speaker Mark-Viverito talk (photo: William Alatriste)


    “This year we're fighting for much-needed funds that will get #NYC 6-day library service citywide, more police, better parks & much more,” tweeted City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer on Monday morning.

    Van Bramer, who chairs the Council’s cultural affairs committee, where the debate over library funding has largely been heard, reminded

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 22

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    ALBANY, ALBANY: Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, and Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie agreed on a short, retroactive extension of rent regulations through Tuesday. As negotiations continue on the rent regulations and other top of the agenda priority issues like mayoral control of city schools, legislators are due back in Albany on Tuesday. By

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