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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

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Vacant lots

Vacant lots

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    (photo: Sofie Hecht/Gotham Gazette)


    Last month, the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) announced that it selected developers to build affordable housing on 87 city-owned vacant lots, which could produce almost 500 affordable homes. This came the day after Comptroller Scott Stringer released...

  • stringer vacant lot presser raskin

    Comptroller Stringer press conference at a vacant lot (photo: Sam Raskin)


    Comptroller Scott Stringer held a press conference Monday morning in front of a vacant lot on West 115th Street to criticize the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) for “dragging its feet” on creating affordable housing on empty city-owned land.

    Stringer released an update to his 2016 audit on vacant lots, which initiated a reshashing of a yearslong dispute between the comptroller and the de Blasio administration over

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  • vacant bldg via hpd

    (photo via @NYCHousing)


    Two years ago, Public Advocate Letitia James and City Council Members Jumaane Williams and Ydanis Rodriguez each introduced a bill under a set called the Housing Not Warehousing Act, a package aimed at reducing homelessness and increasing the city’s affordable housing stock. The bills seek to mandate an annual tally of the number of vacant lots and buildings in the city, determining which of those under city jurisdiction could be developed for affordable housing, while also requiring landlords with vacant properties to

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  • 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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  • vacant lot - Walton Ave - Bronx

    A vacant lot in the Bronx


    City Seeks to Sharpen Picture of Vacant Lots and Add Incentives to Boost Affordable Housing

    A neat stretch of row houses comes to an abrupt halt at 2247 Walton Ave., in the Bronx, where a boarded-up house warning of rat poison sits beside a fenced-in lot covered in dead grass and garbage. The site has remained empty for several years and has served as an effective backdrop for media events held by Picture the Homeless, an advocacy group headquartered

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