Gotham Gazette

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Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing

  • Leaving the REBNY vs NIMBY Doom Loop

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    (photo: NYC Planning)


    This past week, amidst flooded streets, blackouts, overheated jails, and subway failures, New Yorkers saw the consequences that result from a failure to engage in strategic long-term planning for the future of our city. In the final decisions of the 2019 Charter Revision Commission, we also missed a big chance to do something about it.

    The dangers of failing to invest strategically in the infrastructure that sustains our city will grow in coming decades, as temperatures

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  • As Cuomo and Heastie Trade Comments on Anti-Poverty Efforts, a Closer Look at What They've Done

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    Speaker Heastie & Governor Cuomo (photo: the governor's office)


    Despite previously lauding the 2019 state legislative session as the “most productive session in modern political history,” Governor Andrew Cuomo went on to call the session “not progressive enough,” citing a need “to do more on poverty.”

    At his celebratory, mostly upbeat end-of-session press conference on June 21, Cuomo was asked about what did not get done, and cited three issues he said he would work on next year: legalizing adult-use marijuana and paid

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  • New State Rent Regulations Complicate Inwood Rezoning Lawsuit Against the City

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    Inwood (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    New York state government’s recent rent regulation reforms gave tenant advocates reason to celebrate, eliminating major loopholes that allowed landlords to raise rents and deregulate units among the roughly 1 million city apartments currently governed by the rent laws. One unforeseen consequence of the new Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act, however, is how the strengthened regulations may imperil a tenant lawsuit against New York City government on the impacts of a recent neighborhood rezoning of Inwood,

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  • When Owners Neglect Buildings and Don’t Pay Taxes, Tenants Suffer – The City Can Help

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    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As Benjamin Franklin famously wrote, "in this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." This is true for property owners who maintain their buildings and pay their property taxes in full each year, but for the few who do not, there can be consequences, including foreclosure.

    Often, the failure to pay taxes is indicative of a litany of issues, such as physical deterioration of the building. Imagine being a resident of a tax-delinquent building: you've worked hard to pay your rent, and you

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  • Criticizing De Blasio Rezonings, Williams Introduces 'Racial Impact Study' Requirement

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Fulfilling a promise he made in his successful campaign for public advocate, Jumaane Williams introduced legislation on Wednesday that would require the city to conduct an assessment of expected racial and ethnic impact brought on by proposed neighborhood rezonings, in order to ensure that the city is complying with the federal Fair Housing Act, and combat segregation and displacement.

    The Fair housing Act, passed in 1968, is meant to protect against discrimination in the sale, purchase,

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  • We Can Help Thousands More Residents of Affordable Housing Register to Vote

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    No one’s socioeconomic status should limit their capacity to make their voice heard at the ballot box. But more must be done to ensure that low-income populations across the nation are registered to vote and can participate in the democratic process.

    We can help address this issue in New York by taking more information directly to residents in and around their own apartment buildings. Managers of affordable housing developments can play a significant role in connecting

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  • Only One ‘Confused’ is the Mayor: De Blasio Must Make Good on Senior Housing Pledge

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    Mayor de Blasio rallies with Metro IAF (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Last summer, Mayor de Blasio shook our hands and publicly promised to invest $500 million to build thousands of new apartments for low-income seniors. The celebration has been short lived. It turns out the mayor betrayed us and New Yorkers when he reneged on his commitment.

    Last Tuesday, more than 500 East Brooklyn Congregations and Metro IAF leaders rallied on the steps of City Hall to get the money our seniors were promised. More importantly, we want the aspiring

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  • Little-Used Community Land Trust Model for Affordable Housing May See Big Boost

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    Council Member Rivera (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Manhattan City Council Member Carlina Rivera is part of a growing coalition of Council members pushing for city government's first major commitment to a seldom-utilized affordable housing model. In the face of rapid gentrification, they say, the city should invest $850,000 in Community Land Trusts, or CLTs, in the city budget currently being negotiated.

    Doing so could help advocates and nonprofits acquire land to operate deeply affordable housing and

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  • Alicia Glen on Her Legacy as Deputy Mayor and the Future of New York City

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    Alicia Glen (photo: Paige Polk/Mayoral Photography Office)


    After more than five years as New York City’s Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, Alicia Glen recently left City Hall, having spearheaded a major affordable housing plan, efforts to diversify the city economy, and other aspects of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s agenda, which she helped shape.

    Glen oversaw the city’s troubled public housing authority, the implementation of a new ferry system, investments into public land to spur business development and the rezoning of East Midtown,

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: The Debate Over Rent Regulations

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    (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    April 3, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The Debate Over Rent Regulations

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  • What's The [Data] Point? 5, with former Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen

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    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 69 -- 5, with former Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen[You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    Alicia Glen was Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development under Mayor Bill de Blasio for more than five years, until she recently left the administration after being the chief architect of its signature affordable housing plan, a broad variety of economic development initiatives, and more. Glen joined the podcast (for the second

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  • Getting to Truth, and Solidarity, on Loft Law Reform

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    Rally for the Loft Law bill (photo via @NYCLT)


    Recently, there has been considerable attention paid to a Loft Law “clean-up” bill that is on the table in the New York State Legislature. Advocates have worked tirelessly for over three years to make it law; an effort stymied by a Republican-controlled Senate in 2017 and 2018, resulting in eviction of many loft tenants.

    In November 2018, Democrats won enough seats to take control of the Senate this year and thus all of state government. Many Democrats won hard-fought elections,

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  • Proposal Would Subvert Efforts to Address Affordable Housing Crisis

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    One of the greatest and most immediate challenges facing New York is a statewide affordable housing crisis that continues to affect millions of families. Elected officials must support and promote new legislation and policies that will help our state produce more affordable homes and, correspondingly, do no harm to much-needed housing efforts.

    The reality today is that more than 3 million households across the state still pay more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs, which means they are

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  • The Loft Law Bill: Inequity on Stilts

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    We are individuals and organizations who collectively have been representing, serving, assisting, or employing thousands of low-income families of color and minority- and women-owned businesses residing in Greenpoint, Bushwick, and Williamsburg well before these places were hashtags and hotspots; some of us also are loft tenants. As such, we oppose the bill being proposed in the state Legislature to amend New York’s Loft Law.

    We have met with proponents of the bill and recognize the good faith, and human need, that motivates them to push for a measure addressing loft tenants’

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  • Public Advocate-Elect Jumaane Williams' Promises and Positions

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    Jumaane Williams (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Brooklyn City Council Member Jumaane Williams, who unsuccessfully ran in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor last year, won in convincing fashion the Tuesday special election for public advocate of New York City.

    Over the course of his campaign, Williams, a former tenant organizer, made several promises and pitched policies that he said would transform the office of public advocate, which has limited statutory authority or budget but provides a platform for outspoken advocacy.

    “This job is not to

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  • How New York Can Become a Real Democracy: Re-Center Race as Legislative Progress Continues

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    (photo: Governor's Office)


    For decades, the phrase “three men in a room” has been used to capture how the leadership of New York state government (the governor, the state Assembly speaker and the state Senate majority leader) in Albany decides in back-room negotiations what legislation lives or dies. Finally, this year, state government can remake itself much closer to the image of true democracy. Leaders in the Assembly and Senate, Carl Heastie and Andrea Stewart-Cousins, are for the first time both African-American, and one is a woman.

    This is an undeniably

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  • Despite Need, Gaining More State Support for Affordable Housing Remains Major Challenge for De Blasio

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    (photo: the governor's office)


    Right now, New York City’s government should be taking advantage of the Democratic majority in both houses of the New York State Legislature to make progress addressing the affordable housing and homelessness crisis affecting city residents. But success requires a skillful effort since the political challenge is daunting, despite overwhelming public concern.

    Why now? We have a new Democratic majority in the state Senate elected in 2018. The state Assembly, controlled by Democrats since 1975, has been a liberal body

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  • A Closer Look at ‘Vital Brooklyn,’ Cuomo’s Plan for ‘One of the Greatest Areas of Need in the Entire State’

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    Cuomo & Vital Brooklyn (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    In March of 2017, Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled what he described as a groundbreaking initiative to “bring health and wellness to one of the most disadvantaged parts of the state.” That place was Central Brooklyn, where roubling health indicators of all types plague residents, from diabetes rates to poverty levels to inadequate

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  • Setting the Record Straight: Mayor de Blasio’s Housing Plan Can and Should Do More for the Homeless

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    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor de Blasio has been under constant fire for offering homeless New Yorkers access to just 5 percent of the units created and preserved by his 12-year, 300,000-unit affordable housing plan, even as homelessness has reached a new all-time record high. He has been confronted at his home, at the gym in Park Slope, and on the steps of City Hall, with a growing coalition of advocates, experts, elected officials, and homeless families demanding that the mayor increase that figure to 10 percent

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  • Criticizing De Blasio's Approach, Stringer Releases Alternative Affordable Housing Plan

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    Comptroller Stringer (photo: @NYCComptroller)


    City Comptroller Scott Stringer unveiled an ambitious plan on Thursday to address New York’s affordable housing crisis, criticizing Mayor Bill de Blasio for not doing enough and calling for investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funds, increasing the share of affordable housing units for homeless and very low income people, and funding it by shifting tax burdens towards the wealthiest New York homeowners.

    The plan, entitled “...

  • As Affordability Crisis Becomes More Acute, Real Estate Donations Emerge as Litmus Test for Some Democrats

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    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez & Zephyr Teachout (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    Queens City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer ...

  • WATCH: Agenda 2019: Rent Regulations & Affordable Housing

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    MNN discussion


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    dg eg agendaAs part of Agenda 2019, Gotham Gazette and City Limits are partnering with Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) on a series of television shows. The first show is part of Agenda 2019 housing week: hosts Ben Max and

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  • Pushing the Envelope on Rent Reform in Albany 2019

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    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    Today, New Yorkers are living in an era of mass displacement ...

  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Homelessness & Affordable Housing Development

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    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    November 28, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Homelessness & Affordable Housing Development

    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series

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  • Allegations of Tenant Harassment in Bushwick Spotlight Issues with City Enforcement, State Rent Laws

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    tenants Hunter & Corchado outside 431 Bleecker (via vimeo)


    On a Wednesday last month, a group of community activists and politicians including Assemblymember Maritza Davila and then-State Senate candidate Julia Salazar gathered outside an apartment building in Brooklyn, where they protested a landlord in front of one of several properties he owns.

    “Our landlord -- terrible, terrible, terrible,” said Ermelinda Corchado, a tenant who was moved to tears as she told the crowd of more than

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