Gotham Gazette

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  • What's In, What's Out: 2022 State Legislative Session Ends with Major Policy Decisions

    An Albany rally for abortion rights (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)


    State lawmakers voted on legislation late into the night Thursday, the scheduled end of the legislative session, and while the State Senate finished its business the Assembly continued passing bills throughout Friday and into Saturday.

    A number of major deals were reached in the final week as the session came to a crescendo, while other marquee proposals fell by the wayside.

    And as of Saturday morning, with the Senate on break but the Assembly still wrapping up business, the fate of at least two

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  • Albany Can Give New York City More Power to Fix the Housing Crisis

    Housing in focus (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    State lawmakers clearly understand that New York faces an emergency-level housing crisis and have acted accordingly: adopting a five-year housing plan to invest $25 billion in affordable and supportive housing across the state. But the job is not over, there are several important housing bills under consideration that would help New York City fight the housing crisis.

    In the final days of the state legislative session, Albany has a chance to help the city

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  • In Updated Budget, Adams Fails to Follow Through on Housing and Parks Funding Promises

    Mayor Adams (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday released a $99.7 billion executive budget proposal, a $1.2 billion increase from his February preliminary budget. Though Adams committed billions more in funding for housing and hundreds of millions for the parks department, he nonetheless failed to abide by major pledges he made while running for mayor last year. 

    As a mayoral candidate, Adams made sweeping promises for how he would lead the city. But on two fronts he was particularly

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  • The Change I Didn’t Know NYCHA Needed

    Repairs at NYCHA (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    More than three decades ago, my family was one of the first to move into Washington Heights Rehab, a New York City Housing Authority development. It’s in this development where I’ve since raised my three children and it’s the place that I’ve always called home. But like other NYCHA developments across the five boroughs, our building became the subject of disrepair, deferred maintenance, and difficult living conditions.

    That’s until an initiative led by a

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  • How the Next Phase of the Second Avenue Subway Can Build a Better East Harlem

    A groundbreaking in East Harlem (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


     

    (Housing projects and tenements surround the $6 billion Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 planned route (MTA Capital Division))

    Plans are advancing rapidly for the 1.5 mile Second Avenue (Q) Subway from 96th to 125...

  • Max Politics Podcast: What's Next for New York's Pro-Housing Movement

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    New York City (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    December 14, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: What's Next for New York's Pro-Housing Movement

    As the Bill de Blasio administration ends and the Eric Adams administration is set to begin, New York City's housing politics are in flux. Housing affordability and homelessness in the city remain related crises; the city's housing production has come nowhere near keeping up with its population and job growth; and public housing is crumbling. In the

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  • Now or Never: The High Stakes of Federal Housing Funding

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    Housing repairs (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    When President Biden and Congress first announced the details of the Build Back Better Act, they sent a loud and clear signal to housing advocates and stakeholders that help was finally on the way. The $330 billion investment into the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and $30 billion into the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program both represented the most significant plan in generations to address a worsening housing crisis.

    Now, however, Washington

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  • Housing Group Offers Roadmap for Full NYCHA Funding

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    NYCHA's Eastchester Garden Houses (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    For decades, government officials, advocates, and residents have debated the best path forward for New York City public housing while conditions have deteriorated and the price tag for urgent capital repairs and operational costs has boomed.

    The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) faces an estimated capital need of $40 billion to address mold, lead paint, broken boilers and elevators, and a host of other needs critical to stable

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  • Can the Next Mayor Save NYCHA? Democratic Candidates Offer Varied Plans for City's Crumbling Public Housing

    Few Mayoral Candidates Offer Plans for Rescuing City's Crumbling Public Housing

    NYCHA (photo: governor's office)


    The New York City Housing Authority, home to more than 400,000 New Yorkers, is falling apart. Long plagued by mold, lead paint, structural cracks, and failing elevators, boilers, and locks, the authority of over 177,000 units in 335 developments across the five boroughs is in need of a staggering $40 billion in physical repairs over the next ten years and faces an immediate operating budget deficit of about $300 million.

    Long the victim of official

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  • NYCHA’s Latest Rescue Plan Needs State Approval But That Won't Be Coming Anytime Soon

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    NYCHA Chair Greg Russ (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    *This story was published in partnership with New York Focus.*

    With a week left in the legislative session, New York lawmakers shelved a city-backed plan that aimed to revamp 25,000 NYCHA apartments.

    On May 21, with just ten working days to go in this year’s session, New York lawmakers added a major item to their docket: a ...

  • At Televised Debate, Democratic Mayoral Candidates Outline Housing, Homelessness Plans

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    (top: Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Andrew Yang, Ray McGuire; bottom: Eric Adams, Dianne Morales, Maya Wiley, Scott Stringer)


    Eight leading Democratic candidates in the race for mayor appeared in the first televised mayoral forum of the 2021 race to share their policy proposals for tackling housing and homelessness in New York City. The discussion had a particular focus on the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, which has added a new layer of concern regarding homelessness, evictions, rent and mortgage debt, housing segregation, affordable and

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  • Schumer Says Big Infrastructure Package is on Deck; What's on New York City's List?

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    Senator Chuck Schumer at City Hall (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio celebrated the passage of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which will deliver $6 billion in direct aid to New York City government and many additional billions to New Yorkers, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer had more good tidings to offer as he promised that a massive infrastructure program is next on the agenda. 

    Biden has proposed a $2 trillion “Build Back Better” plan to invest in infrastructure and combat climate change. It’s

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  • New York City Public Housing: Grey Gardens Revisited

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    NYCHA (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography)


    We all know the story of deplorable living conditions and general dysfunction. Many of us were captivated by details of the wreckage and the shocking level of disrepair. We sympathized with the residents, but scratched our heads wondering what level of madness allowed such unnecessary suffering when there were ample means to alleviate it.

    Although this describes the Grey Gardens of East Hampton, which became infamous in the 1970s and was depicted in films and a Broadway musical, it also

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  • Video Brief: Housing and the 2021 Election

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    Housing plans in motion (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In the latest video brief on key issues facing New York City and at the center of the 2021 city elections, hosts Ben Max and Jarrett Murphy discuss housing, including the them es of housing development, neighborhood rezonings, affordable housing, homelessness, and NYCHA public housing. Watch:

  • Democratic Mayoral Candidates Talk Tenants and Housing

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    Housing (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Nine leading candidates vying for the Democratic nomination to be New York City’s next mayor appeared at a recent virtual forum to offer their stances on issues critical to tenants. Two-thirds of New Yorkers are renters, which means the forum provided candidates a crucial opportunity to impress a large and important group of voters with their policy ideas to solve the city’s housing problems, especially amid a pandemic that has exacerbated existing inequities.

    At the February 27 forum

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  • Gowanus Rezoning Exemplifies Smart Housing Policy in New York; Let's Get It Passed

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    Housing (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Reversing the many factors contributing to New York’s long-standing housing emergency will not be easy, but it is possible. In fact, the path toward a more equitable and affordable city is already emerging. 

    In the proposed Gowanus rezoning, we can see the future right in front of us. The proposal is a model example of the sort of planning that, if replicated, will result in the city we aspire to create – one that overcomes rising housing costs and confronts our legacy of redlining and

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  • ‘I'm On A Mission’: Ritchie Torres Goes to Washington to Save Public Housing

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    Rep. Ritchie Torres (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Ritchie Torres, a Bronx Democrat, was sworn in early this month among the new class of the House of Representatives, becoming the first openly-gay Afro-Latino member of Congress. After seven years advocating for his district on the New York City Council, Torres now takes to the halls of Congress to exert whatever influence he can for his constituents, particularly through a plum committee assignment not often given to freshman lawmakers. One of his chief priorities remains the state of public

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  • With Focus on Climate, Kathryn Garcia Offers Initial Mayoral Campaign Platform Also Touching on Housing, Transit, and Policing

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    Kathryn Garcia (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Kathryn Garcia is running for mayor chiefly on her city government experience, but she’s also pitching voters on her ideas for the future, and where the two merge: the notion that she has the right plans and can execute them. The city sanitation commissioner for six years until she stepped down to run for mayor, Garcia has also been interim chair of the city’s public housing authority, NYCHA, the covid emergency “food czar,” and in other roles under Mayor Bill de Blasio, whom she has sharply criticized early on in her

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  • Democratic Mayoral Candidates Offer Ideas on Housing, Homelessness and NYCHA

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Eight mayoral candidates participated in a recent forum focused on public and private housing, and homelessness. The December 5 event, which was part of the 15th annual West Side Tenants' Conference, featured Brooklyn City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, former nonprofit executive Dianne Morales, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, entrepreneur Joycelyn Taylor, former city Sanitation

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  • WATCH: Democratic Mayoral Candidates Talk NYCHA, Housing, and Homelessness

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    Top (l-r): Eric Adams, Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Carlos Menchaca
    Bottom (l-r): Dianne Morales, Scott Stringer, Joycelyn Taylor, Maya Wiley


    Eight Democratic candidates for New York City mayor running in the June 2021 primary appeared by Zoom on Saturday to discuss public housing, private housing, homelessness, and the issues and policies that connect them all. The candidates offered their thoughts on current policies, offered their ideas for the future, and discussed what they would do if they were mayor today. Participants were Carlos Menchaca, Eric Adams, Dianne Morales,

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  • In Fits and Starts, De Blasio Moves Toward Internet Goal Set in 2014

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    Mayor de Blasio's slow-moving internet promises (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    It took a global pandemic that brought the city to a grinding halt for Mayor Bill de Blasio to order that wi-fi be installed at every homeless shelter in the city housing children and to strike a deal to install high-speed broadband internet in every New York City Housing Authority public housing development.

    More than six years after the mayor promised to create high-speed broadband networks across the city, nearly 20% of New Yorkers still lack access to the internet at home or

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  • Want to Fix NYCHA? Start in the Kitchen

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    NYCHA CEO Greg Russ inspects a stove at Queensbridge Houses (Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Office)


    NYCHA has a gas problem. 

    Any public housing resident currently impacted by one of more than 50 New York City Housing Authority gas outages would surely agree. In Cypress Hills, they’ve been without gas for close to a year. That bodes poorly for the Astoria Houses, where residents will likely have to cook Thanksgiving meals on a single hot plate. 

    We've seen across the

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  • De Blasio Administration Fails to Provide Proper Reentry Services for Those Leaving Jail Amid Pandemic, Providers Say

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    The mayor at a jails to jobs announcement (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    For Julio Medina, the onset of the coronavirus outbreak in New York City was going to pose a unique set of challenges. As executive director at the Exodus Transitional Community, Medina focuses on support and services for the formerly incarcerated, or re-entry services. When Rikers Island became one of the most densely COVID-19-infected areas, the city released over 1,500 people either being detained pre-trial or toward the end of their short sentences. But, advocates and service-providers say, a

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  • 'The City Needs a Crisis Manager': Kathryn Garcia Plots a Run for Mayor

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    Kathryn Garcia (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Earlier this month, Kathryn Garcia, a top official in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, resigned after more than six years as commissioner of the Department of Sanitation. In her time serving under the mayor, Garcia has worn many hats beyond that of keeping the city clear of trash and snow. De Blasio entrusted her with leading the city’s effort to abate lead exposure among young children, named her the interim chair and CEO of the struggling New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) for part of 2019, and then appointed

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Kathryn Garcia on Trash, Food, & Possibly Running for Mayor

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    Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, middle (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    September 16, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Kathryn Garcia on Trash, Food & Possibly Running for Mayor

    Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, who has been tasked with several other key roles by Mayor Bill de Blasio, is stepping down from her post as she considers jumping into the 2021 Democratic primary for Mayor. She joined the show to discuss her tenure at the Department of Sanitation, her work as interim NYCHA CEO and the "COVID-19 food czar,"

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