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A Tale of Two Tenants | Pelham Bay Nonprofits Eye Vacant Lot | Transit Growth or Rental Hikes?

Housing Starts | May 20th 2014

(credit: Joshua Bright, The New York Times)

  1. What’s next, a bouncer? Rent-regulated tenants are likely to be elderly or minorities, particularly in Manhattan, according to data provided by the New York University Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. In 2011, 73.4 percent of market-rate renters in Manhattan were white and nearly 77 percent of market-rate owners were white. [The New York Times – 05/16/14]
  2. Nonprofits eye long-vacant hospital in Pelham Bay. Four nonprofits have expressed interest in utilizing the long-vacant Pelham Grand in the Bronx, offering the owner of the former hospital a new range of options. The organizations presented their plans to Bronx Community Board 10 on Tuesday to enlist support for their plans. [The Real Deal Magazine – 05/16/14]
  3. It’s not always a bad thing for rents to rise with transit growth. Many cities around the United States are trapped in the same dilemma between a desire for transit growth and a fear of rising rents. It’s true that one often leads to the other. A 2010 report found that between 1990 and 2000, rent increased more quickly in transit areas across the country than in the surrounding metropolitan areas. The change doesn’t always take long: another study, examining the effects of the construction of Chicago’s Midway Orange Line in 2004, concluded that property values along the line increased even in advance of opening. But are rising housing prices as a result of mass transit development necessarily a bad thing? The real story is more nuanced. [The Atlantic City Lab – 05/15/14]
  4. City’s plan: give homeless break on rent. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration is seeking $40 million in state funding to launch a new rental subsidy program to combat an unprecedented level of homelessness in New York City, part of a multifaceted policy proposal that officials plan to outline Monday. Gilbert Taylor, commissioner of the city’s Department of Homeless Services, is scheduled to provide the most detailed accounting of the administration’s plans to reduce homelessness when he testifies before the City Council at a budget oversight hearing Monday. As of last week, more than 53,000 people, including nearly 23,000 children, slept in city shelters, city records show. [The Wall Street Journal – 05/18/14]
  5. Documents reveal ‘Build It Back’ architects were paid $6 million. New York City’s beleaguered Superstorm Sandy housing recovery program, Build It Back, cost taxpayers a whopping $6 million just to create, new documents obtained from the city’s Housing Recovery Office reveal. According to the data obtained through a freedom of information law request, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), creators of Build It Back, and its subcontractors charged the city $6.1 million between April and August of 2013. [The Epoch Times – 05/15/14]
  6. First look at Cornell Tech’s 26-story residential tower. When Cornell dropped dozens of new renderings of its Roosevelt Island tech campus in December, the residential tower was still a mystery. But no longer. Renderings for the 26-story tower were presented last night to Community Board 8 by Andrew Winters, director of capital projects and planning forCornell NYC Tech, and architect Blake Middleton of Handel Architects. [Curbed NY – 05/15/14]
  7. Famed photographer gives a face to New York’s homeless population in ‘Residents of New York.’ Homelessness in the five boroughs has reached the highest levels since the Great Depression, casting a shadow over what it means to be an inhabitant of New York City. Famed photographer Andres Serrano is exploring this sad but ever important aspect of our great metropolis in his aptly titled series, ‘Residents of New York.’ The artist, well-known for his fearless lens, has spent the last several months photographing homeless individuals in New York City, capturing poignant portraits of the city’s overlooked natives. Turning the abstract concept of homelessness into a candid reflection on identity, he’s collected together 85 images (35 of which will go on view) of men and women living on the streets, amounting to a stunning visualization of the homeless epidemic—and his first ever public art project. [The Huffington Post – 05/15/14]
  8. Housing is recovering. Single-family homes aren’t. The headlines in the new report on home building activity - which is being closely watched, after many other kinds of data point to a softening in housing - are pretty terrific. The number of permits for new housing units soared 8 percent in April, the Census Bureau said on Friday, to an annualized 1.08 million. And the number of homes on which builders began construction rose a whopping 13 percent, to an annualized 1.07 million. If nothing else, the numbers help assuage fears that the housing industry is losing momentum. It now looks like the rough winter was indeed a major factor holding back home building activity so far this year, and there is now a spring thaw underway. [The New York Times – 05/16/14]
  9. Obama plans to pick San Antonio mayor for housing secretary: source. President Barack Obama plans to choose San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as secretary of housing and urban development as part of a Cabinet reshuffle, a Democratic source said on Saturday. Castro, a rising Latino star in national Democratic politics, would take the place of current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who would move to head the White House Office of Management and Budget, the source said. Both jobs need U.S. Senate confirmation. [Reuters – 05/17/14]
  10. Low-income housing advocates push for more units in Chinatown and LES. Encouraged by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 10-year affordable housing plan announced earlier this month, a coalition of community groups is renewing a push to limit luxury development and increase low-income housing in Chinatown and the Lower East Side. As rising rents and new luxury developments make it harder for those in the area to make ends meet, advocates gathered Tuesday to press the city to adopt the ‘People First Rezoning Plan’ - a special zoning district that would cover Chinatown and the Lower East Side. [DNAinfo – 05/14/14]
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