Housing Starts: A Need to Help the Homeless I Landmarks Bill Introduced I New NYCHA Funding Sought

April 10th 2015

Photo Credit: Flickr

  1. NYC Housing Focus Needs to Help Homeless Too, Advocates Say The homeless should have a bigger place in New York City’s ambitious affordable housing push, advocates said Tuesday, arguing that two issues often viewed separately need to be tackled in tandem. Housing costs have hit a breaking point for a growing number of New Yorkers while homelessness has reached levels not seen in decades. The city and state have made some strides, but advocates and some politicians want government to set aside more apartments for homeless people, boost rent subsidies and convert some apartments being used as homeless shelters into permanent housing. [Brooklyn Daily Eagle – 04/09/15]
  2. City Council to Introduce New Landmarking Bill The City Council is drafting legislation to change the city’s system for designating landmarks. Backers of the legislation say it will bring more clarity to a process that has been criticized for hindering development, but critics say the ‘devil is in the details.’ The new legislation was announced Wednesday by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, a critic of development and an advocate for automatically considering any building older than 50 years for landmark status. It is being drafted by Councilmen Brad Lander, Stephen Levin and Daniel Garodnick. [Crain’s New York – 04/09/15]
  3. Pols and Residents Demand City Create New Funding Stream for NYCHA Councilman Ritchie Torres and Comptroller Scott Stringer joined other pols and tenant leaders to insist that the city put more money into its public housing—and stop taking so much out. The officials and residents pointed to the New York City Housing Authority’s aging building stock, $16 billion in back repairs, yearly budget deficits of roughly $100 million and dwindling state and federal subsidies as reasons for the city to grant NYCHA and the more than 600,000 people it serves a permanent line in the budget. The alternative, according to Mr. Torres—chairman of the Committee on Public Housing—is to simply allow the authority’s 2,563 buildings to fall apart. [Observer – 04/09/15]
  4. South Bronx Sizzle: Once a Symbol of Urban Blight, the Formerly Burned Out Neighborhood is Now a Major Draw for Investors This time, if someone says the Bronx is burning, it’s because the real estate market is on fire. Companies big and small are flooding into the once-troubled South Bronx at historic rates, an early sign that an area which long eluded gentrification may be getting its day in the spotlight. ‘The last housing boom ran out of gas before it reached the Bronx,’ said real estate appraiser Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel. ‘But now, we’re finally at the cusp of something. The South Bronx is the natural next jumping-off point for people who are seeking out affordability.’ [NY Daily News – 04/08/15]
  5. UWS Locals to Help Decide Where to Build $50M in Affordable Housing Locals will have a chance to weigh in on where the city should build affordable housing using a $50 million contribution from Collegiate School earmarked for the units. Residents can help generate a list of ‘creative ideas’ about where the city should build the units in the neighborhood at a meeting early next month, said Nick Prigo, chairman of Community Board 7’s housing committee. [DNAinfo – 04/08/15]
  6. Despite Rising Prices, Manhattan Buyers Flock to Brooklyn Brooklyn’s median sales price shattered a new record during the first quarter, hitting $610,894. According to Douglas Elliman’s latest quarterly Brooklyn sales report, that’s a 17.5 percent year-over-year increase from $520,000, and marks 10 consecutive quarters of median price increases. Still, compared to Manhattan, where the median sales price was $970,000 during the first quarter, Brooklyn remains a bargain. Buyers are flocking to the borough for better deals, according to Elliman, which reckons that 40 percent of its Brooklyn buyers are Manhattanites looking across the river. [The Real Deal – 04/09/15]
  7. Public Spaces That Aren’t Just an Afterthought The glass-enclosed plaza at an office tower in Manhattan’s Financial District used to be a nice place for people to pass through on their way to someplace else. Soon, though, the building’s owner plans to turn the public space into what might be best described as a mini-Bryant Park. […]Using a privately owned building’s public spaces to land tenants isn’t unique to MHP and Clarion. Developers across the city and the nation are refocusing attention on these settings as more workplace designs emphasize nontraditional environments that foster social interaction among employees and passersby, said urban-design and real-estate experts. [Wall Street Journal – 04/08/15]
  8. 1,100-Unit Harlem Project Promises Affordable Housing But Not Union Jobs, Yet A plan to build three, roughly 50-foot-tall towers on top of East River Plaza, a large shopping mall close to the river, would appear to have everything going for it as it seeks approval from the de Blasio administration and the City Council. Forest City Ratner Cos. and Blumenfeld Development Group are already proposing that the one-million-square-foot development set aside 25 percent of its units to lease at significantly below market rate. That’s more than the 20 percent that had become commonplace over the years. [Capital New York – 04/08/15]
  9. Tenants of Bronx Housing Complex Suing NYCHA Over ‘Danger to Their Life’ Tired waiting for repairs, frustrated tenants at one of the city’s biggest public housing developments filed suit charging conditions there are ‘a danger to their life, health or safety.’ Twenty tenants of Castle Hill Houses in the Bronx sued NYCHA, asking a judge to force repairs of moldy bathrooms, leaky pipes and broken elevators. The suit, filed on Friday, follows NYCHA’s effort to answer a federal court decree requiring it to abate mold in units where tenants have asthma. [NY Daily News – 04/07/15]
  10. Mapping New York City’s Booming Passive Housing Movement Seeing as Brooklyn is the artisanal, organic heartbeat of New York City, it should come as no surprise that the latest trend in sustainable building is spreading across the borough. Passive buildings, built to ‘passive house’ standards imported from Germany, are popping up all over the place (even the Times is noticing), and they have an intrigue not found in plain ol’ LEED certified buildings. It’s not that they look exotic (though sometimes they do), but it’s that they function entirely differently from traditional buildings. [Curbed – 04/08/15]
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