Housing Starts: Homeless Population Record High | Deputy Mayor Talks Housing | Costs Rise Statewide

March 13th 2014

  1. As homeless shelter population rises, advocates push mayor on policies. The number of homeless people staying overnight in New York City shelters reached a dismal record of 53,615 in January, a new study has found, prompting advocates to press Mayor Bill de Blasio to follow through on promises to undo policies that they say drove the city’s homeless population to skyrocket in the first place. [New York Times – 03/12/14]
  2. Deputy mayor talks housing with borough presidents. Alicia Glen, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s deputy mayor for housing and economic development, is continuing to meet privately with advocates, officials and stakeholders across the city to solicit input for the administration’s forthcoming plan to build and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing. [Crain’s New York Business – 03/11/14]
  3. New York State reports steep rise in housing costs. Housing costs have risen beyond what New Yorkers can afford in many parts of the state, whether they rent or own, an examination released by the state comptroller’s office shows. Although housing costs are higher in New York City, the report, which was released on Monday, found that households elsewhere in the state are also feeling an affordability crunch primarily driven by stagnant or declining incomes. Whether upstate or downstate, the report found, more than half the state’s renters - and a third of homeowners - now devote more than 30 percent of their income to housing, surpassing the threshold of what the federal government considers to be affordable. [New York Times – 03/10/14]
  4. Sandy left scars on housing, report says. Many of the city’s public-housing residents continue to struggle with mold, leaks and balky heat in buildings damaged by superstorm Sandy 16 months ago. Other continuing issues include inconsistent hot water and leaky roofs, according to a report set to be released Wednesday by a coalition of community and tenant activists and interviews with residents. [Wall Street Journal – 03/11/14]
  5. $225 million development coming to downtown Jamaica, including 26-story tower. The skyline in downtown Jamaica, a discount shopping hub that has struggled to stage a comeback, is about to change. A $225 million tower, with retail below and about 400 apartments above, is slated to break ground in early 2015 near the AirTrain to Kennedy Airport. The tower is to clock in at about 26 stories. The next tallest structure in the neighborhood of 99 cent stores and takeout restaurants, is a 12-story federal building. [New York Daily News – 03/07/14]
  6. HUD chief faults NYC for Sandy aid delays. The federal government’s point person on Sandy aid said the Bloomberg administration was to blame for delays in New York City’s program to rebuild homes damaged by the storm almost 17 months ago. About 20,000 people have applied to the city for federal assistance through the program, called Build it Back. But no one’s home has been repaired so far. [WNYC – 03/12/14]
  7. Mayor de Blasio’s Brooklyn housing plan is building big worries. Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious housing plan is now towering over the city - and after the approval of a massive development in Brooklyn, some advocates and preservationists are cowering in its shadow. Their concern is this: Will de Blasio’s promise to let developers build larger and taller in exchange for creating affordable housing overwhelm neighborhoods with hulking buildings that hurt the quality of life? [New York Daily News – 03/09/14]
  8. This valley is their valley. Decades of inequitable development and intra-regional competition have created a deeply divided Silicon Valley. This kind of polarization is, of course, widespread beyond Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. But it has particular salience in connection with this region, not least because that is where many of the technologies emerged that facilitated, among other seismic changes, the globalizing of labor and financial markets. And, because of the degree of wealth concentrated in the region, the South Bay is a particularly stark example of inequality. It is also a window into the spatial and political nature of that inequality - the ways disparities are arranged across the land in patterns of poverty and wealth, and how much this has to do with the ways cities and regions organize themselves along lines that deepen, rather than mitigate, those patterns. [Remapping Debate – 03/12/14]
  9. Soundview affordable housing tenants demand changes to unacceptable living conditions Residents of a Bronx apartment complex hope management caves to their demands before their own roofs cave in. Tenants of Sack Wern Houses, a seven-building affordable housing complex in Soundview, filed more than 90 complaints with the New York City Housing Authority earlier this week. For years, residents at the Soundview complex claim they have suffered under the weight of leaky ceilings, mold, uneven floors and other structural building issues. ‘They won’t solve a problem unless it’s a crisis,’ said Albert Elmore, 62, who has lived in the building 30 years. ‘It shouldn’t be like this. It’s as simple as that.’ [New York Daily News – 03/12/14]
  10. City’s infrastructure repair pegged at $47 billion. New York City’s infrastructure vulnerabilities are massive and worsening, a situation that would cost tens of billions of dollars over the next five years to repair, argues a report released Tuesday. The Center for an Urban Future study estimates that the city needs to spend $47.3 billion over the next four or five years to bring its decrepit infrastructure to a state of good repair. In addition to more than 1,000 miles of century-old water mains that have averaged 400 breaks a year since 1998, the report points to a $34.2 billion capital funding gap shared by the city and other agencies to replace or repair decaying assets like sewer mains, gas lines, hospitals, bridges, homeless shelters and schools. [Crain’s New York Business – 03/11/14]
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