Housing Starts: Turning to the Water | Problems and Politics at NYCHA | Staten Island Left Behind

May 5th 2015

NYCHA Housing (Photo credit: New York Observer)

  1. New York’s Future Is on the Water Yet the Whitney’s debut on Gansevoort Street is a sign of something much more significant: it is the consecration of New York’s return as a true waterfront city. This is much more meaningful in the long run than the fact that ‘downtown’ is somehow the ‘it’ place to be—urban centers of gravity constantly shift over time, after all, depending on economic and real estate cycles. But returning to the water… now that’s a big move. [Huffington Post – 04/30/15]
  2. Report: NYC construction spending reached $36B in 2014 “There simply is no overestimating how important the construction industry is to New York City, especially once you factor in the ripple effect throughout the City’s economy,” said New York Building Congress President Richard T. Anderson. “This is something that we need to keep in mind as the debate heats up in Albany regarding the MTA’s capital program and incentive programs such as 421-a. In addition to paving the way for continued growth, these programs also stimulate the economy in the near-term by providing stable sources of jobs, income, and spending.” [New York Observer – 04/30/15]
  3. NYC Lags Behind National Housing Market Judging from all the $100 million-plus penthouses on 57th Street, New York City may seem like the hottest real estate market in the country. But in fact, its overall price growth is lagging well behind the national average. In the year through February, home prices grew by 5 percent in metro areas listed in the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite home price index. Over the same period, prices in New York City grew by a mere 2.51 percent, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller index, released today (the index does not include co-ops, which still outnumber condos in New York City). [The Real Deal – 04/28/15]
  4. City on the Edge: The Problems, Policies, Politics and People of NYCHA None of Angel’s ideas are likely to be on the list of problems and proposals Shola Olatoye, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s NYCHA chairwoman and chief executive officer, will take on when she unveils the authority’s turnaround plan, titled “NextGeneration,” in May (in fact, Mr. de Blasio is allowing the homeless to again move into housing projects, after former Mayor Michael Bloomberg forbade them entry to ease the agency’s waiting list). NextGeneration will be piloted at three developments—at the Ingersoll and Van Dyke Houses in Brooklyn and at the Millbrook Houses in the Bronx—and was purportedly formulated in cooperation with their residents, though details on it remain scant. [New York Observer – 04/28/15]
  5. NYC’S No-Longer-Ailing Developers Seek to Retain 1971 Tax Break Groups representing thousands of financially squeezed tenants say the law gives developers generous breaks without forcing them to create enough affordable apartments, costing taxpayers $1 billion a year in lost revenue. Money would be better spent on rent subsidies, vouchers and low-cost financing, they say. The Real Estate Board of New York, the industry’s lobbying arm, says that without the law known as 421-a, no apartments will be built in a city whose construction costs, land prices and taxes are among the highest in the world. [Bloomberg – 05/01/15]
  6. NYC’s First Ever Crowd-Funded Condo Project Launches Sales For once, the profits from the sale of pricey condos won’t only enrich the developer. New York City’s first crowd-funded condo project, partially financed by investors who chipped in as little as $50,000 for a share, is about to hit the market, with apartment prices starting at $1.2 million, the Daily News has learned. The project, a joint venture between crowdfunding platform the Prodigy Network and corporate apartment provider Korman Communities, raised more than 10% of its equity from small-time investors to acquire and renovate the building. [New York Daily News – 04/30/15]
  7. Rent Board Refuses To Lower NYC’s Damn High Rent The South Bronx met the liberal policy wonks of the de Blasio administration last night, and the Bronx lost. As more than 200 people chanting “Rent Rollback” filled an auditorium at City University Graduate Center, most in community-group contingents from the Bronx and upper Manhattan, the city Rent Guidelines Board rejected a proposal to recommend that rents be reduced by up to 4 percent for the city’s 1 million rent-stabilized apartments next year, by a 7-2 vote. Instead, it voted 5-4 to recommend allowing increases of up to 3.5 percent over the next two years, with a one-year freeze possible. [Gothamist – 04/30/15]
  8. Staten Island Left Out of $3 Billion NYCHA Repair and Resiliency Program No Staten Island developments are included in a $3 billion Hurricane Sandy repair and resiliency program for the city’s public housing. This is because the program is for developments damaged during Sandy, and the borough’s public housing stock went largely unscathed during the hurricane. Still, half of the money will be used for upgrades to protect housing projects against future storms. Six of Staten Island’s developments are located in the city’s own hurricane evacuation zones. And the only borough housing project damaged during the storm—New Lane Shores—is also left out of the program. [SI Live – 05/01/15]
  9. De Blasio Will Announce Start for Review Process Leading Toward East New York Redevelopment In a major step toward transforming East New York, Brooklyn, Mayor de Blasio on Friday will announce the start of a public review process that will set the stage for the neighborhood to be redeveloped by early 2016. The lengthy land-use process will kick off by September, when the city will reveal the final boundaries of the area to be rezoned as well as the affordability requirements for buildings constructed. It’s part of de Blasio’s affordable housing plan, which aims to construct or preserve 200,000 units in the next decade. [New York Daily News – 04/30/15]
  10. The Bronx Has City’s Highest Rate of Home Loan Denials, Study Finds The South Bronx real estate market may be heating up, but the residents have a tougher time getting home loans than residents of any other borough, according to a city report. Approximately 30 percent of all home loan applications were denied in The Bronx, an amount well above New York’s denial rate of 23 percent and almost twice as high as Manhattan’s 17 percent, according to a new report from the Department of Finance examining banking needs throughout New York City. [DNAinfo – 05/04/15]
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