Tax Policy to Ease Gentrification’s Woes | Housing Permits Surge | Domino Development Unfolds

March 7th 2014

  1. Housing units permits surge 71%. More than 18,000 permits were issued last year for new apartments and homes across the city, according to a new analysis. The increase is a 71% jump from 2012 and is nearly 200% more than in 2009. [New York Daily News – 03/04/14]
  2. Cities mobilize to help those threatened by gentrification. Cities that have worked for years to attract young professionals who might have once moved to the suburbs are now experimenting with ways to protect a group long deemed expendable - working- and lower-middle class homeowners threatened by gentrification. [The New York Times – 03/04/14]
  3. Land Use Chair says Domino still needs vetting. Councilman David Greenfield of Brooklyn said today that he and Councilmembers Stephen Levin, and Antonio Reynoso all representing the areas affected by the Domino development, still have serious concerns over the project’s affordability, density, open spaces and the accessibility to transportation. [Capital New York – 03/05/14]
  4. Affordable housing advocates demand more from mayor. More than 100 affordable housing advocates gathered on the steps of New York City Hall to demand that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration force developers to create more low and moderate income units. The Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development led the effort that calls for the adoption of a new zoning policy, called mandatory inclusionary zoning, that would require many larger residential projects to include at least 20-percent affordable units in their design [WNYC – 03/05/14]
  5. Mayor’s housing team pow-wows with advocates. More than three dozen affordable housing providers and advocates met privately with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s housing team Monday to strategize on the administration’s forthcoming housing policy, a City Hall source told The Insider. Alicia Glen, the deputy mayor for housing and economic development, and Vicki Been, commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, as well as several staffers from the Housing Development Corp., met for over 90 minutes with a diverse group of advocates, housing providers and producers, the source said. [Crain’s New York Business – 03/04/14]
  6. On the Bowery, homeless to hipsters almost overnight. The Salvation Army is selling its outpost on the Bowery in Manhattan, for more than $30 million dollars to a hotel developer. The sale caps the transformation of a street formerly synonymous with homelessness into a destination for luxury. [WNYC – 03/06/14]
  7. New York City Mayor’s allies press him on housing. A coalition of some of the mayor’s liberal allies is set to start a campaign Thursday to create more homes for the city’s poorest residents, posing an additional challenge for the administration as it develops its own housing plan. The group, dubbed Real Affordability for All, plans to rally on the steps of City Hall and present a report it says shows a yawning gap in units aimed at residents making less than $41,000 a year for a family of four. [Wall Street Journal – 03/06/14]
  8. Could more flexible air rights facilitate the growth of affordable housing?  During the 1970s fiscal crisis, the city acquired significant quantities of property by way of owner abandonment and tax foreclosure, which it used in subsequent decades to subsidize affordable housing development. Virtually none of that land remains available today, however, and as we recently noted, the now-stratospheric cost of privately held land poses myriad obstacles to new affordable housing production, particularly in neighborhoods with good public schools, ready access to transportation and employment centers. [New York Observer – 03/04/14]
  9. New York demands data from mortgage firm Nationstar. New York State’s top banking regulator is raising questions about the capabilities of the mortgage servicing firm Nationstar Mortgage Holdings, demanding details about the company’s staffing levels, modification procedures and affiliated businesses. [The New York Times – 03/06/14]
  10. Tenants form union to fight gentrification. The newly formed Crown Heights Tenant Union held a rally outside a building on Union Street to protest a wave of displacement in the wake of rapid gentrification in their neighborhood. The tenants chanted “we won’t leave” outside 1059 Union Street, at a rally attended by about 50 tenants and activists. The tenants accuse their landlords of trying to force long term residents out in order deregulate rent-stabilized apartments. [Brooklyn Bureau – 02/28/14]
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