Could More Flexible Air Rights Policies 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.
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Is Manhattan for Everyone? The pied-à-terre and the ‘poor door’

Seven years ago, when the Westside mega-development known as Hudson Yards was but a twinkle in the collective eye of real estate moguls and Bloomberg officiates, grumbling had already begun about inequality among the neighborhood’s residents. Those residents, of course, had yet to arrive. And the complaints seemed stranger still given that Hudson Yards had, Read More

De Blasio Sets Deadline for Affordable Housing Plan, But Policy Details Remain Vague

In his State of the City address yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged once again to “preserve or construct nearly 200,000 units of affordable housing—enough to house between 400,000 and 500,000 New Yorkers—to help working people by literally putting a roof over their heads.”

And, after announcing the remaining members of his housing “dream team” last Saturday—with Shola Olatoye heading up NYCHA, Vicki Been at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Gary Rodney as president of the Housing Development Corporation, Carl Weisbrod as City Planning chair and Alicia Glen as deputy mayor for housing and economic development—Mr. de Blasio has finally revealed when we can finally expect some details: May 1st.
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Mayor Bloomberg Says Housing Crunch Is a ‘Good Sign’

Mayor Bloomberg during an appearance on WOR. (Photo: Flickr/nycmayorsoffice)
Mayor Bloomberg during an appearance on WOR. (Photo: Flickr/nycmayorsoffice)

On the topic of those struggling to find affordable housing in his city, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is quick to find the silver lining.

“Somebody said that there’s not enough housing. That’s a good sign,” he argued during his weekly Friday morning radio sit-down with WOR’s John Gambling. Continue reading “Mayor Bloomberg Says Housing Crunch Is a ‘Good Sign’”

Al Sharpton Unimpressed After Anthony Weiner Appearance at National Action Network

Anthony Weiner speaking to the National Action Network Saturday.
Anthony Weiner speaking to the National Action Network Saturday. (Photo: Jill Colvin)

The Rev. Al Sharpton walked away unimpressed following Anthony Weiner’s first campaign appearance in front of his National Action Network in Harlem Saturday morning.

Mr. Sharpton, who met privately with the former congressman before they each took to the stage, worried about what he described as a lack of substance on the part of the candidates.

Continue reading “Al Sharpton Unimpressed After Anthony Weiner Appearance at National Action Network”

Leading West Side Council Candidate Tied to Controversial Developer

Marc Landis. (Photo: Facebook)
Marc Landis. (Photo: Facebook)

When Marc Landis, a leading candidate to represent the Upper West Side in the City Council next year, talks about himself, he often boasts of his long record of fighting for affordable housing in New York City. The attorney and Democratic district leader, praised by his many endorsers for his tenant advocacy, also works closely with Tahl Propp Equities, a large real estate developer that has been sued by Manhattan tenants and accused of “predatory” financial practices in rapidly gentrifying Harlem.

“Tahl Propp was one of the early companies that we and other organizers spotted coming in and buying up large amounts of affordable housing and they weren’t a known actor in the affordable housing or real estate world,” said Emily Goldstein, coordinator of preservation and policy at Tenants and Neighbors, a statewide tenant advocacy group. “In more recent years, I know that they’ve said they care about affordable housing. They’ve said they care about the Harlem community. And yet their actual practices in many of these buildings have been detrimental to low and moderate income tenants, to the physical housing stock and arguably to the community.”

Continue reading “Leading West Side Council Candidate Tied to Controversial Developer”

House of Canards: Jeffries, Looking to Washington, Calls for NYCHA Investigation—But Is the Problem the City Itself?

2012 08 12 11 26 19 House of Canards: Jeffries, Looking to Washington, Calls for NYCHA Investigation—But Is the Problem the City Itself?
Will you protect this house? (Matt Chaban)

Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries convened a press conference yesterday calling for a federal investigation of mismanagement of the New York City Housing Authority. Mr. Jeffries and about 50 of his constituents were lined up in front of the Farragut Houses, wedged between the BQE and the luxury lofts of DUMBO.

Throughout the half-hour event, while away from the podium, the would-be Congressman, dressed in a navy suit with subtle pinstripes and geometric red tie, would dip his hand into his pocket and withdraw a blue handkerchief that matched his shirt. He would duck his head and swiftly dab at his brow before returning the hankie, to do it all over again a few minutes later.

Assemblyman Jeffries looked as though he wanted to hide the fact that he, too, was human, and thus susceptible to the heat. But the thought that crossed our minds was imagine having to live in one of these brick-and-concrete monoliths on such an unbearable day. It turns out that is the unfortunate case year-round. Continue reading “House of Canards: Jeffries, Looking to Washington, Calls for NYCHA Investigation—But Is the Problem the City Itself?”