Policy

affordable housing, Policy

queensbridge houses, nycha, public housing nyc

Via Wikimedia

The New York City Public Housing Authority has inked an agreement that will turn 5,902 units over to private developers and raise over $1.5 billion for much-needed repairs, Crain’s reports. In 2018, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to convert 62,000 apartments by 2028 and has so far converted over 7,000 units. Thursday’s deal represents “the largest single package of conversions yet undertaken by the agency,” according to Crain’s. Included in the deal are five complexes: Linden Houses and Boulevard Houses in East New York, Williamsburg Houses in East Williamsburg and Audubon Houses and Harlem River Houses 1 and 2 in Harlem. The long list of selected developers includes major builders like L+M Development and Hudson Companies and some smaller players.

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Harlem, Policy

Rendering courtesy of the Olnick Organization

Amidst pushback from locals and activists, the Olnick Organization has released a Plan B proposal for its Lenox Terrace expansion, reports the Post. Last week, the City Planning Commission approved an application from the complex’s owner to rezone part of the neighborhood and allow five 28-story towers with a mix of market-rate and affordable units to be built at the site. The alternate plan unveiled on Tuesday presents a scaled-down version that wouldn’t require a zoning change but also wouldn’t include any of the affordable units or public amenities in the original plan.

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Brooklyn, Design, Policy

Image by Ali Vidler from Pixabay

The city is looking for ideas to fix the jam-packed promenade of the Brooklyn Bridge. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and the Van Alen Institute on Tuesday launched a design competition seeking creative improvements to the 137-year-old structure’s narrow walkway, where thousands of pedestrians and cyclists fight for space each day. The overcrowded conditions have made the number of cyclists crossing the bridge drop to about 3,000 daily riders, compared to 3,600 two years prior, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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Policy

220 Central Park SOuth, Vornado, Robert A.M., Stern

Image courtesy of Vornado Realty Trust and Robert A.M. Stern Architects

Last month, the city’s Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform revealed a report outlining sweeping changes to the property tax code that would essentially raise the same amount of money but substantially redistribute where it comes from. Under the current system, property owners pay taxes based on assessed value rather than market value, so working-class homeowners often pay a higher tax rate than those who can afford the city’s multimillion-dollar luxury condos. Mansion Global took a closer look at the numbers and found that property taxes along Billionaires’ Row could increase up to five times their current rate under the proposed system.

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Policy, real estate trends

Temporary restraining order rolls back broker fee ban

By Michelle Cohen, Tue, February 11, 2020

Photo by Rachel Martin on Unsplash

In an update made last week to the state’s recent rent reform laws, the Department of State said real estate brokers hired by landlords could no longer charge tenants a fee. The ruling sparked a widespread backlash from the real estate industry, particularly rental brokers. In response, a group of industry representatives filed an Article 78 petition in Albany, which resulted in a temporary restraining order on Monday, The Real Deal reported. The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) and a number of high-profile brokerages have filed a lawsuit claiming the new guidance was an “unlawful, erroneous, and arbitrary” interpretation of the rent reform law passed in June and wreaked “havoc and confusion” on the industry. The restraining order means agents acting on behalf of landlords can collect a commission from tenants until further notice without fear of discipline by the DOS.

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Featured Story

apartment living 101, City Living, Features, NYC Guides, Policy, renting 101

Renters insurance in NYC: Why you should get it right now

By Michelle Cohen, Mon, February 10, 2020

© Daxiao Productions – Fotolio

Renters insurance is one of those things that you know is a good idea–and like so many New York City renters, you’ve been meaning to do it, but you may not have gotten around to it–until you wish you had. And though we hope we’ll never need it, it’s one of the few things in city life that’s simple, inexpensive, and worth every penny. Below, we explain why it’s an important investment to make, how to navigate the process of getting a qu0te and getting covered, and which provider might be best for you.

All about renters insurance, this way

affordable housing, Policy

Billionaires’ Row © 6sqft

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday laid out his vision to “save” New York City, pledging to focus on affordability, climate change, and protections for small businesses during his last two years in office. “This city and everything it stands for must be saved. And we are the ones who have to save ourselves,” the mayor said during his State of the City address. De Blasio’s vision involves building on initiatives his administration has put forward during his tenure, including creating more affordable housing, increasing tenant protections, legalizing basement apartments, and launching the second phase of the Green New Deal.

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Policy, real estate trends

New York renters no longer have to pay broker fees

By Devin Gannon, Thu, February 6, 2020

Photo by Rachel Martin on Unsplash

Renters in New York will no longer have to pay a broker fee when they lease an apartment, the state ordered Tuesday. In an updated set of guidelines for last year’s rent reform laws, the state department said real estate brokers hired by landlords “cannot be compensated by the prospective tenant.” While brokers can still charge a fee, landlords are now responsible for paying it, according to the revised rules. However, if a renter hires a broker to find apartments on their behalf, a fee can be collected.

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Harlem, Policy

lenox terrace, rezoning, harlem

Photo: Lenox Terrace Aerial; Credit: Davis Brody Bond

A plan to bring a mixed-use development with five buildings and 1,600 apartments to Central Harlem got a much-needed approval on Monday. The City Planning Commission voted in favor of an application from the Olnick Organization to rezone part of the neighborhood, clearing the way for five 28-story luxury towers to be constructed at the existing Lenox Terrace complex.

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Policy, Williamsburg

Photo of East River State Park by Harold Navarro on Flickr

Brooklyn’s East River State Park will be renamed after black transgender rights activist Marsha P. Johnson, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday. The park, located on the waterfront in Williamsburg and known for hosting outdoor market Smorgasburg, will become the first state park that honors a member of the LGBTQ community. Johnson, who passed away in 1992, played a significant role in the Stonewall Uprising and helped found the advocacy group the Gay Liberation Front.

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