Mayor Bill de Blasio announces findings on tenant representation last August. Image: nyc.gov
6sqft reported last year on a new bill that would guarantee a lawyer for all low-income residents facing eviction. On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed that bill into law, guaranteeing legal representation for low-income residents who face eviction (h/t Citylab). The legislation is the nation’s first that provides right to counsel in housing matters. The new law is the result of efforts of activists and organizers that began in 2014.
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Photo via Lucas Klappas on Flickr
With New York City’s subway system currently in a state of emergency, public officials and advocates have been developing ways to pay for its urgent repairs. According to the New York Times, Governor Cuomo is planning to release a congestion pricing plan as a way to provide a dedicated source of funding for the transit system, as well as a way to reduce traffic on some of the country’s busiest streets. Ten years ago, Mayor Bloomberg pushed for a similar plan, charging drivers $8 to enter the most congested parts of Manhattan during peak commuting hours, but the legislation faced resistance and was never brought to a vote.
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Photo © Governor Andrew Cuomo/Flickr
Just in the past month, power problems caused 32,000 subway delays, prompting Governor Cuomo to direct “Con Edison to take significant and immediate actions to improve the subway’s power reliability and prevent future service failure,” according to a press release. Less than two months after declaring a “state of emergency” for the subway system, Cuomo’s given Con Ed and the MTA one year to identify and repair the problems, the most comprehensive power review ever done, leaving them on the hook to inspect 470 manholes, 1,100 boxes, and 221 power substations at street level and 1,100 energy distribution rooms, 300 signal relay rooms, 15,000 track circuits, 11,000 signals, 13,750 insulated joints, 11,000 trip stops, 220 interlockings, and 1,800 switch machines below ground. The cost? It’s not yet been officially calculated, but Con Ed chairman John McAvoy says it’s likely to be tens of millions of dollars.
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Conceptual image depicting all of the proposed sites of the East Midtown rezoning fully built out, via CityRealty
After five years, the City Council approved a rezoning for Manhattan’s Midtown East on Wednesday, by a 42-0 vote. The proposal will rezone roughly 78 blocks, running from East 39th Street to East 57th Street and from Third Avenue to Madison Avenue, clearing the way for 6.5 million square feet of office space in the area. A new updated zoning code is expected to incentivize new, dense development, allowing Midtown to compete with other booming business districts in the borough like Hudson Yards and the Financial District. As the New York Times reported, this change which lets developers build to a higher floor area ratio could result in new supertall towers.
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General Lee Avenue and Robert E. Lee’s former home on Fort Hamilton, via Jeremy Bender/Business Insider
Despite a push from advocates and politicians, the United States Army decided to keep the names of two streets in Brooklyn that honor Confederate generals. The streets, General Lee Avenue and Stonewall Jackson Drive, can be found in Fort Hamilton, the city’s last remaining active military base. Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, along with U.S. Reps Jerrold Nadler, Nydia Velazquez and Hakeem Jeffries, had written to the Army in June asking them to consider changing the street names. As the Daily News reported, the Army said the names will stay because they remain an “inextricable part of our military history.”
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Image Public Domain
Continuing this summer’s subway saga, Mayor de Blasio announced a plan on Sunday that would tax the wealthiest 1 percent of New Yorkers to fund the system’s much-need repairs and renovations. The proposal, which requires Albany’s approval, would also provide half-price MetroCards for low-income straphangers. As the New York Times reported, the “millionaires tax” would increase the tax rate of the city’s wealthiest residents to 4.4 percent from roughly 3.9 percent for married couples with incomes over $1 million and for individuals who make more than $500,000 annually.
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Subway image via WikiCommons
On Tuesday the Metropolitan Transportation Authority revealed an $800 million emergency rescue plan for the city’s beleaguered subway system. As 6sqft reported, the MTA board has been scrambling for new ways to pay for the plan amid increasing dissatisfaction with fare hikes, even as the agency says they’ll need to raise fares by roughly 4 percent every other year as part of their long-term financial plan. According to Crain’s, Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke Thursday about a possible corporate sponsorship alternative: For $600,000, a donor can publicly “adopt” a station to help pay for amenities and improved cleaning; for $250,000, a “Partnership Council” membership would help raise money for improvements without the donor’s name attached to the station.
Who wouldn’t want to adopt a subway station?
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority revealed on Tuesday an $800 million emergency rescue plan to fix the city’s failing subway system, which includes hiring 2,700 workers, removing some seats and adding additional train cars. And on Wednesday the MTA board grappled with ways to pay for the plan, with some members calling for the agency to end its routine fare and toll hikes and find revenue through other means. However, according to the New York Times, the authority’s chief financial officer, Robert Foran, said the agency needed to continue to raise fares by roughly 4 percent every other year as part of their long-term financial plan.
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Image via WNYC
According to the Daily News, in 2016, roughly 92 percent of persons arrested for fare evasion were people of color, many of whom were also low-income and ended up spending at least one day in jail. With this in mind, State Senator Jesse Hamilton of Crown Heights and Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright of Bed-Stuy, both Democrats, will introduce legislation to decriminalize turnstile jumping cases. Instead of the offense warranting an arrest, misdemeanor charges, and a $100 fine, they propose the MTA’s Adjudication Bureau handle it as a civil matter.
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After months of what has seemed like rapidly accelerating deterioration, scary incidents, complaints and finger-pointing, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority revealed on Tuesday an $800 million emergency rescue plan for the city’s beleaguered subway system, the New York Times reports. Some key solutions identified for the initial phase of the plan, called “MTA Moving Forward,” included taking out seats on some cars–Boston’s transit system has done this in some cases to make room for more commuters. When asked when riders would begin to see the benefits of the plan, MTA chairman Joseph Lhota said that key parts of the plan’s initial phase would be implemented “relatively quickly.”
A hefty tab and a bitter feud