Policy

History, Policy

Statue of Eleanor Roosevelt on Riverside Drive is just one of a handful of monuments to women in NYC; via Wikimedia

City officials announced on Wednesday an initiative aimed at bringing more commemorations of historic New York City women to public spaces. First lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen are seeking ideas of women or events in women’s history that should be honored with monuments. The Department of Cultural Affairs has committed up to $10 million for the program, called She Built NYC!. “This is a first step to creating a public art collection that more accurately represents the diversity of New York City’s history,” McCray told NY1.

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affordable housing, Policy

Finding and applying for affordable housing in New York city can be a challenge for anyone. The application process can be confusing and daunting for those who need it most. Today the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and Housing Development Corporation (HDC) announced new guidelines for the process that are intended to help provide access for low-income residents and protect people who have survived domestic abuse.

Find out about the new guidelines

Policy, Turtle Bay

Photo of Michael Cohen via Wikimedia; listing photo via Trump International Realty

As President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, faces mounting legal fees, his family is looking to sell three condominium units at a 72-story Trump building in Manhattan. Bloomberg reported Friday that Cohen’s father-in-law Fima Shusterman wants to sell three apartments he owns in Trump World Tower at 845 United Nations Plaza. Just two of the units are listed on the Trump International Realty website: a three-bedroom unit, 57B, for $6.7 million and a two-bedroom unit, 42A, for $4.5 million. Not listed but still for sale, the family’s 43rd-floor apartment was purchased in 2003 for $1.85 million, but the current price is not yet known.

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affordable housing, Policy

Photo via Wiki Commons

As part of the new city budget, New York City has committed $500 million toward a plan to construct thousands of new apartments for low-income senior citizens on vacant public housing land, the Wall Street Journal reports. The new units would also free up existing NYCHA units currently occupied by seniors for people currently on wait lists for housing.

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Policy, Transportation

MetroCard, NYC subway, MTA

Image by Ged Carroll on Flickr

Mayor Bill de Blasio reached an agreement with City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on a new city budget, the New York Times reports. The $89.2 billion budget includes funding for discounted MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers. 6sqft reported last week on the deal struck between the mayor and the city council to provide about $100 million to fund the program. Johnson has been a tenacious and vocal supporter of the Fair Fares program, in which the city will subsidize the cost of providing half-price MetroCards to New Yorkers who fall below the federal poverty line, or a household income of $25,000 for a family of four. Nearly 800,000 New Yorkers could benefit from the discounted fares. The initial allocation in the budget will pay for six months of the program beginning in January, with further financing will be forthcoming in future budgets.

Find out more about Fair Fares

affordable housing, Policy

NYC affordable housing

Photo via Wikimedia

New York City has agreed to fork over $2 billion in the next 10 years to settle a federal prosecutors’ investigation into safety and health issues at buildings run by the by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the Wall Street Journal reports. The city has been ordered to repair buildings run by the country’s largest city housing authority after an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s District Office, which began in 2015, checked reports of crumbling conditions across the authority’s 325 developments.

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Policy, Transportation

MetroCard, NYC subway, MTA

Image by Ged Carroll on Flickr

Reduced-fare MetroCards may soon become a reality for low-income straphangers, as Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council have reached a deal Wednesday to provide roughly $100 million in funding to the program. The mayor’s agreement with Speaker Corey Johnson, who has been one of the most vocal supporters of a Fair Fares program, means the city would fully subsidize the cost of providing half-price MetroCards to New Yorkers who fall below the federal poverty line, or a household income of $25,000 for a family of four.

Nearly 800,000 New Yorkers could benefit from the discounted fares. Under the tentative deal, the city would allocate $106 million in its upcoming budget, which would pay for six months of the program beginning in January, according to the New York Times.

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affordable housing, Policy

nyc skyline, new york skyline, manhattan

Phoo via CC0 License

Between 2005 and 2016, the cost of basic needs like housing, transit, food and healthcare has grown at twice the rate of incomes in New York City, according to a new report released by City Comptroller Scott Stringer on Monday. Stringer’s office created a first-of-its-kind Affordability Index to track how much money New Yorkers have left over after taxes and basic expenses. The numbers are not comforting. The report found that single adults living in NYC had just $641 leftover after taxes and basic expenses in 2016, compared to $831 a decade ago.

“Over the last decade, the money that New Yorkers could be putting away – for retirement, for college, or even for a simple family night out – has been shrinking,” Stringer said in a press release. “Our growing affordability crisis is making it harder for families to enjoy a basic middle-class lifestyle – and is forcing them to choose between staying in New York City and leaving.”

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Midtown, Policy

Industry City, Design Week, ICFF, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NYC

Photo via via Alexandra Ferguson

The city released on Monday a plan to preserve at least 300,000 square feet of production space in the Garment District for the fashion industry by providing tax breaks for owners who lease manufacturing space. While the district, bound by 35th and 40th Streets and Broadway and Ninth Avenue, was once home to hundreds of thousands of fashion jobs, it has lost 85 percent of firms in the last three decades.

In addition to the tax incentives, the plan creates a new zoning rule that would help limit the construction of hotels by introducing a special permit. The Garment Center IDA program, backed by City Hall, the city’s Economic Development Corporation, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and industry leaders, also includes lifting previous protections from a 1987 mandate that preserves millions of square feet of apparel-production space on certain side streets. According to the Wall Street Journal, if the plan is approved by the city council, owners would be allowed to convert buildings to other uses, like offices.

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affordable housing, Bed Stuy, Policy

Photo via CityRealty

New York City has sold 10 homes valued between $1 and $1.2 million to Brooklyn families for about half the price, as part of an initiative to promote affordable homeownership throughout the five boroughs. The two-family homes are located throughout the Bed-Stuy neighborhood and sold for between an estimated $407,000 and $625,000 (h/t NY Post). To qualify for the affordable homes, the families had to apply through a housing lottery and earn 90 or 130 percent of the are median income, which ranges roughly between $50,856 for a family of three and $153,790 for a family of seven.

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