Photo via Wiki Commons
According to a new report from the Daily News, for every affordable apartment offered through the city’s housing lotteries since 2013, there were 696 applicants, leaving you with a measly 0.14 percent chance of being selected. “All told, there were 2.9 million applications for 4,174 affordable units available from 72 lotteries run by the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD),” says the News, yet another signifier that average New Yorkers are struggling to pay ever-increasing rents.
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Yesterday, we learned of Governor Cuomo’s plans for a major, $4 billion overhaul of LaGuardia Airport. The project includes consolidating the four terminals, moving the entire facility south, introducing a 24-hour ferry service, and launching AirTrain service that’ll connect travelers to the 7 line in Willet’s Point. Today, however, the revelry took a turn when it was reported that the revamp would actually take ten years and $10 billion. If this is, in fact, the case, that’s a huge chunk of money coming out of the state budget–money that the MTA has long been gunning for in order to update its antiquated system (it’s been running on the same technology since the 1930s) and to close its $15 billion 2015-2019 Capital Plan funding gap, which is still only less than half of the agency’s $34 billion in total debt.
LaGuardia may be the third-worst airport in the nation, but is it more deserving of billions in state funding than the MTA, which carries a whopping 6.1 million riders a day?
Photo courtesy of Airbnb via Facebook
As if it wasn’t challenging enough to find a reasonable apartment in New York City, Airbnb is now taking up 20 percent of available units in popular Manhattan and Brooklyn zip codes, reports the Daily News. According to a study from New York Communities for Change and Real Affordability For All, the East Village is the most affected, with 28 percent of its apartments being rented as illegal hotel rooms on Airbnb. Additionally, the 20 most popular neighborhoods on the room sharing site “have lost 10% of their available housing units to Airbnb.”
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In November, 2014, we reported that the 26-acre Hudson Yards mega-development had cost the city nearly $650 million in subsidies, coming straight out of the pockets of taxpayers. We also noted that it wasn’t going to stop there; a review by the city’s Independent Budget Office said even more would be needed through 2019 to complete the “next great commercial district.” And now the new figures are in. According to DNAinfo, the city will shell out an additional $368 million through 2019, bringing their total payout for Hudson Yards to more than $947 million.
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Earlier this year the Times made waves in the real estate industry with a lengthy exposé zooming in on the growing trend of foreigners—many the subject of government inquiries ranging from environmental violations to financial fraud—using LLCs as a way to scoop up luxury properties and stash their cash while avoiding taxes. Now the paper reports that the De Blasio administration has imposed new disclosure requirements on those who intend to use shell companies as a vehicle to buy and sell property in the city. Under the new rules, these shell companies must now provide to the city both the names and tax IDs of all members involved in a transaction.
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Many folks argue that historic preservation is elitist, time-consuming, expensive and a drain on resources, further claiming that it’s a whole lot easier, cheaper and more practical to replace an old building with something new—especially when that means more housing. However, on the other side of that coin is the argument that historic districts and the architecture preserved within them are a critical part of maintaining the culture and the air of a place. Really, can you imagine a West Village made up only of tall glass buildings?
On Monday, July 20th at 6:30-8:30 PM, join a panel of community activists, preservationists and architects at The Museum of the City of NY as they discuss the challenges of preserving unique neighborhoods “whose greatest asset lies in the histories they contain, rather than the quality of their buildings.” Panelists will include Claudette Brady, a Bed-Stuy resident and essayist of the book Saving Place; Kerri Culhane, Two Bridges’ Associate Director; Nikolai Fedak, of pro-development blog YIMBY; Tia Powell Harris, Weeksville President & Executive Director; and Paimaan Lodhi, REBNY Vice President for Urban Planning. Laurie Beckelman, Founding Partner of Beckelman+Capalino will serve as the moderator. The event is free for museum members and $16 for general public. You can purchase tickets here.
The heated debate around Airbnb doesn’t seem like it’ll be cooling off any time soon. Findings show that roughly 58% of the room-share listings here in NYC are illegal, and earlier this year the city ruled in favor of evicting a rent-stabilized tenant for listing his apartment at triple the price of his rent. Those against Airbnb claim that it threatens the affordable housing market, and a new video that we recently featured takes a jab at this issue. Created by ShareBetter, the video titled “Save the Moguls” makes the case that Airbnb is just a charity for struggling real estate bigwigs. Though it’s satirical, many do agree with this claim. Are you one of them?
Currently, the city allots half of its new affordable housing stock to residents of the specific community district where the project is being built and who meet the income requirements. But the Anti-Discrimination Center says this “community preference” policy violates the 1968 Fair Housing Act, “which prohibits discrimination in housing sales, rentals and financing based on race or national origin,” according to an article today in the Wall Street Journal. The New York-based group filed a suit against the city on these grounds, claiming that it adds to existing segregation patterns. If they are successful, the verdict would undoubtedly impact Mayor de Blasio’s plan of adding 80,000 new affordable housing units in the next ten years.
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Image via Bill de Bodega
Jarritos with an $11.99 corkage fee, a hipster breakfast for $8.99? Act fast because you won’t want miss out on all the great deals going on at the Washington Heights “Gentrification in Progress Sale.”
A row of mom and pops located along a stretch between 162nd and 163rd streets got a Williamsburg-worthy facelift on Monday as Brooklyn locals Doug Cameron and Tommy Noonan plastered storefronts with scathingly sardonic signage pointing to the area’s demise. The campaign, first reported on by Vanishing NY, was created in response to the ousting of several of the block’s 30-plus-year-old businesses by a new landlord in order to make way for commercial tenants willing to pay higher rents.
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The city’s fight against Airbnb continues to rage on, and this latest video created by ShareBetter jabs at the home-sharing company’s gross neglect when it comes to preserving much-needed affordable housing. Satirically dubbed “Save the Moguls,” the 60-second spot likens the multi-billion dollar powerhouse to a charity trying to being relief to the anguish that real estate bigwigs face when it comes to sustaining their extravagant lifestyles. “What would you do if you saw a real estate mogul right in front of you, all alone, clearly suffering?” the video posits. “They need your help to keep the sharing economy alive. By renting out just one of the hundreds of apartments and homes they’ve listed on Airbnb, you can join the fight against affordable housing.”
Watch the video here