City Living, Policy

Photo by Anthony Quintano on Flickr

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday unveiled the five streets that will be painted with a “Black Lives Matter” mural. The large artwork will be designed along Centre Street in Manhattan, Richmond Terrace on Staten Island, Joralemon Street in Brooklyn, 153rd Street in Queens, and Morris Avenue in the Bronx. Earlier this month, the mayor said the streets will also be renamed after the movement, in addition to the street painting. A similar mural dedicated to Black Lives Matter was painted on Fulton Street in Bed-Stuy last weekend.

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Policy, Restaurants

Photo of New Yorkers drinking on St. Mark’s Place in May by Eden, Janine and Jim on Flickr

Any New York bar or restaurant found to be in violation of the state’s reopening rules could now immediately lose their liquor license or be forced to shut down. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday signed two executive orders that would allow for officials to revoke liquor licenses if state guidelines are not followed. The governor’s second executive order holds bars responsible for the area in front of their establishment. The mandates come after Cuomo said he would reverse the reopening of some regions if the state’s guidelines were not followed. According to the governor, more than 25,000 complaints about businesses in violation of the reopening plan have been filed statewide since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with a majority of grievances made about restaurants and bars in Manhattan and in the Hamptons.

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Policy, Restaurants

Photo by Krisztina Papp on Unsplash

New York City is officially entering phase two of reopening on Monday. The news has led to questioning of the de Blasio administration as to their plan for outdoor dining, with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and others rallying for immediate action yesterday. In his press conference on Thursday, the mayor laid out details of the city’s Open Restaurants program that will allow restaurants to set up sidewalk seating and curb lane seating, convert adjacent parking spots into seating, utilize plaza seating through Business Improvement Districts, and, come July, add seating areas on streets currently closed to cars.

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NYC freezes rent for stabilized apartments

By Devin Gannon, Thu, June 18, 2020

Photo by Goh Rhy Yan on Unsplash

The Rent Guidelines Board on Wednesday voted to freeze rents for one year for rent-regulated apartments, offering tenants temporary relief in the current economic recession caused by the coronavirus. The nine-member board approved a measure that freezes rent for one-year leases and for the first year of two-year leases, which can increase 1 percent during the second year.

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holidays, Policy

Juneteenth to become New York State holiday

By Devin Gannon, Wed, June 17, 2020

Photo of New York State Capitol by wadester16 on Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday signed an executive order recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday for state employees and said he will introduce legislation to make it an official New York State holiday next year. Juneteenth marks the end of slavery in the United States in 1865 and is celebrated annually on June 19.

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City Living, Policy

NYC is ready to enter phase two on Monday

By Dana Schulz, Wed, June 17, 2020

With this Sunday marks 14 days since New York City entered its first phase of reopening, the question posed to Mayor de Blasio has been whether or not the city will enter phase two this coming Monday. In his press conference this morning, the mayor said he believes it’s more likely to occur in early July, as he wants to monitor the COVID testing rates in light of recent protests. However, in a press conference just a couple hours later, Governor Cuomo said the city will enter phase two on Monday. “The same metrics we use in New York City are the same metrics we’ve used in every region across the state, and they have all shown to be accurate and effective. We don’t change the rules for New York City,” he said, adding that the purpose of a phased approach is to allow local governments “to get their acts together.”

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Image by Scientific Animations via Wikimedia Commons

Today, Governor Cuomo released the results of the state’s second-phase COVID antibody test, which randomly surveyed 12,000 people between May 1 and June 13. When the survey commenced, 12.3% of New York residents tested positive, compared with 13.4% on Saturday. The new results are more telling, however, when it comes to disparities in New York City. Though overall there was only a 1.6% increase (19.9% to 21.6%), the Bronx increased by 5% and Brooklyn and Queens by 2.1%. There are also disparities when it comes to race, as the Black and Latino/Hispanic communities have seen increases of 3.4% and 5% respectively.

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affordable housing, housing lotteries, Policy

Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash 

New York City’s highly competitive online affordable housing lottery system is getting a revamp to make applying for the income-restricted apartments easier. The city’s Housing Preservation and Development on Tuesday rolled out a new web portal that aims to be more user-friendly, allowing applicants to view available lotteries on their smartphones and upload required documents online.

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Slide from Governor Cuomo’s 6.15.20 press presentation

Last week, five New York regions entered phase three of reopening, which includes indoor dining and personal care services such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, and massage parlors. In addition to the North Country, Mohawk Valley, Central New York, Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier, Governor Cuomo announced today that Western New York will enter phase three tomorrow and the Capital Region on Wednesday. He also modified phase three to increase gatherings from 10 to 25 people.

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Policy, real estate trends

Photo by Daniel Lee on Unsplash 

As New York City looks ahead to phase two of reopening, the city’s leading real estate trade group released this week safety recommendations for brokers to follow when conducting deals. Following public health protocols, the six guidelines created by the Real Estate Board of New York encourage face masks and social distancing, virtual preliminary meetings, appointment-only showings, and electronic contracts. Plus, REBNY created a COVID-19 screening questionnaire for all parties attending in-person showings to sign.

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