Independent Budget Office

August 25, 2023

13,000+ rent-stabilized units in NYC have been vacant for multiple years

Upwards of 13,000 rent-stabilized homes in New York City have sat vacant over the past two years, according to a new report. Out of 42,275 rent-stabilized apartments listed in April 2022, many of which were marked as "newly vacant," 13,362 units remained empty for two consecutive years, up from 12,300 in 2021, according to the report by the city's Independent Budget Office. These data points are making officials question whether the units are vacant due to tenants moving in and out or whether they have been "warehoused," or deliberately taken off the market, according to Gothamist.
January 13, 2022

The number of sidewalk sheds in NYC has tripled over past two decades

Temporary sidewalk sheds are legally required to be installed at any construction site to protect pedestrians from falling debris. While they are seen as a safety necessity, the structures are eyesores that block sunlight and slow foot traffic. In New York City, the total number of sidewalk sheds has tripled over the past two decades, a new report released this week by the Independent Budget Office found. Looking at data from the Department of Buildings, the report found Manhattan was home to the most sidewalk sheds but noted the outer boroughs are starting to catch up.
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July 16, 2020

During the pandemic’s peak, low-income New Yorkers lacked access to quality green space

Parks and public green space proved to be a lifeline for New Yorkers during the peak of the pandemic, for both their physical and mental wellbeings. But not all parks are created equal, as reports from the city's Independent Budget Office and the Trust for Public Land found. In many low-income and minority neighborhoods, where cases and rates of death from COVID-19 were experienced disproportionately, residents lacked access to quality green space, especially when space like playgrounds and basketball courts, closed for nearly three months.
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October 26, 2017

Report breaks down how much time New Yorkers waste waiting for delayed subways

The Independent Budget Office released yet another incriminating report this week about New York City's subway system. Not only are the subway's growing delays costing the city up to $389 million each year, but the IBO also found that delays end up setting back New Yorkers nearly $1.23 million every day in lost work time, totaling about $307 million every year. And now, the budget office on Wednesday released a report that breaks down the length of time passengers wait on a station platform for every subway line, except shuttles. According to the report, the average number of passenger hours lost to delays systemwide during the work week between 7am and 10am this year grew by 45 percent from 2012, up from 24,000 hours to 35,000 hours.
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August 30, 2017

City workers missed over 17,000 hours of work due to subway delays this year

New Yorkers employed by the city have missed 17,143 hours of work because of transit delays and malfunctions, according to the Daily News. A new analysis by the Independent Budget Office (IBO), shows that city workers are on track to miss nearly 26,000 hours of work for the entire year, an increase of almost 30 percent from previous years. The report found the incident that caused the most city workers to be late happened in January when city workers lost a total of 1,075 hours after water spilled onto the tracks at West 4th Street-Washington Square station.
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June 1, 2016

Hudson Yards Is Costing Taxpayers Over $100 Million More Than Expected

The opening of the first Hudson Yards tower dominated headlines Tuesday, but with this milestone also came a resurgence of criticism. As Crain's reports, the Independent Budget Office has released a new study (pdf) highlighting that, to date, the city has spent nearly $359 million paying interest on $3 billion in bonds that were taken out to pay for infrastructure around Hudson Yards, including the expansion of the 7 train. The city had originally anticipated spending between just $7.4 and $205 million from start through 2016.
July 23, 2015

City Will Have to Pay Another $368M for Hudson Yards

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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February 3, 2015

7,279 NYC Homes Are Valued at More Than $5 Million

If you think that statistic is jaw-dropping, consider this, too–those 7,279 homes valued at more than $5 million amount to a total fair market value of $65.2 billion, according to data from the city’s Independent Budget Office. The Wall Street Journal requested the data to take a closer look at the proposal to impose higher property taxes on pied-à-terre owners, and the findings show that "the city’s most expensive homes would generate less money from a higher tax surcharge than what its advocates have suggested."
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