February 6, 2024

70 NYCHA workers charged with bribery and extortion

Dozens of current and former employees of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) were charged on Tuesday with bribery and extortion offenses. As many as 70 superintendents and assistant superintendents at nearly 100 NYCHA buildings allegedly demanded over $2 million in bribery money from contractors collectively in exchange for $13 million in work, according to charges unsealed by the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. According to U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, the action marks the largest single-day bribery takedown in the history of the Justice Department. Williams said 66 of the 70 defendants were arrested this morning.
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July 13, 2023

NYCHA says it needs nearly $80 billion for repairs

New York City's public housing agency needs more than $78 billion to make much-needed repairs to its dilapidated housing stock, according to a new 20-year assessment released Wednesday. The estimation for the apartment repairs is a whopping 73 percent higher than NYCHA's last assessment of $45.2 billion calculated in 2017. According to the agency, nearly 40 percent of NYCHA apartments require more than $500,000 in work per unit.
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June 21, 2023

NYC to demolish and rebuild two NYCHA complexes in Chelsea

New York City will demolish two Manhattan public housing complexes and construct brand-new high-rise apartment buildings. The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) on Wednesday announced a $1.5 billion plan to demolish the Elliott-Chelsea and Fulton Houses and rebuild the more than 2,000 public housing apartments currently located there. Supported by a majority of tenants who voted in a survey on the proposal, the plan also includes new retail and commercial spaces and thousands of new mixed-income units, as first reported by the New York Times.
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April 6, 2023

Daniel Libeskind’s affordable Bed-Stuy rental opens lottery for 99 senior apartments

Applications are now being accepted for 99 apartments at a unique senior housing development in Brooklyn designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind. Located at 57 Marcus Garvey Boulevard, the Atrium at Sumner is an 11-story, Passive House-certified building with 190 affordable units and 7,500 square feet of community space. Applicants must have at least one household member who is 62 years of age or older, qualifies for Section 8 benefits, and earns no more than $60,050 annually. Eligible New Yorkers will pay 30 percent of their income for the available studio and one-bedroom apartments.
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March 9, 2023

NYC Council Speaker revives plan to build new homes on open NYCHA land

A New York City official is reviving a plan to turn the green spaces on public housing complexes into homes. In her State of the City address on Wednesday, City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams proposed the construction of new apartment buildings on existing open spaces, known as "infill development," within New York City Housing Authority properties. Adams said her proposal would help address the city's housing crisis and provide current public housing tenants with an opportunity to relocate into upgraded, modern housing units.
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December 6, 2022

NYC nixes $157M ‘Internet Master Plan’ for universal public broadband access

Nearly three years ago, Bill de Blasio's administration announced the Internet Master Plan, which would build municipal broadband infrastructure in poor neighborhoods. Under the plan, a collection of internet service providers would make use of the city's own infrastructure–rooftops and utility poles, for example–to offer fiber optic networks to underserved zones. NYCHA buildings would also get wired under the plan, guaranteeing residents of the city's public housing developments affordable high-speed internet access. The city was prepared to spend $157 million on the plan. Now, after being put on hold when Mayor Eric Adams took office, the city’s Office of Technology and Innovation (OTI) has confirmed that the plan is officially off the table, Gothamist reports.
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September 20, 2022

NYC will provide free high-speed internet and cable to most NYCHA tenants

Mayor Eric Adams on Monday announced the launch of "Big Apple Connect," a program that will provide free high-speed internet and cable television to roughly 300,000 New Yorkers living in more than 200 of the city's public housing developments by the end of next year. The program is the result of a partnership between the city's Office of Technology and Innovation and Optimum.
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September 12, 2022

NYC clears water for drinking at the Jacob Riis Houses after false alarm over arsenic results

Positive test results showing dangerous levels of arsenic in an East Village public housing complex were false. Environmental Monitoring and Technologies Inc., the testing firm that originally reported unsafe levels of arsenic at the Jacob Riis Houses, said there had been "trace levels" of arsenic introduced into the original testing samples analyzed on August 26, resulting in a false positive test, as Gothamist reported. The city on Saturday announced the tap water was cleared for drinking following new tests of the original water sample.
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September 6, 2022

Investigation underway after arsenic is found in water at East Village public housing complex

Residents of the Jacob Riis Houses in the East Village may have been exposed to water with dangerous levels of arsenic for more than a week without being notified by the city's public housing authority (NYCHA) until last Friday, as first reported by the non-profit news site, The City. While recent tests indicate there are no longer high levels of arsenic in the water, the public housing complex's roughly 2,600 residents still lack clean water. The federal monitor overseeing NYCHA opened an investigation this past weekend into the agency's actions surrounding the test results.
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August 3, 2022

New York will invest $70M to ‘decarbonize’ NYCHA

A new investment by the state aims to make New York City public housing more environmentally friendly and effective for tenants. Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday announced an initial investment of $70 million in a clean energy initiative to install 30,000 new heat pumps, considered more eco-friendly than traditional units, at New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) buildings across the city. The investment is part of the state's Clean Heat for All Challenge, which launched in 2021 to spur ideas on how to revamp the way NYCHA units are heated and cooled.
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June 6, 2022

State lawmakers approve new public trust that could fund repairs at 25,000 NYCHA apartments

New York state legislators last week passed legislation that would allow the New York City Housing Authority to raise billions of dollars for desperately needed repairs at 25,000 apartments in the system. Championed by Mayor Eric Adams and proposed by public housing authority chair Gregory Russ, the Public Housing Preservation Trust is seen as a rescue measure for funding needed for the NYCHA system–by far the nation's largest public housing authority. The new public trust could raise billions of dollars to upgrade thousands of units, The City reports.
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February 14, 2022

New York City’s housing experts have a wish list for Mayor Adams

Shortly after taking office last month, New York City Mayor Eric Adams introduced the team that will take the lead on affordable housing strategy, headed by Jessica Katz as the city’s chief housing officer. The announcement came not a moment too soon; rents and home prices continue to rise beyond the reach of many, while homelessness and eviction threats are a growing concern. In a city where the topic of housing is never far from view every day, New Yorkers are looking to the new mayor to address the issues they feel must change. 6sqft asked individuals and organizations involved in the city's housing and real estate sectors to offer an important "wish list" item they would like to see Adams address during his time in office.
A housing wish list from NYC to Mayor Adams, this way
July 15, 2021

Everything you need to know about affordable housing: applying, getting in, and staying put

Affordable housing has long been a topic at the forefront of NYC politics, but it gained even more attention with Mayor de Blasio's plan to preserve or build 300,000 affordable units by 2026, which has resulted in a slew of new lotteries, a new more user-friendly web portal, and an update to ease the process for immigrants and low-income New Yorkers. But the topic is not without its issues, especially with the city reeling in the wake of the pandemic. Many still wonder if the city is doing enough for affordability and if some of the available units are really affordable. Ahead, we break down the different types of affordable housing programs, how you can qualify and apply, and what happens if and when you get in.
Everything you need to know about affordable housing
January 20, 2021

How Joe Biden will affect NYC’s renters, real estate, and recovery

After Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, his immediate focus will be getting the coronavirus pandemic under control and providing direct relief to Americans. In addition to immediate actions related to COVID-19, Biden's Day 1 housing priorities include extending the federal nationwide moratorium on residential evictions through the end of September and sending an additional $25 billion in rental assistance to states. Down the road, Biden has proposed fewer developer-friendly policies than his predecessor, including a repeal of the 1031 exchange and reform of the Opportunity Zone tax program. But overall, there is optimism among New York City real estate industry experts who see a Biden Administration as a way to restore stability and consumer confidence. With a pledge to defeat COVID-19 and send federal support to New York City, there's hope on the horizon for the city's recovery.
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April 22, 2020

De Blasio announces more testing and supplies for NYCHA residents, support for seniors

Six new coronavirus testing sites with a priority for residents of the city's public housing system will open starting this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday. Community testing sites will open on Friday in Fort Greene, Mott Haven, and on the Lower East Side, with three additional sites opening next week at New York City Housing Authority buildings, including Jonathan Williams Houses, Woodside Houses, and St. Nicholas Houses. The news comes after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced earlier this week a pilot program to bring on-site health services and more testing to NYCHA residents, beginning with eight developments across the five boroughs.
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April 20, 2020

Cuomo to expand COVID-19 testing at NYC public housing

A pilot program to bring on-site health services and expanded COVID-19 testing to residents of New York City's public housing will roll out this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday. The news follows preliminary data released by the city and state earlier this month that shows minority and low-income communities are facing disproportionate rates of infection and death from the coronavirus. "People in public housing always seem to pay the highest prices," the governor said on Monday.
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April 16, 2020

SNL’s Michael Che to pay rent for 160 units at late grandmother’s NYCHA building

Comedian and "Saturday Night Live" cast member Michael Che on Wednesday pledged to pay one month's rent for all 160 apartments at a public housing building where his late grandmother lived. Earlier this month, Che, who grew up on the Lower East Side, announced he lost his grandmother, Martha, to complications from the coronavirus.
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March 10, 2020

City seeks ideas for two 100 percent affordable senior complexes on NYCHA land

The city is looking to construct two affordable senior complexes with between 150 and 200 housing units each. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development on Friday released a request for proposals for two underused city-owned sites, one in the Bronx's Morrisania neighborhood and the other in Crown Heights in Brooklyn. The developments fall under Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration's "Seniors First" housing program, which aims to serve 30,000 senior households by 2026 through the creation and preservation of affordable housing.
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February 13, 2020

New NYCHA deal will turn 5,900 units to private developers and raise $1.5B for repairs

The New York City Public Housing Authority has inked an agreement that will turn 5,902 units over to private developers and raise over $1.5 billion for much-needed repairs, Crain’s reports. In 2018, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to convert 62,000 apartments by 2028 and has so far converted over 7,000 units. Thursday’s deal represents “the largest single package of conversions yet undertaken by the agency,” according to Crain’s. Included in the deal are five complexes: Linden Houses and Boulevard Houses in East New York, Williamsburg Houses in East Williamsburg and Audubon Houses and Harlem River Houses 1 and 2 in Harlem. The long list of selected developers includes major builders like L+M Development and Hudson Companies and some smaller players.
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January 8, 2020

De Blasio releases non-discriminatory housing plan as Trump rolls back Obama-era ‘Fair Housing’ rule

Photo by Daryan Shamkhali on Unsplash  First announced in March 2018, the Where We Live NYC initiative has finally released a draft plan for public review. Described as a “comprehensive fair housing planning process to study, understand, and address patterns of residential segregation,” the report outlines key goals and strategies to eliminate discrimination in the housing market. As part of the plan, the city will launch the Fair Housing Litigation Unit “comprised of researchers, lawyers, and market testers who will go into the community as ‘secret shoppers’ and identify discriminatory practices,” per a recent press release.
November 20, 2019

Weeks before winter begins, thousands of NYCHA residents have been without heat or hot water

Thousands of public housing residents did not have heat and hot water on Tuesday, making it the second widespread outage in less than two weeks. As first reported by Gothamist, 10,000 New York City Housing Authority tenants across six complexes suffered from the outages this week. And last week, when temperatures dropped below freezing, roughly 23,000 NYCHA residents did not have heat or hot water at some point.
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November 11, 2019

$90/night Chelsea listing on Airbnb turns the spotlight on NYCHA housing

The New York Times recently told of a pair of visitors from Boston who signed up for a sweet Airbnb deal on a Chelsea pad for $90 a night–and were surprised to have it turn out to be a seventh-floor unit in the neighborhood's 11-building NYCHA Fulton Houses complex. The would-be guests noticed that "something seemed off," starting with the roach trap next to the bed. The travelers tipped off the company, who refunded their money, and their story quickly became internet history as yet another way homestay platforms are being taken advantage of and another log on the fire of the debate that rages over what to do about it.
October 30, 2019

City has repaired just two of 35 NYCHA developments damaged by Hurricane Sandy

Seven years after Hurricane Sandy hit New York City, a majority of the city's public housing developments damaged by the storm have not been repaired. Of the 35 NYCHA complexes wrecked in 2012, totaling roughly 200 buildings, upgrades have been completed at just two of them, THE CITY reported Tuesday. The slow recovery at sites in Red Hook, Coney Island and the Lower East Side stems from a lack of federal funding and shady contracts.
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July 19, 2019

First NYCHA federal oversight report recommends using drones to help with building inspections

Independent federal monitoring of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) began this year, and the first resulting quarterly analysis is expected to be released as early as Monday, POLITICO reports. The quarterly analysis will provide a summary of progress made to date in addressing issues that have long plagued the public housing authority such as lead paint, mold, broken heating systems and shabby kitchens and bathrooms. According to sources familiar with its content, the report also contains the unexpected suggestion of using drones to inspect building rooftops and facades.
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June 19, 2019

New NYCHA head Gregory Russ will be the city’s highest paid official

After missing two deadlines to fill the position, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday announced that Gregory Russ will be taking over as Chair of NYCHA. Russ, who is currently the head of Minneapolis’ public housing authority and previously led the Cambridge Housing Authority in Massachusetts, will receive an unprecedented salary of $402,628—more than even President Donald Trump makes. That figure comes out to roughly $1 a year for every NYCHA tenant he will represent, as THE CITY reports.
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