Brad Lander

June 13, 2024

NYC transit advocates, officials consider legal action to resume congestion pricing

A coalition of legal experts and transit advocates is considering legal action to resume congestion pricing. New York City Comptroller Brad Lander on Wednesday announced plans to explore "all legal avenues" to restart the program, which Gov. Kathy Hochul shut down last week less than a month before it was scheduled to start. The coalition is made up of legal professionals and potential plaintiffs, including residents and business owners within the central business district, MTA board members, and New Yorkers with disabilities.
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June 14, 2023

NYC sets first-ever minimum wage for delivery workers

New York City has established the first minimum wage in the country for app-based delivery workers. Starting July 12, workers will be paid at least $17.96 per hour plus tips, with an increase to $19.96 per hour by April 1, 2025, Mayor Eric Adams and the Department of Consumer and Worker Protections announced this week. The new policy comes two years after the City Council passed legislation designed to improve labor conditions for delivery workers.
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January 10, 2023

Tenants in 1,000+ NYC buildings experienced chronic heat problems between 2017 and 2021

Between 2017 and 2021, New Yorkers called 311 nearly one million times to report a lack of heat in their homes. During that same time, the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development issued only 21,610 heat violations to landlords, according to a new report from NYC Comptroller Brad Lander's office. The report found interventions by the city, including violations and emergency repairs, are effective in addressing heat complaints, but "too often fails to apply them."
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September 1, 2022

NYC Comptroller proposes framework to legalize basement apartments

Ahead of the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Ida, Comptroller Brad Lander on Tuesday released a new report that lays the groundwork for legalizing New York City's basement apartments. On September 1, 2021, the hurricane hit the city with record rainfall and historic flooding that ultimately killed more than a dozen New Yorkers, a majority of whom lived in basement units, many of them unregulated. Modeled after New York's Loft Law, Lander's proposed "Basement Resident Protection Law" temporarily legalizes existing basement apartments, requires owners to provide basic safety measures, like smoke detectors and backflow preventers, and creates a "Basement Board" to oversee rights.
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August 15, 2022

New bill would give non-profits priority to develop NYC-owned land over for-profit groups

A bill requiring the city to sell public land to non-profit developers ahead of for-profit organizations was introduced in the City Council last week. Sponsored by Council Member Lincoln Restler, the legislation prioritizes the selection of community land trusts (CLT), community development corporations, or other non-profit groups during the bidding process for city-owned land, which the supporters say will ensure truly affordable housing will be built on the site.
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July 7, 2022

City underreported NYC Ferry costs by $224M, according to audit

The city agency that operates New York City's ferry system failed to report nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in expenditures during Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration, according to a new audit released by City Comptroller Brad Lander on Wednesday. The 50-page audit says the Economic Development Corporation spent $758 million on ferry operations from July 1, 2015 through December 31, 2021, but only reported $534 million. The report also details tens of millions in unnecessary expenses as a result of the agency's "poor financial management."
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June 7, 2022

421-a tax break will continue to cost NYC revenue for decades after it expires, report finds

The 421-a tax abatement program, which gives real estate developers who construct new residential buildings a property tax exemption in exchange for designating a portion of the homes affordable, will expire on June 15 after state lawmakers last week did not renew it during the final day of this year's legislative session. Even with it set to lapse, the controversial program will continue to cost the city revenue for decades, according to a new report. According to findings published Monday by the Independent Budget Office of New York City, the tax abatement program will cost the city over $1 billion annually until 2034, with total costs not ceasing until the fiscal year 2056.
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March 17, 2022

NYC Comptroller calls for end of 421-a tax break, estimated to cost city $1.8B in revenue this year

The controversial 421-a tax abatement program that provides a tax break to developers who set aside affordable housing at new developments should not be replaced when it expires in June, says New York City Comptroller Brad Lander. According to an analysis released Wednesday by Lander's office, the tax program will cost the city $1.77 billion in forgone tax revenue in 2022, without creating homes that are affordable to most New Yorkers. While Gov. Kathy Hochul unveiled a replacement plan as part of her budget, the comptroller, along with other elected officials, called the governor's proposal too "modest" and instead wants deeper structural reform of the property tax system.
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November 24, 2021

NYC Council approves sweeping Gowanus rezoning

The New York City Council on Tuesday approved the biggest rezoning of Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration just weeks before his term ends. In a near-unanimous vote, the Council approved plans to upzone 82 blocks of Gowanus, a former industrial hub turned affluent residential neighborhood. As the first rezoning of de Blasio's administration in a predominantly white and wealthy neighborhood, the decision could pave the way for upzoning in similar communities, including the proposal to rezone Soho and Noho, scheduled for a vote next month.
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August 2, 2016

City Will Study Residential Rezoning of Gowanus, But Locals Want More Affordable Housing

When the area surrounding the Gowanus Canal was designated a Superfund site by the EPA in 2010, it seemed all but impossible that the contaminated, warehouse-laden neighborhood could get on par with the rest of Brooklyn. But recent years have brought major cleanup efforts along the 1.8-mile Canal, leading to new additions like a Whole Foods (quite possibly the first sign of gentrification) and subsequent interest from developers in creating higher end housing. This fall, reports DNAinfo, the Department of City Planning will launch a study to explore a rezoning of Gowanus that would allow for more residential developments in what is currently an industrial section. Locals, however, have similar concerns to those who opposed the recent, controversial East New York rezoning--that it will only incentive developers, causing displacement of longtime residents, and that any affordable housing put forth in the plan would still be out of reach for the lowest income residents. They've therefore created their own redevelopment plan called Bridging Gowanus, which, as the Times notes, calls for "greater density and more affordable apartments in return for improvements and guarantees that preserve the precarious soul of the district."
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