Scott Stringer

November 17, 2021

New report shows NYC’s wealthiest neighborhoods saw the highest pandemic exodus

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer's office released a report this week revealing the impact the Covid-19 pandemic had on the city's population. The numbers show that net residential migration out of NYC tripled during 2020–and residents of the city's wealthiest neighborhoods were the ones most likely to move out. But those numbers appear to be reversing to a pre-pandemic level: Since July 2021, the city has gained an estimated 6,332 residents, and outward-bound migration has actually been lower than it was in 2019.
Who left, and where did they go?
April 7, 2021

Pop-up pools proposed for NYC’s open streets this summer

Last year, New York City public beaches and pools did not open until July because of the coronavirus pandemic. This year, city comptroller and mayoral candidate Scott Stringer wants to make sure New Yorkers from all boroughs can enjoy the summer season by making pools, beaches, and the city's waterfront more accessible. In a proposal announced on Tuesday, Stringer called on the city to bring a series of pop-up pools to Open Streets and vacant lots in neighborhoods that lack green space.
More here
April 6, 2021

Vaccinations should come with meal, museum, and MetroCard vouchers, mayoral candidate proposes

New York City Comptroller and mayoral candidate Scott Stringer on Monday proposed a new way to give a "booster shot" to the city's economy. The program would give New Yorkers receiving a coronavirus vaccine shot "VaxPacks," a swag bag of vouchers for local businesses, cultural venues, and a two-trip MetroCard. Stringer said the initiative encourages vaccinations and supports small businesses, while also increasing subway and bus ridership, which has not yet recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
Details here
October 29, 2019

State grants permit for developer to build BJ’s Wholesale Club on Staten Island wetlands

Despite opposition from residents and public officials, 18 acres of forest wetlands near Staten Island's north shore will be turned into a BJ's Wholesale Club, a gas station and a parking lot. Gothamist reports that the state has said it will issue a permit to allow the land's owner, real estate magnate Charles Alpert (operating as holding company Josif A. LLC), to destroy what activists say is an invaluable natural storm barrier in order for the project to move forward.
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June 20, 2019

New data from Comptroller Scott Stringer shows that affordability is still declining in New York

City Comptroller Scott Stringer has released an updated Affordability Index, an annual look at how the rising costs of basic necessities like housing, transportation, healthcare, and childcare, are squeezing the budgets of New York City households and leaving them with fewer savings. Like last year, the data is far from reassuring, demonstrating that expense costs are rising far more rapidly than incomes. In 2005, the average middle-income single adult had 24 percent of their income left over after expenses. In 2017, that dropped to only 15 percent.
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March 13, 2019

NYC Comptroller proposes turning the BQE into a truck-only roadway with a park on top

Adding another perspective to the many voices who are seeking a solution to the “most challenging project not only in New York City but arguably in the United States,” City Comptroller Scott Stringer has outlined his own proposal to save the crumbling BQE, advocating for a middle-ground solution to the heated debate. Stringer's idea (notably without a timeline or proposed budget) is to turn the BQE into a truck-only highway and build a linear park above. "We remain hopeful that the agency can view the BQE's deterioration not just as an engineering challenge, but as an opportunity to create something new and bold that both accommodates essential traffic and enhances surrounding neighborhoods,” he wrote in a March 7 letter to Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.
See the new plan
September 26, 2018

New York City has lost over 400,000 affordable apartments since 2005

Update 9/27/18: City Comptroller Scott Stringer said the report released this week about the decrease in affordable housing contained a major miscalculation, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. Instead of the 1 million affordable apartments lost, as the report stated, the true number is less than half of that, or 425,492 units. According to an updated report, the number of apartments renting for $2,700/month increased by 111,000 units between 2005 and 2017, instead of 238,000 units as originally stated. "While it remains true that affordable housing is declining at an unsettling rate and the gap is still growing, we overstated the pace," Ilana Maier, a spokesperson for Stringer, said in a statement. "We made a genuine mistake." Since 2005, New York City has lost over 1 million affordable apartments, according to a report released by the City Comptroller Scott Stringer on Tuesday. The report, "The Gap is Still Growing," builds from an original 2014 analysis from the comptroller's office and shows the number of available units has failed to keep up with the city's booming population. Between 2005 and 2016, about 576,000 people moved to NYC. But the city added just over 76,000 new units of rental housing.
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July 18, 2018

62 New York City neighborhoods lack an accessible subway station

More than half of the 122 neighborhoods served by New York City's subway system do not have a single accessible station, a new report by City Comptroller Scott Stringer found. And out of the 62 neighborhoods dubbed "ADA transit deserts," 55 are in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. In his report, "Service Denied," Stringer details the gaps in accessibility for seniors and mobility-impaired New Yorkers and calls on the state legislature to create a new funding source dedicated to upgrades compliant with the American with Disabilities Act.
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July 16, 2018

New Yorkers paid over $507M for security deposits in 2016, report says

In addition to having some of the highest rents in the country, New York City requires renters to provide a substantial chunk of money up front to cover an apartment's security deposit. According to a new report by City Comptroller Scott Stringer, New Yorkers forked over more than $507 million for security deposits over the course of 2016. Stringer is calling for an overhaul of the city's security deposit system, which he says has created a financial barrier that has intensified the city's affordable housing crisis. "For too long, the deck has been stacked against New York’s working-class renters but we’re taking a step forward to reimagine how the housing system works in our City," Stringer said in a press release.
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June 6, 2018

Interactive tool tracks the declining affordability of New York City

Between 2005 and 2016, the cost of basic needs like housing, transit, food and healthcare has grown at twice the rate of incomes in New York City, according to a new report released by City Comptroller Scott Stringer on Monday. Stringer's office created a first-of-its-kind Affordability Index to track how much money New Yorkers have left over after taxes and basic expenses. The numbers are not comforting. The report found that single adults living in NYC had just $641 leftover after taxes and basic expenses in 2016, compared to $831 a decade ago. "Over the last decade, the money that New Yorkers could be putting away – for retirement, for college, or even for a simple family night out – has been shrinking," Stringer said in a press release. "Our growing affordability crisis is making it harder for families to enjoy a basic middle-class lifestyle – and is forcing them to choose between staying in New York City and leaving."
Explore the index
January 8, 2018

During two weeks of brutal cold, city received over 21,000 heat and hot water complaints

During a two week period of super cold weather, including a considerable snowstorm, New York City received nearly 22,000 heat and hot water complaints from renters. According to the Daily News, many of those calls came from residents living in New York City Housing Apartments. On Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said a lack of federal funding and upkeep is to blame for the defective boilers found at NYCHA apartments. “A lot of the buildings are 50 years old, 60 years old, 70 years old — they have not gotten the kind of upkeep they needed for decades,” the mayor told John Catsimatidis on his radio show.
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November 28, 2017

Running at the slowest pace in the country, NYC buses lost 100 million passengers since 2008

Among large cities, New York City’s bus system runs at the slowest pace in the nation, traveling at just 7.4 miles per hour, according to a report released by City Comptroller Scott Stringer on Monday. Due to an outdated fleet, inefficient routes and buses running at near-crawling speeds, the system lost 100 million passengers over the last eight years. And while it serves more than two million passengers each day, more than the daily ridership of LIRR, MetroNorth, PATH and NJ Transit combined, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has largely ignored the system’s failures. In his report, Stringer urges the MTA and city to better coordinate to address the bus system's crisis and lists 19 recommendations, which includes updating routes, replacing old buses and introducing all-door boarding and tap-and-go fare payment options.
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October 23, 2017

Comptroller wants on-time rent payments to count towards credit scores

City Comptroller Scott Stringer unveiled a plan on Monday that would allow renters in New York City to count on-time, monthly payments toward their credit score. While homeowners who punctually pay a mortgage can boost their credit, renters currently cannot count on-time payments in the same way. Those without credit or bad credit often pay higher interest rates on loans and other monthly bills, like utilities or cell phone payments. As the New York Times reported, Stringer’s office looked at a sampling of tenants who pay less than $2,000 per month and found that 76 percent of them would improve their credit scores if rent payments were reported. Stringer told the Times that his plan "could create a powerful credit history that could lift you out of poverty."
More this way
October 2, 2017

Subway delays could cost the city’s economy up to $389M annually

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer released an analysis on Sunday that found the economic cost of subway delays could range from $170 million per year to $389 million in lost wages and productivity for businesses. The comptroller’s office used data from the MTA that looks at train schedules, passenger volumes and wait assessments by each subway line (h/t NY Times). Stringer’s analysis listed five subway lines that cause the biggest economic losses: 5, 7, A, F, and 4 trains. During a news conference Sunday, Stinger said, "The summer of hell is turning into the fall of frustration for subway commuters."
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May 2, 2017

Nearly 80 percent of subway escalators and elevators don’t receive necessary maintenance

The reason behind the incessant breakdown of the subway’s escalators and elevators? Nearly 80 percent of them do not receive the necessary maintenance by the MTA. After an 18-month audit, City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office found that in a random sample of 65 out of the city’s 407 total escalators and elevators, about 50 had not undergone any preventative maintenance service. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, only 20 percent of machines sampled by the comptroller’s office received the scheduled maintenance on time.
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March 31, 2017

The richest New Yorkers would benefit the most under Trump’s tax plan

New York’s top elected officials, aware of the political leanings of their constituents, continue to be outspoken in their opposition to President Trump and his administration. As Crain’s reports, City Comptroller Scott Stringer serves as one of New York’s most vocal assailants on Trump, with 50 percent of his press releases written this month attacking the president’s policy proposals. In a report released this week, Stringer analyzed Trump’s proposed federal income tax law and found that it disproportionately benefits the highest-income earners in New York. If adopted, 40 percent of all single parents would see their taxes go up, compared to 90 percent of millionaires who would see a reduction, according to Stringer.
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March 22, 2017

Comptroller Scott Stringer lays out plan for NYC to invest in its seniors

Photo via Gary Knight/Flickr Like many cities across the country, New York City’s population is getting older. Today, more than 1.1 million adults over 65, nearly 13 percent of the city’s total population, live in the five boroughs, a number which is expected to rise to over 1.4 million by 2040. In response to both this growth and the Trump administration’s budget cuts to beneficial senior programs like Medicaid and Medicare, City Comptroller Scott Stringer released a new report detailing policies that invest in the city’s seniors (h/t Metro NY).
Find out more here
February 16, 2017

Homeless spending in NYC doubles over three years, likely to hit $2.3B

Back in November, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mayor de Blasio had spent a record $1.6 billion on homeless services since taking office three years prior, a 60 percent increase that came with 20 percent more New Yorkers in city shelters. Now, as shared by the Post, Comptroller Scott Stringer says that homeless spending will reach a whopping $2.3 billion when this fiscal year ends on June 30th, almost twice the $1.2 billion spent three years ago. "We have to pause and ask ourselves, are we seeing results?" he said.
Find out more on this growing crisis
November 18, 2016

Over 97 percent of fines issued to deadbeat landlords never collected, audit shows

A recent audit by Comptroller Scott Stringer found that the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) only collected 2.46 percent of the $35.1 million in overdue fines sent to its enforcement unit in the past two years, meaning that tens of millions of dollars owed by bad landlords remained unpaid by October of 2015. Landlords get hit with fines of up to $1,000 a day for failing to fix items like a lack of heat or lead paint, but the audit charged that building owners are getting away with dodging the fines, the New York Daily News reports.
'A free pass to break the law'
June 25, 2015

2,000 NYCHA Apartments Are Vacant Despite 270,000-Name Waiting List

Photo via Wiki Commons For many New Yorkers, public housing is the only affordable way to live in the city, but despite an ever-growing waiting list, thousands of these homes are sitting empty, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal about an audit of NYCHA by Comptroller Scott Stringer. At a release of the findings yesterday at the Raymond V. Ingersoll Houses in Brooklyn, Stringer said: "Even though 270,000 New Yorkers are on the waiting list for housing, desperate to put a roof above their heads, we found that NYCHA is sitting on over 2,000 apartments they identify as vacant." The audit shows that 1,366 apartments are empty awaiting repairs, and 967 are between tenants.
More audit findings ahead
October 31, 2014

$129 Billion Worth of NYC Real Estate Is Within New FEMA Flood Zones

Since FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) updated its flood-zone maps after Superstorm Sandy, we learned that it could cost the city $5 billion to comply with the new regulations, as 60,000 additional buildings were identified as being within the flood zones. This brings the total to 84,000 buildings worth over $129 billion, according to a new report released by the Office of New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer on the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.
What does this mean for the city?