A state lawmaker introduced legislation this week that would allow New York to buy financially distressed commercial buildings and convert them into housing for low-income and homeless New Yorkers. The Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act, sponsored by State Sen. Michael Gianaris, includes the purchase and conversion of office buildings and hotels that are up for sale, as the Wall Street Journal first reported. The proposed legislation comes as commercial districts and tourist hubs have yet to recover fully from the impact of the coronavirus and as the housing crisis, particularly in New York City, continues.
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.
Co-op City’s 15,000 apartments will remain affordable for another three decades; Photo by David L Roush on Wikimedia
The city has financed 30,023 affordable homes in the fiscal year 2020, with more than half of the homes serving families earning less than $52,000, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday. Of the homes financed, 23,520 were preserved and 6,503 were new construction. The milestone comes as the mayor’s ambitious plan to preserve and build 300,000 affordable homes by 2026 is facing delays thanks to the pandemic, which has forced the city to cut funding for new affordable housing projects.
The site of the proposed affordable senior housing building in Morrisania; Map data © 2020 Google
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.
Image: Google street view.
A lottery has opened for 16 not-very-affordable units in a newly-constructed building across the street from Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick. The building at 260 Knickerbocker Avenue is the first high rise adjoining the park. Qualifying New Yorkers earning a whopping 130 percent of the area median income can apply for the available units, including $2,100/month one-bedrooms and $2,300/month two-bedrooms.
NYC financed a record number of affordable homes for seniors and homeless New Yorkers this fiscal year, Wed, July 31, 2019
Via Creative Commons
New York City added a record number of supportive housing units and affordable homes for homeless New Yorkers and seniors this fiscal year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday. While the total number of affordable units preserved or created is down to 25,299 this fiscal year from last year’s 32,444, the city said it still expects to meet the mayor’s goal of creating 300,000 affordable homes by 2026.
Manhattan requires the second-highest income in the country to afford an average two-bedroom apartment. A new report from SmartAsset analyzed how much a household needs to make in order to afford rent in the 25 largest cities in the United States. In Manhattan, New Yorkers would need to earn an annual salary of at least $162,857 to afford the average two-bedroom rent in the borough, currently around $3,800 per month.
Image via Wiki Commons
Following years of efforts to keep a report about segregation in the city’s affordable housing lottery system under wraps, a federal court ruling finally led to the report’s release on Monday. As the New York Times first reported, the findings, written by Queens College sociology professor Andrew A. Beveridge, found unequivocal racial disparities at every stage of the process and in every community district where a majority of residents are of one race or ethnicity.
“More with Less,” a winning entry by Palette Architecture
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the American Institute of Architects New York (AIANY) announced on Tuesday the selection of five New York City-based firms as finalists in the Big Ideas for Small Lots NYC design competition for small-scale, urban infill housing. As 6sqft previously reported, the program was organized by HPD and AIANY as a way to address the challenges associated with the design and construction of affordable housing on 23 lots of underutilized city-owned land. First announced by the city last year, the program falls under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York 2.0 plan. The winning proposals were selected by a panel of nine jurors and evaluated on their design, replicability, and construction feasibility. The finalists will advance to the final stage of the program.
Via Creative Commons
Apartment hunting in New York City is not easy. Figuring out who qualifies for the city’s hundreds of income-restricted units (what even is AMI?) is another challenge entirely. In an attempt to streamline the process of finding affordable housing lotteries, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development this week unveiled a new tool that allows users to search by borough, household size, and income to find lotteries currently accepting applications.