The owners of Starrett City, the largest federally subsidized housing project in the country, recently announced they found a buyer for the $850 million Brooklyn development. Located in East New York, Starrett City sits on 145 acres and includes 5,881 affordable apartments for 15,000 residents. As the New York Times reported, President Donald Trump partially owns the housing development and will benefit from the sale of the property. Since the sale requires federal approval from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and state officials, this puts the president on both sides of the agreement, creating a potential conflict of interest for him.
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You’ve landed a great job in New York City—then the reality of the city’s housing market starts to sink in. It’s a situation that thousands of new city residents face every year. New York City’s cost of living, which continues to outpace most other cities across North America, can make a move to the city seem difficult and even impossible. In fact, even highly compensated professionals often balk at the idea of relocating due to the fact that it typically means radically adjusting one’s established standard of living. After all, most adults assume it is normal to have more than one closet and expect their kitchen to be large enough to accommodate more than one person at a time. This is why at least some local employers throw in the most coveted perk of all—free or at least steeply discounted housing.
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After more than three years into Mayor de Blasio’s $41 billion, 10-year affordable housing initiative, the city announced on Thursday that 24,293 affordable apartments and homes were secured in Fiscal Year 2017. Out of those units, 40 percent were for families earning less than $43,000 a year, with more than 4,014 homes for families of three earning less than $26,000 a year. According to city officials, the mayor’s Housing New York initiative aims to help an estimated half of a million people afford to live in New York City. Despite these promising numbers, the plan still fails New Yorkers with extremely low-income, by making their affordability benchmarks too high.
President Trump appointed family friend Lynne Patton on Wednesday to oversee New York’s federal housing programs, despite her clear lack of housing experience. Patton, who formerly arranged tournaments at Trump’s golf courses and planned Eric Trump’s wedding, will head up the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Region II, which includes New York and New Jersey, and will oversee the distribution of billions of taxpayer dollars. As reported by the Daily News, Patton’s relationship with the Trump family dates back to 2009 when she first began as their event planner.
If you’re curious–and qualified–to take the leap and start shopping for an affordable HDFC co-op, don’t miss this Hamilton Heights listing at 409 Edgecombe Avenue. As an HDFC apartment, there are income restrictions that limit who can buy this $375,000 one bedroom. But for that reasonable price you get 945 square feet of lovely prewar space, including a spacious foyer and formal living and dining rooms. Best yet, the top-floor, corner apartment comes with views out over the Harlem River and out toward Yankee Stadium.
An investigation by Public Advocate Letitia James’ office found that nearly 40 percent, or 884, of the 2,322 apartments in the Tenant Interim Lease (TIL) program sit unoccupied. After hearing multiple complaints from constituents at town halls, the public advocate’s office launched a full review of the program and discovered it does not meet its goal of providing New Yorkers with self-sufficient, low-income rentals (h/t NY Post). Even more shocking, at one TIL building on 615 West 150th Street, tenants had to move out in 1996 for what was supposed to be a two-year renovation. Per a policy briefing by the public advocate, they still have not been able to return to the units, and their possessions are locked up without access.
In New York City, and the rest of the country, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find affordable housing. To combat this, the Habitat for Humanity NYC announced a plan to build affordable houses for buyers in Brooklyn and Queens. The organization, aimed at constructing quality housing for families in need, will bring 48 units of affordable homes to these boroughs by redeveloping abandoned or foreclosed properties. Since most of these homes have been left vacant for decades, many are run-down and have negatively impacted the surrounding neighborhoods. As Brick Underground learned, the city’s Housing Authority first acquired these properties and then sold them to Habitat for Humanity at $1 each.
In 2014 the news surfaced that Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) was planning to sell its Sunset Park branch at 5108 4th Avenue to a non-profit community development organization, Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC). The developer would demolish the 43-year-old building and build in its place a larger library with eight stories above that would contain 49 below-market-rate apartments, in part with public money allocated by Borough President Eric L. Adams. The developers say the plan will create housing for Brooklyn’s neediest residents. Brooklyn Paper now reports that developers are preparing to pitch the project to Community Board 7’s land-use committee on November 3 as part of a public review process. The city council has the final say whether it goes through.
On Wednesday the New York City Council voted to approve the La Central development project in the Melrose section of the Bronx, the Daily News reports. The project, which will be designed by FXFOWLE architects, is slated to bring 992 apartments to the borough, all of them designated as affordable housing under Mayor de Blasio’s mandatory inclusionary housing (MIH) legislation. It is the biggest project to be approved to date under the MIH rules, which require some income restricted apartments in projects that need the city’s approval.
The New York City Planning Commission has voted to approve a boutique condominium project on Manhattan’s west side without the mayor’s new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing plan in place, the New York Times reports; a much larger development in the Bronx also got the green light, and will be among the first to be included in the new affordable housing program.
6sqft reported previously on the controversy over whether a 17-story condominium slated to replace a parking lot and two low rise buildings at 6th Avenue at West 18th should be among the first recipients of the mayor’s new mandatory inclusionary housing (M.I.H.) program. Both the city and the project’s developers, Acuity Capital Partners, made the argument that the proposed project is “more of a rejiggering of the zoning than an enlargement,” and therefore does not fall under the M.I.H. rules.