Bill de Blasio

holidays, Midtown, Policy

Photo by Shinya Suzuki / Flickr

For years, residents and community leaders have called on the city to add pedestrian space near Rockefeller Center to make conditions safer for the hundreds of thousands of people who visit the area during the holiday season to see the tree and store windows. This week, the Department of Transportation privately issued a pilot plan to address the major crowds by increasing pedestrian space on Fifth Avenue between East 48th and East 51st Streets. But Mayor Bill de Blasio quashed the plan before it was officially released, claiming “it was not signed off on by City Hall.”

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affordable housing, Policy

Red Hook after Sandy; Photo by Michael Fleshman on Flickr

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. Details here

Policy

Via CityRealty

In June, New York state lawmakers passed landmark legislation to strengthen rent and tenant protections. Hoping to clear up any ambiguity over the new laws, Mayor Bill de Blasio is launching an ad campaign and new website to help renters understand their rights as well as hold landlords responsible. Starting Monday, ads will be displayed across subway stations, bus stops, local newspapers, small businesses, and Link kiosks until Dec. 15.

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Policy

Photo by Tim Rodenberg on Wikimedia

The New York City Council on Thursday approved a plan that would close the notorious Rikers Island complex and replace it with four smaller jails across the city. The nearly $9 billion proposal, released by Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2017, pledges to shutter Rikers in 10 years by dramatically reducing the city’s jail population. It involves housing inmates in new facilities in Lower Manhattan, the South Bronx, Downtown Brooklyn, and Kew Gardens that are better integrated with the surrounding communities, as well as located closer to court systems.

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Policy

Photo by arvind grover on Flickr

The city’s police department has launched a new surveillance system to keep an eye on homeless New Yorkers at more than 10 subway stations, THE CITY reported on Thursday. NYPD officers will watch feeds from more than 100 live cameras that show views from stations and platforms in order to respond to “quality-of-life and public safety concerns,” the city announced in August. The monitoring program comes as part of a city and state effort to address homelessness in the subways.

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Policy, Transportation

Photo by Shinya Suzuki on Flickr

Twenty cyclists have been killed in New York City so far this year, doubling the number of deaths from 2018. In response, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled in July a plan to spend roughly $58 million over the next five years to make streets safer for cyclists by adding protected bike lanes and redesigning intersections. This week the mayor said his office is looking into some new ideas: requiring Citi Bike riders wear helmets and making bikers obtain licenses (h/t Gothamist).

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affordable housing, housing lotteries, Policy

nyc skyline, new york skyline, manhattan

Via Creative Commons

New Yorkers applying for affordable housing no longer need to provide credit scores or social security numbers, making it easier for low-income and undocumented immigrant households to qualify, the city announced Wednesday. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development expanded the guidelines of its affordable housing lottery policy to allow applicants to show 12 months of positive rental history instead of a credit check run by a landlord. This erases the need for adult household members to provide a social security number or an individual tax identification number.

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Park Slope, Policy

A mortgage for the mayor’s home at 384 11th Street came from Wall Street Morgage Bankers

The mortgages secured by Mayor Bill de Blasio for his two Park Slope homes came from a bank linked to a firm that received millions of dollars from the city in a controversial housing deal. The Daily News reported on Monday that the founder of the bank that gave the mortgages to de Blasio is Abraham Podolsky, the brother of Jay and Stuart Podolsky, whose firm sold 17 buildings to the city for $173 million earlier this year. Critics have questioned the deal with the Podolsky brothers, who are known for owning poorly maintained properties, and City Comptroller Scott Stringer called on City Hall to release the deal’s appraisals.

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affordable housing, Policy

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.

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Policy, Transportation

Via Wikimedia

Update 7/25/19: De Blasio unveiled on Thursday his “Green Wave” plan, which includes spending $58.4 million over the next five years on making city streets safer for bikers. In addition to adding more protected bike lanes and redesigning intersections, the plan calls for a media campaign on cyclist safety, as well as community engagement programs. 

Following a recent spike in cyclist deaths, Mayor Bill de Blasio will unveil on Thursday a $58.4 million plan to make streets safer. As first reported by the New York Times, the plan includes constructing more protected bike lanes, redesigning intersections, and hiring 80 new transportation workers over the next five years. The proposal comes after 17 cyclists were killed in New York City so far this year, seven more fatalities than all of 2018.

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