Bill de Blasio

Long Island City, Policy, Top Stories

Amazon will not move to Long Island City

By Devin Gannon, Thu, February 14, 2019

Via CityRealty

Amazon said on Thursday it will no longer build a new headquarters in Long Island City, the New York Times reported. The online retail giant selected the Queens neighborhood last year for its “HQ2” campus following a 14-month nationwide contest. Amazon had promised to bring 25,000 jobs to New York City in exchange for nearly $3 billion in state and city incentives. In a statement, the company said it does not plan to look for another location at this time.

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Policy, Transportation

Rendering via EDC

The plan to build a streetcar between Brooklyn and Queens got a much-needed push forward on Wednesday. The city’s Economic Development Corporation awarded consulting firm VHB $7.25 million to complete an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) for the proposed Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX). First announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2016, the streetcar plan has faced many roadblocks, delays, and doubts from public officials. But last year, the mayor announced a revised proposal, which includes a higher price tag, fewer miles on the route, and a delayed start date.

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affordable housing, Policy

Federal government increases oversight of NYCHA

By Devin Gannon, Thu, January 31, 2019

queensbridge houses, nycha, public housing nyc

Via Wikimedia

President Donald Trump’s administration announced on Thursday it will seize some control over the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), calling for an independent federal monitor to oversee the troubled agency. According to the New York Times, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), NYCHA, and the city reached a deal that includes an investment of $2.2 billion over 10 years by the city in NYCHA, but does not place the agency under receivership. The monitor will be responsible for oversight of the agency’s 176,000 apartments, part of the largest public housing authority in the country.

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affordable housing, Policy

Via Michael Appleton/ Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

If the federal government shutdown continues into March, the city will lose $500 million monthly, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned Thursday. Without funding for federally funded government programs, more than two million New Yorkers could lose access to vital benefits, including food stamps, Section 8 vouchers, and public school lunch. The shutdown, now the longest in history, began last month after Congress failed to reach an appropriations deal and as President Donald Trump refuses to withdraw his request for a $5.6 billion border wall.

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affordable housing, Policy

NYC, nyc skyline, new york

Via CC

The city created and preserved 34,160 affordable homes in 2018 alone, 40 percent more than the record set last year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday. And, according to the mayor, 10,099 new homes were financed last year, another record for new construction in the city. The additional homes fall under de Blasio’s Housing New York 2.0, which aims to create and preserve 300,000 affordable homes by 2026. To date, the housing plan has helped finance nearly 122,000 affordable apartments since 2014.

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Policy

nyc skyline, new york skyline, manhattan

Via Pexels

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday created a new city office to protect tenants from landlord abuse. During his State of the City address, de Blasio signed an executive order to form the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants, which will lead the city’s anti-harassment and outreach initiatives across multiple agencies. The mayor warned that the “city’s worst landlords will have a new sheriff to fear,” referring to the new oversight office.

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Coney Island, Staten Island, Transportation

Via NYC Ferry

The city will launch two new ferry routes by 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday during his State of the City address. Staten Island and Coney Island will be added to the NYC Ferry system, providing a much faster commute to Manhattan for outer-borough New Yorkers. “It shouldn’t be this hard to get around in the greatest city in the world,” de Blasio said. “And so we’re giving people more and better options.” With the addition of the Staten Island route, all five boroughs will be a part of the NYC Ferry system by next year.

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Policy, Transportation

Via Flickr

Significant improvements will be made over the next two years to the New York City’s outdated bus system, Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to announce during his State of the City address on Thursday. A report released by City Comptroller Scott Stringer in 2017 found the city’s buses run at the slowest pace in the nation among large cities, traveling at just 7.4 miles per hour on average. The mayor aims to increase the bus speeds by 25 percent to just over 9 miles per hour by the end of 2020, as amNY first reported.

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Policy, Transportation

Image via Flickr cc

After facing sharp criticism this week from almost all New York media outlets for missing the January 1st start date of Fair Fares, Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson held a press conference this afternoon to officially launch the program. As of now, the joint initiative will provide half-priced MetroCards to approximately 30,000 low-income New Yorkers who are receiving cash assistance benefits from the Department of Social Services. In April, an estimated additional 130,000 New Yorkers receiving SNAP benefits will be able to apply. But as the Daily News’ City Hall bureau chief Jill Jorgensen mentioned on Twitter, limiting the program to these two groups means that no undocumented residents are eligible to apply.

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Policy

nyc skyline, new york skyline, manhattan

Via Creative Commons

In a win for Airbnb, a federal judge on Thursday blocked a New York City law aimed at curbing illegal short-term rentals, the New York Times reported. The law, signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio last August and originally expected to take effect in February, would have required Airbnb and similar home-share companies to disclose the names and addresses of its hosts to the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement monthly. Soon after, Airbnb filed a lawsuit against the city claiming an “extraordinary act of government overreach.” U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer granted the company’s request for a temporary injunction against the law, which he wrote was likely unconstitutional.

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