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.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
De Blasio releases non-discriminatory housing plan as Trump rolls back Obama-era ‘Fair Housing’ rule, Wed, January 8, 2020
First announced in March 2018, the Where We Live NYC initiative has finally released a draft plan for public review. Described as a “comprehensive fair housing planning process to study, understand, and address patterns of residential segregation,” the report outlines key goals and strategies to eliminate discrimination in the housing market. As part of the plan, the city will launch the Fair Housing Litigation Unit “comprised of researchers, lawyers, and market testers who will go into the community as ‘secret shoppers’ and identify discriminatory practices,” per a recent press release.
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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Stand-up comic and SNL’s Weekend Update co-anchor Michael Che is organizing a benefit show for New York City public housing residents this week. There are still a few tickets left for “A Night for NYCHA” on January 11, as amNY reported earlier today. Che is the headliner, “Roastmaster General” Jeff Ross will be hosting, and Michelle Wolf will feature in a “top secret lineup” of comics. “It’s gonna be a fun show and a GREAT cause,” Che posted on his Instagram stories earlier this month. “A lot of residents don’t have heat this winter. This money could really help. I grew up in a building like that, and it’s really tough.”
Google Street View of the Holmes Towers
The federal government ranked three Upper East Side public housing buildings as some of the worst in the United States, the New York Post reported Monday. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gave the Holmes Towers, the Isaacs Houses and Robbins Plaza just 25 points out of a maximum of 100 as a measure of quality following recent inspections. Out of the more than 3,800 scores counted by HUD last year, the three complexes tied for 13th worst in the country.
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New York City has agreed to fork over $2 billion in the next 10 years to settle a federal prosecutors’ investigation into safety and health issues at buildings run by the by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the Wall Street Journal reports. The city has been ordered to repair buildings run by the country’s largest city housing authority after an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s District Office, which began in 2015, checked reports of crumbling conditions across the authority’s 325 developments.
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New York City will likely have to cough up $1 billion over the next four years to pay for improvements to its public housing stock as part of an agreement with the federal government, Politico New York reported Wednesday. The settlement from federal prosecutors ordering repairs to buildings run by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) will likely be reached in the next few days. The order comes after an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s District Office, which began in 2015, to check crumbling conditions across the 325 developments it operates. If the city does not follow the orders, the federal government could then take over the authority.
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If you are a single New Yorker earning $58,450 or less per year, you fall under the low income category, according to 2018 estimates released last month by the U.S. Department of Housing (HUD). These income limits are established by the government to help figure out if residents are eligible for subsidized and affordable housing. Even though the median family income in NYC and its surrounding area slightly increased this year to $70,300 from $66,200 in 2017, the high cost of living continues to place a significant burden on New Yorkers (h/t Curbed NY).
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday plans for New York State to join a lawsuit against the federal government for failing to carry out the Fair Housing Act, a 1968 law aimed at protecting people from discrimination when renting or buying. The suit seeks to reverse the decision by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to suspend President Barack Obama-era anti-segregation initiatives, known as an Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. This rule requires local and state governments to address segregated housing patterns as a condition of receiving federal funding for housing. Joining civil rights groups in the lawsuit, with New York as the first state to do so, Cuomo called HUD’s decision to delay this rule “repugnant” and “un-American.”
As he proposes funding cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s subsidized housing programs, President Donald Trump is set to gain millions of dollars from the sale of an affordable housing complex in East New York, best known as Starrett City. Investors, including Trump who owns a 4 percent stake in the development, sold the 46-building complex to two real estate firms for $906 million, ABC News reported Tuesday. Trump is set to profit about $36 million from the sale (an amount which could drop after mortgage costs and transfer taxes). Home to roughly 15,000 residents across 145 acres, Starrett City is the largest federally subsidized housing project in the country.