Image: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office
Calling it “Housing New York 2.0,” Mayor Bill de Blasio has just released a new road map to his goal of building and preserving 300,000 affordable New York City homes–100,000 more than his previous pledge. The plan accelerates and expands the production of new housing, fights tenant displacement, creates more housing for seniors and working families and provides new home ownership tools. Among the more technologically advanced strategies outlined are plans to use innovative smaller homes on vacant lots that are too small for traditional housing and the expansion of modular buildings and micro-units.
Mitchell-Lama, vacant lots, modular building and micro-units, this way
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that the city will invest $250 million to protect 15,000 Mitchell-Lama apartments from going to market rate. The investment is part of the city’s initiative to create or preserve 300,000 units of affordable housing by 2026. The new program will address over 15,000 Mitchell-Lama homes where affordability is at risk over the next eight years.
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Mayor Bill de Blasio announces findings on tenant representation last August. Image: nyc.gov
6sqft reported last year on a new bill that would guarantee a lawyer for all low-income residents facing eviction. On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed that bill into law, guaranteeing legal representation for low-income residents who face eviction (h/t Citylab). The legislation is the nation’s first that provides right to counsel in housing matters. The new law is the result of efforts of activists and organizers that began in 2014.
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After months of what has seemed like rapidly accelerating deterioration, scary incidents, complaints and finger-pointing, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority revealed on Tuesday an $800 million emergency rescue plan for the city’s beleaguered subway system, the New York Times reports. Some key solutions identified for the initial phase of the plan, called “MTA Moving Forward,” included taking out seats on some cars–Boston’s transit system has done this in some cases to make room for more commuters. When asked when riders would begin to see the benefits of the plan, MTA chairman Joseph Lhota said that key parts of the plan’s initial phase would be implemented “relatively quickly.”
A hefty tab and a bitter feud
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that the city would develop the gap in the Manhattan waterfront greenway that runs between 41st and 61st Streets along the East River. The city has pledged to spend $100 million on closing the largest unfinished space in the 32-mile loop, including a new esplanade, with an additional $5 million to be spent on filling smaller gaps in East Harlem and Inwood. “The Hudson River Greenway has vastly improved quality of life on the West Side, and we want families in every corner in the borough to have that same access to bike, walk and play along the water,” said the mayor in a statement. “This is the first of many big investments we’ll make as we bring the full Greenway to reality.”
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In what will be the largest capital investment in the East River bridges since 2010, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2017 Capital Commitment Plan has allocated $392 million for the project, reports DNAInfo. The Queensboro Bridge–the busiest of the East River crossings–will get $110 million, the biggest chunk of the project’s funding according to a report from the city’s Independent Budget Office (IBO). The bridge received only a “fair” grade in a recent DOT rating system (the Brooklyn Bridge got the lowest rating). The repairs will happen over the next three years.
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The exact details of the mayor’s proposal, to be announced Tuesday afternoon, are not yet known, but the focus will undoubtedly be the mayor’s ongoing battle to significantly beef up the city’s overwhelmed shelter system, according to the New York Times. New York–along with Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C,– has experienced an increase in homelessness in recent years, though the number of homeless people has declined nationwide. The city’s shelter infrastructure is over capacity to the point that, as 6sqft previously reported, around $400,000 a day is being spent on using hotel rooms as temporary shelters. Homelessness is one of the mayor’s thorniest problems; the proposal will reportedly increase the number of shelters throughout the city by nearly one third.
Why the opposition?
Image via Wiki Commons
The de Blasio administration pulled the plug Monday on proposed legislation that would give the city a 20 percent cut of any air rights sales in midtown Manhattan’s Theater District, according to Crain’s. The reversal followed disputes with City Council members over a key element–a floor price for the sales. The proposal had been part of a long effort to get theater owners to up the amount they contribute to a fund used for venue maintenance and support for smaller theaters. There is now speculation as to whether the move could cast a shadow on the administration’s Midtown East rezoning plan, which is a similar policy initiative.
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A study released Thursday by the Citizens Housing and Planning Council (CHPC) suggests that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initiatives to ease the city’s housing woes should include a program that would convert the 38,000 or so basements in the city’s single-family homes without having to make big changes to city or state laws. As Crain’s reports, the study is part of the CHPC’s Making Room initiative that explores how alternative housing typologies can better meet the needs of New York’s diverse households. The council introduced the study by stating their belief that “based on the ﬁndings we present here, that a basement conversion program in New York City would be an eﬃcient and exciting way to add residential density and expand housing choices in our expensive and highly constrained urban market.”
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Put your favorite local, non-franchise businesses “on the map” and help them apply for a share of a $1.8 million grant. Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Small Business Services have announced the launch of “NYC Love Your Local,” a new opportunity to celebrate and promote the city’s many independent small businesses. The program allows New Yorkers to add their favorite mom-and-pop shops to an interactive map so they can get funding and access to expert advice.
Find out how to add your local