Image: NYC HPD
While the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) continues to sidle away from its job of preventing housing discrimination, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) in partnership with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) have stepped up with a comprehensive fair housing planning process to head off segregation in New York City. The city announced today the launch of Where We Live NYC, a fair housing plan to fight segregation and unequal access. The plan outlines a process to study, understand, and address patterns of residential segregation and how these patterns impact access to opportunity, including jobs, education, safety, public transit and health. The plan will include extensive community participation and provide data and policy analysis that will culminate in the release of a public report that outlines measurable goals and strategies for fostering inclusive communities, promoting fair housing and increasing access to opportunity.
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Rendering of 120 3rd Avenue via Aufgang Architects
The city announced on Thursday their selection of two developers, Arker Companies and Two Trees Management, to build two 16-story apartment towers on parking lots at Wyckoff Gardens, a New York City Housing Authority property in Brooklyn. However, according to the Daily News, the owners of both companies have raised a total of $124,600 for Mayor Bill de Blasio, bringing into question the influence of donations on the city’s choice of the two developers.
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Photo via Wikimedia
In 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration opened just 10 out of the 20 shelters planned for New York City under an initiative aimed at curbing the city’s growing homelessness crisis. Last February, the city unveiled its “Turning the Tide on Homelessness” plan that included opening 90 shelters over five years, with about 20 shelters each in 2017 and 2018. But, according to the New York Times, the city fell short of its target last year, opening just half the number of shelters planned due to delays in the permit process, time-consuming negotiations with nonprofits that run the shelters and backlash from the community and public officials. Under de Blasio, the homeless population has grown. When the mayor took office in 2014, about 68,000 New Yorkers were without homes. Today, roughly 77,000 people are considered homeless in NYC, with 3,900 on the street, the largest homeless population in the U.S.
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Photo courtesy of Roman Kruglov’s Flickr
During a two week period of super cold weather, including a considerable snowstorm, New York City received nearly 22,000 heat and hot water complaints from renters. According to the Daily News, many of those calls came from residents living in New York City Housing Apartments. On Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said a lack of federal funding and upkeep is to blame for the defective boilers found at NYCHA apartments. “A lot of the buildings are 50 years old, 60 years old, 70 years old — they have not gotten the kind of upkeep they needed for decades,” the mayor told John Catsimatidis on his radio show.
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Photo via Wiki Commons
Affordable housing is one of the hottest topics in the real estate market these days. It all started with Mayor de Blasio’s plan to preserve or build 200,000 affordable units over the next ten years, which has resulted in a slew of new lotteries for below-market rate apartments, putting his goal ahead of schedule. And let’s not forget the expiration of the controversial 421-a tax abatement, which provides incentives to developers when they reserve at least 20 percent of a building’s units for low- and moderate-income tenants. But despite the buzz-worthy roll affordable housing has been on, many are still left wondering what exactly it is.
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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.
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Rendering via NYCHA
After over a year-long debate, the city has finally unveiled renderings of a mixed-income tower set to rise on an existing playground at the Holmes Towers public housing complex in Yorkville. The New York City Housing Authority’s plan, which falls under the city’s NextGen program, will construct a 47-story building among the complex on East 93rd Street, as well as a new 18,000-square-foot recreation and community center run by Asphalt Green (h/t DNA Info). The new building will feature 300 total units, with half of them at market-rate prices and half of them affordable. However, an alleged plan to separate the floors by income level, as well as the fact that high-end housing is coming to a low-income site where the community wasn’t consulted, has sparked a good deal of controversy.
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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.
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When Superstorm Sandy hit the community of Red Hook, thousands of residents were left without power and basic necessities for over two weeks. The neighborhood’s infrastructure suffered substantial damage, with almost all basement mechanical rooms destroyed. In an effort to rebuild Brooklyn’s largest housing development, Red Hook Houses, post-Sandy, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) commissioned a project by architecture firm Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF). Their “Lily Pad” design includes installing 14 “utility pods” that deliver heat and electricity to each building, as well as creating raised earth mounds to act as a flood barrier (h/t Archpaper).
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Rendering of Mill Brook Terrace courtesy of NYCHA
As part of the New York City Housing Authority’s NextGen initiative–the controversial policy of partnering with private companies to develop housing on open space in existing public housing projects–an affordable senior development is coming to the South Bronx. As reported by NY Yimby, Mill Brook Terrace in Mott Haven will be a nine-story, 169-unit building at 570 East 137th Street and will be set aside for seniors who earn no more than 50 percent of the area media income, or less than $36,250. Designed by Perkins Eastman Architects, the building will include a 9,000-square-foot senior center on the ground floor, which will include a commercial kitchen, community space, activity room and an outdoor garden.
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