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City Comptroller Scott Stringer unveiled a plan on Monday that would allow renters in New York City to count on-time, monthly payments toward their credit score. While homeowners who punctually pay a mortgage can boost their credit, renters currently cannot count on-time payments in the same way. Those without credit or bad credit often pay higher interest rates on loans and other monthly bills, like utilities or cell phone payments. As the New York Times reported, Stringer’s office looked at a sampling of tenants who pay less than $2,000 per month and found that 76 percent of them would improve their credit scores if rent payments were reported. Stringer told the Times that his plan “could create a powerful credit history that could lift you out of poverty.”
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New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer released an analysis on Sunday that found the economic cost of subway delays could range from $170 million per year to $389 million in lost wages and productivity for businesses. The comptroller’s office used data from the MTA that looks at train schedules, passenger volumes and wait assessments by each subway line (h/t NY Times). Stringer’s analysis listed five subway lines that cause the biggest economic losses: 5, 7, A, F, and 4 trains. During a news conference Sunday, Stinger said, “The summer of hell is turning into the fall of frustration for subway commuters.”
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The reason behind the incessant breakdown of the subway’s escalators and elevators? Nearly 80 percent of them do not receive the necessary maintenance by the MTA. After an 18-month audit, City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office found that in a random sample of 65 out of the city’s 407 total escalators and elevators, about 50 had not undergone any preventative maintenance service. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, only 20 percent of machines sampled by the comptroller’s office received the scheduled maintenance on time. Find out more
New York’s top elected officials, aware of the political leanings of their constituents, continue to be outspoken in their opposition to President Trump and his administration. As Crain’s reports, City Comptroller Scott Stringer serves as one of New York’s most vocal assailants on Trump, with 50 percent of his press releases written this month attacking the president’s policy proposals. In a report released this week, Stringer analyzed Trump’s proposed federal income tax law and found that it disproportionately benefits the highest-income earners in New York. If adopted, 40 percent of all single parents would see their taxes go up, compared to 90 percent of millionaires who would see a reduction, according to Stringer.
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Like many cities across the country, New York City’s population is getting older. Today, more than 1.1 million adults over 65, nearly 13 percent of the city’s total population, live in the five boroughs, a number which is expected to rise to over 1.4 million by 2040. In response to both this growth and the Trump administration’s budget cuts to beneficial senior programs like Medicaid and Medicare, City Comptroller Scott Stringer released a new report detailing policies that invest in the city’s seniors (h/t Metro NY).
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Back in November, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mayor de Blasio had spent a record $1.6 billion on homeless services since taking office three years prior, a 60 percent increase that came with 20 percent more New Yorkers in city shelters. Now, as shared by the Post, Comptroller Scott Stringer says that homeless spending will reach a whopping $2.3 billion when this fiscal year ends on June 30th, almost twice the $1.2 billion spent three years ago. “We have to pause and ask ourselves, are we seeing results?” he said.
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A recent audit by Comptroller Scott Stringer found that the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) only collected 2.46 percent of the $35.1 million in overdue fines sent to its enforcement unit in the past two years, meaning that tens of millions of dollars owed by bad landlords remained unpaid by October of 2015. Landlords get hit with fines of up to $1,000 a day for failing to fix items like a lack of heat or lead paint, but the audit charged that building owners are getting away with dodging the fines, the New York Daily News reports.
‘A free pass to break the law’
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For many New Yorkers, public housing is the only affordable way to live in the city, but despite an ever-growing waiting list, thousands of these homes are sitting empty, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal about an audit of NYCHA by Comptroller Scott Stringer. At a release of the findings yesterday at the Raymond V. Ingersoll Houses in Brooklyn, Stringer said: “Even though 270,000 New Yorkers are on the waiting list for housing, desperate to put a roof above their heads, we found that NYCHA is sitting on over 2,000 apartments they identify as vacant.” The audit shows that 1,366 apartments are empty awaiting repairs, and 967 are between tenants.
More audit findings ahead
Since FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) updated its flood-zone maps after Superstorm Sandy, we learned that it could cost the city $5 billion to comply with the new regulations, as 60,000 additional buildings were identified as being within the flood zones. This brings the total to 84,000 buildings worth over $129 billion, according to a new report released by the Office of New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer on the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.
What does this mean for the city?