Last year, New York City public beaches and pools did not open until July because of the coronavirus pandemic. This year, city comptroller and mayoral candidate Scott Stringer wants to make sure New Yorkers from all boroughs can enjoy the summer season by making pools, beaches, and the city’s waterfront more accessible. In a proposal announced on Tuesday, Stringer called on the city to bring a series of pop-up pools to Open Streets and vacant lots in neighborhoods that lack green space.
New York City Comptroller and mayoral candidate Scott Stringer on Monday proposed a new way to give a “booster shot” to the city’s economy. The program would give New Yorkers receiving a coronavirus vaccine shot “VaxPacks,” a swag bag of vouchers for local businesses, cultural venues, and a two-trip MetroCard. Stringer said the initiative encourages vaccinations and supports small businesses, while also increasing subway and bus ridership, which has not yet recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
The neighborhood of Mariner’s Harbor, near the wetlands in question. Image: Wikimedia cc.
Despite opposition from residents and public officials, 18 acres of forest wetlands near Staten Island’s north shore will be turned into a BJ’s Wholesale Club, a gas station and a parking lot. Gothamist reports that the state has said it will issue a permit to allow the land’s owner, real estate magnate Charles Alpert (operating as holding company Josif A. LLC), to destroy what activists say is an invaluable natural storm barrier in order for the project to move forward.
Image via Flickr cc
City Comptroller Scott Stringer has released an updated Affordability Index, an annual look at how the rising costs of basic necessities like housing, transportation, healthcare, and childcare, are squeezing the budgets of New York City households and leaving them with fewer savings. Like last year, the data is far from reassuring, demonstrating that expense costs are rising far more rapidly than incomes. In 2005, the average middle-income single adult had 24 percent of their income left over after expenses. In 2017, that dropped to only 15 percent.
Adding another perspective to the many voices who are seeking a solution to the “most challenging project not only in New York City but arguably in the United States,” City Comptroller Scott Stringer has outlined his own proposal to save the crumbling BQE, advocating for a middle-ground solution to the heated debate. Stringer’s idea (notably without a timeline or proposed budget) is to turn the BQE into a truck-only highway and build a linear park above. “We remain hopeful that the agency can view the BQE’s deterioration not just as an engineering challenge, but as an opportunity to create something new and bold that both accommodates essential traffic and enhances surrounding neighborhoods,” he wrote in a March 7 letter to Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.
Update 9/27/18: City Comptroller Scott Stringer said the report released this week about the decrease in affordable housing contained a major miscalculation, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. Instead of the 1 million affordable apartments lost, as the report stated, the true number is less than half of that, or 425,492 units. According to an updated report, the number of apartments renting for $2,700/month increased by 111,000 units between 2005 and 2017, instead of 238,000 units as originally stated. “While it remains true that affordable housing is declining at an unsettling rate and the gap is still growing, we overstated the pace,” Ilana Maier, a spokesperson for Stringer, said in a statement. “We made a genuine mistake.”
Since 2005, New York City has lost over 1 million affordable apartments, according to a report released by the City Comptroller Scott Stringer on Tuesday. The report, “The Gap is Still Growing,” builds from an original 2014 analysis from the comptroller’s office and shows the number of available units has failed to keep up with the city’s booming population. Between 2005 and 2016, about 576,000 people moved to NYC. But the city added just over 76,000 new units of rental housing.
Via City Comptroller’s office
More than half of the 122 neighborhoods served by New York City’s subway system do not have a single accessible station, a new report by City Comptroller Scott Stringer found. And out of the 62 neighborhoods dubbed “ADA transit deserts,” 55 are in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. In his report, “Service Denied,” Stringer details the gaps in accessibility for seniors and mobility-impaired New Yorkers and calls on the state legislature to create a new funding source dedicated to upgrades compliant with the American with Disabilities Act.
Photo via Creative Commons
In addition to having some of the highest rents in the country, New York City requires renters to provide a substantial chunk of money up front to cover an apartment’s security deposit. According to a new report by City Comptroller Scott Stringer, New Yorkers forked over more than $507 million for security deposits over the course of 2016. Stringer is calling for an overhaul of the city’s security deposit system, which he says has created a financial barrier that has intensified the city’s affordable housing crisis. “For too long, the deck has been stacked against New York’s working-class renters but we’re taking a step forward to reimagine how the housing system works in our City,” Stringer said in a press release.
Phoo via CC0 License
Between 2005 and 2016, the cost of basic needs like housing, transit, food and healthcare has grown at twice the rate of incomes in New York City, according to a new report released by City Comptroller Scott Stringer on Monday. Stringer’s office created a first-of-its-kind Affordability Index to track how much money New Yorkers have left over after taxes and basic expenses. The numbers are not comforting. The report found that single adults living in NYC had just $641 leftover after taxes and basic expenses in 2016, compared to $831 a decade ago.
“Over the last decade, the money that New Yorkers could be putting away – for retirement, for college, or even for a simple family night out – has been shrinking,” Stringer said in a press release. “Our growing affordability crisis is making it harder for families to enjoy a basic middle-class lifestyle – and is forcing them to choose between staying in New York City and leaving.”
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.