Can Albany Agree On How To Kill “Zombies”?

Written by Matthew Hamilton on . Posted in Housing, Latest, News

In Manhattan there is an ever more expensive real estate battle over apartments and penthouses taking place in the clouds. But far below the skyline dwellings, in other parts of the state, there is an ongoing clash just to get someone to take ownership of properties worth millions of dollars less than those luxury condos. From Long Island to Buffalo to the North Country, homes foreclosed upon during the last recession sit without tenants. However, in many cases, the owners… [More]

De Blasio’s Budget: Progressive or Aggressive?

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Budget/Taxes, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Features, Government Operations, Housing, Labor/Unions, News

What does a “progressive” city budget look like? During his preliminary budget presentation last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio attached his favorite buzzword to a supposedly apolitical document. Through the explicit and implicit priorities laid out in his financial plan, the mayor—who mere months ago dubbed himself a “fiscal conservative”—threw caution to the wind, etching his major policy items into the budget with or without the necessary cooperation from Albany, and despite the element of unpredictability stemming  from the city’s… [More]

De Blasio’s State of the City Marks A Shift In Tone From Bloomberg Era

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Budget/Taxes, Daily, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Features, Government Operations, Housing, Labor/Unions, Latest, News, Real Estate/Construction, Transportation

As is the case with most mayors less than two months into their administration, Mayor Bill de Blasio did not have a laundry list of accomplishments to point to during his State of the City address on Monday. But unlike his predecessor Michael Bloomberg’s first State of the City, which covered a wide range of topics and laid the foundation for his twelve years in office, de Blasio eschewed a long-term blueprint in favor of addressing the urgency of leveling… [More]

De Blasio Taps Transition Co-Chair as City Planning Commissioner

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Economic Development, Government Operations, Housing, Latest, News, News & Features

Either Carl Weisbrod was the best and only man for the job, or he was the last man for the job. Whatever the case, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio effusively praised Weisbrod while introducing him as the next chair of City Planning Commission at a press conference on Friday. In fact, the mayor went to great lengths to make it clear that Weisbrod, the co-chair of his transition committee, was indisputably the right choice for a permanent job,… [More]

Housing Departures Continue With Visnauskas

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Features, Government Operations, Heard Around Town, Housing, News

Adding to the turnover at New York City’s housing agencies, RuthAnne Visnauskas, acting commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation & Development, has submitted her resignation and will be leaving in two weeks, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. Visnauskas was a holdover from former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, in which she served for eight years, first as deputy HPD commissioner before taking over the top job from Mathew Wambua, who left the administration in August for the private sector. At… [More]

Jumaane Williams Has Inside Track for Housing Committee Chair, Sources Say

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Daily, Features, Government Operations, Heard Around Town, Housing, Latest, News

New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams A number of high-profile New York City Council committee chairmanships are expected to be announced at the Council’s stated meeting Wednesday afternoon, and multiple sources have indicated that Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams, a member of the Council Progressive Caucus, is the frontrunner to chair the Housing and Buildings Committee. Several New York City housing sources told City & State that Williams was a likely pick for the chairmanship, in part owing to his early backing of Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito but… [More]

Ouster of HDC President Marc Jahr Raises Questions in New York City’s Housing Community

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Daily, Economic Development, Features, Government Operations, Housing, News

A central tenet of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s policy agenda is his promise to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing, a lofty goal that would add to the 160,000-plus units created or preserved under former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, one of the largest urban affordable housing plans in United States history, if not the largest. However, the de Blasio administration has already discarded a key figure in seeing that plan through. Marc Jahr, the president… [More]

On Inauguration Day, a New City Government Doubles Down on Progressive Vision

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Budget/Taxes, Daily, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Features, Government Operations, Health Care, Housing, News, Other News, Public Safety

A bitterly cold, gray New Year’s Day greeted New York City’s new government leaders on Wednesday afternoon in front of City Hall. The standard political party mix of Bruce Springsteen and various Motown and soul numbers thumped from the sound system, though if there were any dancing it was likely an attempt to keep blood flowing to the extremities. City and state dignitaries and several celebrities were in attendance, glad-handing, smiling through chattering teeth, and waiting patiently for the man… [More]

Save the 30-Year Mortgage

Written by Carolyn Maloney on . Posted in Features, Housing, Opinion

Before the 1950s, a fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage was as rare as bipartisanship is in national politics today. Since World War II, however, the 30-year home loan has become the norm and helped countless Americans become homeowners for one simple reason: the fixed rate and long term create stable monthly payments that fit comfortably into the average household budget. So why is the 30-year-mortgage suddenly endangered? Legislation proposed by House Republicans would likely return the 30-year, fixed-rate-mortgage to an oddity, inaccessible… [More]

De Blasio Announces Anthony Shorris as First Deputy Mayor

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Daily, Features, Government Operations, Housing, Latest, News, Other News

New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio announced the first appointments to his administration today, naming Anthony Shorris as first deputy mayor, Dominic Williams as Shorris’ chief of staff and Emma Wolfe as director of intergovernmental affairs. While introducing Shorris, de Blasio highlighted his wealth of experience in government and his effective managerial skills. “I don’t think I know anyone who has this range of experience and achievement and will be able to work with all levels of government seamlessly…… [More]