Quinn, Jeffries, Towns Look to Reverse-Engineer Development Bubble

Written by City & State on . Posted in Housing, News & Features

Flatbush Avenue was once a hotbed of development in the new downtown Brooklyn. Glittering towers filled with pricey condos began to dot the landscape, rezoned by city planners ushering in a would-be renaissance.

Developers cheered that vision, rallied by the surging housing market. They even advanced into the heart of Kensington, four miles down the road, where yet another 107-unit luxury project began to take shape.

Now, just three years after...… [More]

After Urstadt: the Dreaming and Quibbling Begins

Written by City & State on . Posted in Housing, News & Features

Capping annual rent increases. Reshuffling the Rent Guidelines Board. Sifting through landlords’ books.

These are just three of the many wide-ranging reforms tenants and landlords can expect if the City Council wins control over the city’s rent laws, which it has lacked for close to 40 years.

Democratic legislators in Albany are pushing a bill that would strip out a provision in the state’s so-called Urstadt Laws that gives...… [More]

Advocates, Developers Size Up Bloomberg's New Housing Chief

Written by City & State on . Posted in Government Operations, Housing, News & Features, Real Estate/Construction

The city’s housing advocates are a tightly-knit group—”a little cabal,” as one put it. So when Rafael Cestero became the city’s new housing chief this month, they began scouring his past statements, searching for clues as to how he would lead the housing department through the spiraling fiscal crisis.

Like etymologists sifting through ancient hieroglyphics, advocates and developers have been piecing together scraps of...… [More]

Search for Donovan's Replacement at HPD Troubled in Part by Troubled Times

Written by City & State on . Posted in Budget/Taxes, Housing, News & Features

For four years, Housing Commissioner Shaun Donovan shepherded a sprawling affordable-housing plan credited with resurrecting some of the city’s most depressed neighborhoods from the ashes of the 1970s and ’80s.

He was hailed as no less than a visionary for prophesying, at the outset of his term, the looming foreclosure crisis and rejecting the conventional wisdom that homeownership was the panacea for low-income neighborhoods.
And even though Mayor Michael...… [More]

For Cash-Strapped NYCHA, Solution is Close to Home

Written by City & State on . Posted in Housing, News & Features

In August, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer (D) issued a report detailing how much unused New York City Housing Authority-owned land in Manhattan could be sold to private developers.

In Manhattan alone, he found that NYCHA, which manages almost 200,000 units, owns 30.5 million square feet of unused development rights-or "more than 11 Empire State...… [More]