The Surreal Estate

Perspectives on Tenant Organizing from the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board

Friday News Round-Up!

It’s Friday! You know what to expect:

  1. The New York Daily News continues to lambast NYCHA in the press. But the City Council is fighting back – declaring the campaign against the agency ill-informed and careless. Rosie Mendez and her colleagues in the council have argued that the cash reserves are both smaller than billions NYDN claims, and that they are reserved only for major capital improvements – i.e., using them to fix a leaky faucet would get all the funds revoked by the federal government. All the same, Mayor Bloomberg has announced that the agency will be restructured. NYCHA is the largest public housing authority in North America and is one of the only American housing authorities remaining after many were dismantled in the 1990s and early 2000s. (Politicker, New York Times)
  2. Thousands and thousands of DREAMers showed up at a deferred action event in Chicago this week, the largest crowd in the country. Undocumented people seeking freedom from fear of arrest began to arrive as early as last Tuesday evening. Wednesday was the first day to apply for Obama’s new policy, announced via executive order, that would allow thousands of young immigrants freedom increased access to work permits, study permits, and reprieve from deportation. Ilian Claudio, 19, described the event in Chicago as “A new beginning. A gate is opening.” (Huffington Post)
  3. The foreclosure crisis that continues to ravage the country has had an immense number of negative effects. The number of American’s living in poverty has increased, as well as the number of homeless Americans. High unemployment. Several studies suggest that foreclosure has a negative effect on school performance. Et cetera. But despite anecdotal evidence that suggests crime associated with foreclosure is a national problem, a study in the Social Science Quarterly has found little empirical evidence that the foreclosure crisis has influenced rates of violent and property crime. (The Atlantic Cities)
  4. Evelyn Konrad of Southhampton is fighting against a zoning code change that allows supersized homes in her town. She claims the Mayor is catering favor with his Wall Street buddies, and has already spent nearly $100,000 of her own life savings on the suit. Lone Star Funds CEO Donald Quintin for having a house that is egregiously large. We’re standing with Evelyn! And if Mr. Quintin’s house in the Hamptons is so big, we know about 900 angry tenants who would like to come over for dinner. (The Real Deal)
  5. Two UHAB-monitored co-ops are in the news today for having the two cheapest NYC Real Estate listings of the week. (546 W. 156th Street and 521 W. 151st Street, both in Hamilton Heights.) The good news: at least we’re doing our job of keeping the co-op option affordable. The bad news (or the-news-that-was-left-out): the article in The Real Deal, though it mentions they are “fully renovated co-ops,” does not mention that they are also limited equity, income restricted. Speculators move on! (The Real Deal)

Here are the also-rans for this week’s news roundup: the “public” is clamoring for a picture of Paul Ryan topless (not this public!), Andrew Cuomo has called yet another thing historic (yogurt), and strip clubs in Florida can’t wait for the RNC to arrive. Questionable choices, all around. Have a great weekend, from UHAB Organizing!

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