Friday News Round-Up

Happy day-after-Thanksgiving. Here’s a Friday round-up, which is, again, Sandy-heavy.

  1. Unsurprisingly, as we related last week, the stom worsened the increasingly dire shelter shortage in New York City. This week, officials closed all evacuation centers save two on Staten Island.
  2. A few weeks old now, but still important: Housing officials are working with New York City landlords to address the housing shortage in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. This is an interesting idea that we will pay close attention to. Obviously, it introduces questions to the issues of rent regulation and income restricted housing. How long will Sandy victims stay in temporary housing, what can landlords reasonably charge for rents (how can we insure it is affordable?), and how can we insure that these temporary tenants have the same rights as any tenant living in an apartment?
  3. The post-Sandy housing problem continues to magnify, with officials this week announcing that at least 200 homes will be need to be demolished as a result of the storm. This is in addition to the 100s of homes that have already been destroyed, and with at least 500 partially damaged houses still requiring inspection. According to the NY Times, no decisions have been made about rebuilding in the storm-battered areas, a question that is further complicated by the fact that current building codes will likely prohibit rebuilding of some of the half-century old bungalows.
  4. Ocean Village, a long-distressed housing complex in the Rockaways, has been purchased by L+M Development Partners. This is good news for a complex that City Limits describes as “reeling even before the storm.” Of course, the storm has made things in O.V. much worse, and a takeover by a responsible affordable housing developer such as L+M could not have come at a better time for the much beleaguered residents of the complex, which consists of 11 high-rise buildings. In August, L+M outlined plans to acquire and renovate the complex with a construction loan from NYC’s Housing Development Corp. for $110,000,000. The units will remain 100% affordable for low-to-moderate income New Yorkers and the buildings will retain project based Sec. 8 contracts.
  5. And our only non-Sandy news: according to a recently released study from The Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at NYU, a rise in foreclosures could contribute to a rise in crime after all. This information is coming after an earlier study, released in August, which found no correlation between the two things.

We hope that our readers had a great Thanksgiving in safe and affordable housing! We’ll be back on Monday.

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