Friday News Round Up!

Happy February, the shortest month!

  1. A rent strike in Sunset Park may be coming to an end. We’re currently working with a tenant association on 46th Street in Sunset Park that has been on a rent strike for nearly a year. Finally, after several twists and turns, the Brooklyn Supreme Court has moved to appoint a receiver, which will take the building (which is in foreclosure) out of the hands of the negligent slumlord. If the receiver successfully takes over the building and makes agreed upon repairs, we suspect that the Tenants Association will move to end the rent strike.
  2. This excerpt from Ed Koch and the Rebuilding of New York City was published in Gotham Gazette nearly three years ago. The excerpt discusses his 5-billion ten year housing plan, which, Jonathan Soffer writes, “has generally been viewed as the greatest success of his 12 year mayoralty.” Koch’s housing plan so drastically changed the shape of affordable housing in New York that it is hard to effectively imagine a world apart from it. Many of the programs that his plan initiated made it possible for UHAB residents to become cooperators and homeowners. However, the program was not so much an affordable housing plan as it was a plan to spur economic development — to transfer properties away from the city and turn them into tax-revenue generating, privately owned apartments. Advocates at the time questioned the “low-income” nomenclature, arguing that the plan favored the middle class and did little to alleviate the housing burden for very low income people. Regardless, the former mayor’s housing legacy was impactful and important, changing the face of development in New York and at the very least, emphasizing that the city had a role to play in affordable housing.  (For more on the recently deceased former mayor, listen to Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman talk about the controversial mayor at Democracy Now.)
  3. We’re working with several buildings in Crown Heights right now, and the tenants are definitely feeling the threat of displacement. This article in Narrative.ly was written in part by a former UHAB employee, and details the changing landscape of Franklin Avenue and what that means for long term residents.
  4. Last week, ANHD published a report, “Affordable Neighborhoods: Housing Policy for the Future of New York City.” The report lays out nine items that make up the affordable housing platform that ANHD and the affordable housing community plan to call on Mayoral Candidates to address.
  5. Foreclosure rates are falling, according to Housing Wire, and lending is up. We don’t happen to think that this is the most reliable barometer for housing market health. As lending is coming back, we need to stay vigilant that banks do not return to their pre-2008 lending methods!

That’s all for today! Stay tuned for more from us, and even some upcoming guest bloggers!

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