Friday News Round-up!

  1. Federal sequestration has taken an excruciating toll on the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). According to Crains’ New York Business, the cuts will impact 650,000 New Yorkers that utilize the agency’s apartments and Section 8 vouchers. NYCHA will reduce payments for its 95,000 recipients, leading to less rental subsidies and, in turn, higher rents for low-income tenants. And, (featured in another Crain’s New York Business article), of the 6,000 new Section 8 vouchers that the city intended to distribute this year, zero will be given out. Additionally  the cuts will severely impact NYCHA’s workforce, resulting in a hiring freeze, furloughs, and possible layoffs. We hope that the city finds some way to turn this unfortunate reality around…
  2. At the 13th Annual New York State Supportive Housing Conference, Mayor Bloomberg announced his new commitment to supportive housing as part of his new Housing Marketplace Program. Crain’s New York Business reported that he would seek to prequalify developers to build supportive housing on city-owned land. This initiative would aim to double the development of supporting housing, building 1,000 units of supportive housing per year. And, this new strategy would require developers to pay rent to NYCHA , which will offer the agency needed support given the reality of the sequester. While Bloomberg’s housing plan has both created and preserved 15,000 units of affordable housing, more creative ideas, such as these, must be implemented to ensure that every New Yorker has a place to call home.
  3. In an effort to prevent yet another disaster, like Superstorm Sandy, from reeking havoc on our city, Mayor Bloomberg has devised an unprecedented plan to build numerous levees, flood walls, and bulkheads along the coasts. According to the NYTimes, the plan will cover 250 miles of coast and initially cost $20 billion.  To cover the costs of this endeavor, the city will utilize both federal and city funds. While this plan is incredibly ambitious in terms of time, money and labor, it will hopefully prevent another disaster from impacting the city in such a catastrophic manner.
  4. This week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Urban Institute released a report entitled, 2012 Housing Discrimination Study: Housing Discrimination Against Ethnic and Racial Minorities. The work elucidates an unfortunate truth: housing discrimination against people of color is alive and well. Unlike previous forms of discrimination, the report illustrates that these practices exists in more subtle manifestations. For instance, real-estate agents show fewer housing options to people of color than equally qualified white folks. We hope this report will make discriminatory housing practices more visible and, in turn, reduce their frequency.

Have a great weekend!

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