Issues: Housing

Skift: Airbnb Gears Up for Big Legal and Legislative Battles in New York

Liz spoke to travel news source Skift about Airbnb the 2011 law she passed to help the city protect New York residents and tourists from illegal hotel operations.

June 6, 2013
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Willets housing vow lost to city’s legal fears

As reported by the Times Ledger:

Developers of the $3 million Willets Point project are not contractually required to build affordable housing in part because the city wants to shield itself from a potential lawsuit.

The Bloomberg administration did not want to risk paying out legal damages to the developers — Related Cos. and Sterling Equities, the real estate arm of the New York Mets — should the city fail to build additional ramps off the Van Wyck Expressway, an essential precursor to constructing the housing component of the project, officials and the companies said at a recent meeting.

For full article, click here. 

June 6, 2013
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MINORITY HOMEOWNERS ACCUSE LAWYER OF STEALING THEIR AMERICAN DREAM

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION

JUNE 5, 2013

MINORITY HOMEOWNERS ACCUSE LAWYER OF STEALING THEIR AMERICAN DREAM

A group of minority homeowners, have seen their American Dream shatter by the apparent conflict of interest between their lawyers and the real estate company.

The owners, which are composed of Dominicans, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, are accusing Jaime Ramirez, Esq., of malpractice, conflict of interest and ethical violations. “We have invested all our life savings trying to live the American Dream by being able to purchase our home, but unfortunately due to our lawyers negligence and conflict of interest with the real estate company, we are on the verge of losing our homes”, stated Joanny de la Cruz, one of the victims.

June 5, 2013
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Locals Worried About Affordable Housing Promise In Willets Point

As reported by NY1:

Willets Point has had a development plan in the works since 2008, but after a recent revision, some are worried the city won't keep its promise regarding affordable housing.

To view video, click here. 

June 4, 2013
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Peralta to Mayor: Keep Affordable Housing Promise

State Senator Jose Peralta was joined by the Queens Housing Coalition and Make the Road New York today in calling on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to “stop the bureaucratic wrecking ball” that has laid waste to more than 1,000 units of affordable housing slated to be built in Willets Point and threatens the construction of all of the 1,920 affordable units that were supposed to be built.

The Willets Point development plan agreed to by the City Council in 2008 included the construction of 1,920 units of affordable housing.  Construction was to begin at the outset of the development process, or after the initial remediation.  Under a revised plan, construction of 875 affordable units will not begin until at least 2025, if at all.

“If they put a wrecking ball to 2,000 units of affordable housing to make room for a shopping mall, it would be front-page news and there would be no end to the outrage,” Sen. Peralta said.  “That’s exactly what’s happening here.  It’s just as outrageous.  It’s just as unacceptable.

“Mr. Mayor, stop the bureaucratic wrecking ball.  Let’s hold everyone to their word and provide the affordable housing this community so desperately needs.  That way, in a few years, instead of a New York City mayor coming into this community to complain about a census undercount, the visit will be to tout this area as a model of mixed-use development where everyone has a dignified place to live.”

Former New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. said: “Middle-class and working-class families in Queens and around the City need more affordable housing. I’m concerned about plans to scale back the development of affordable units in Willets Point and urge Mayor Bloomberg to recommit to building quality, affordable housing in every borough.  As Mayor, I will work to expand middle-income and low-income housing so we can end the middle-class squeeze and allow more New Yorkers to remain in the City they love.”

Assemblyman Francisco Moya said: "Developers have an obligation to address the needs and concerns of the local community.  All too often we have seen in working class neighborhoods and communities of color that promises are not kept.  The community surrounding Willets Point needs to be guaranteed by the developers and city officials that the one element of this project that will benefit residents the most will be fulfilled: the construction of affordable housing units.  The proposed delays and reduced number of units is not acceptable.  I look forward to working with the City Council, local community boards, and the Queens Development Group to make sure that our voices are heard, promises are kept, and that we will not have our communities needs pushed to the side."

Council Member Julissa Ferreras said: “Affordable housing is a necessity for Willets Point and has always remained my priority.  Since day one, I have worked to negotiate with the Administration to secure a fair plan that will ensure 35 percent of the new apartment units being built are affordable housing units. I am appreciative of the support that I have received from my colleague in local government, Senator Peralta, to bring affordable housing to Willets Point now.”

Council Member Daniel Dromm said: “It is unconscionable that the Administration is spending substantial resources on enticing a major league soccer stadium to the area but refuses to reaffirm a commitment to ensuring that affordable housing will be included in any future development at Willet's Point.  New Yorkers who work hard and live in the area should be prioritized over special interests who will give little back to the community.”

Ivan Contreras, Coordinator of Queens Housing Coalition, said: "According to the official contract between the City and the Joint Venture neither party are legally obligated to build the ramps which are needed to develop the housing part.  This means that they can walk away from the project leaving the community with a mall, a hotel, a retail center and a parking lot and not building a unit of housing. I don't think this is what the community wants and needs.  New York is in a housing crisis we need affordable housing and we need it now"  

Leandra Requena, Queens resident and member of Make the Road New York, said: "Members of the community fought hard for affordable housing to be included in the original Willets Point agreement.  Now the developers are backing away from this commitment.  After a history of broken promises, the City should not allow this developer to build a mall at Willets Point, especially when this community does not need yet another mall."

As the plan stands now, there may be no affordable housing ever constructed as part of the Willets Point development.  That's because housing construction may not begin until the city builds additional exit ramps off the Van Wyck Expressway.

The problem is that the city appears to have no intention of completing such construction before 2024, delaying the building of affordable housing until at least 2025.  Moreover, if the ramp construction is not completed by December 1, 2025, the developer, the Queens Development Group, is under no obligation to build any affordable housing whatsoever.  And, ultimately, it could be the Queens Development Group deciding when the ramps are built, should the developer undertake the job.

But even if the ramps are built in a timely manner, the developer may buy its way out of its affordable housing obligation.

“These conditions put the construction of any affordable housing units in serious doubt,” Sen. Peralta wrote in a letter last week to Mayor Bloomberg, City Council Christine Quinn and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.  “My community and other communities affected by the Willets Redevelopment simply can’t afford to wait or rely on conditional promises.  We need answers and we need results.”

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May 31, 2013
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Committee Meeting: Housing, Construction and Community Development Meeting

Senate Standing Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development Senator Catharine M. Young, Chair 12:30 PM, Tuesday, June 4, 2013 Room 308 LOB

June 4, 12:30 PM - 12:37 PM
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The Villager Op-Ed: Giving the public a real say on NYCHA infill plan

May 30, 2013 : By Brad Hoylman and Brian Kavanagh Leasing off the basketball courts of low-income New Yorkers to build luxury apartments might sound extreme, but that’s among the proposals by the New York City Housing Authority to raise revenue.

May 30, 2013
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Statement on the Illegal Hotel Law, Airbnb, and the Nigel Warren Case

Sen. Krueger released the following statement in response to recent developments regarding the illegal hotel law and Airbnb. Sen. Krueger sponsored the 2010 law that enables New York City to take enforcement action against illegal hotel operations and illegal short-term rentals in residential multiple dwellings.

May 22, 2013
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Senate Passes Measure to Encourage Environmentally Friendly Home Building

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to encourage the building of more “green” homes by creating a property tax exemption.

May 20, 2013
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Committee Meeting: Housing, Construction and Community Development Meeting

Senate Standing Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development Senator Catharine M. Young, Chair 12:30 PM, Tuesday, May 21, 2013 Room 308 LOB

May 21, 12:30 PM - 1:03 PM
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Kennedy, Ryan Welcome New Homeowner to Recently Renovated 19th Street Home; Announce Major Housing Grant for Buffalo’s West Side

Lawmakers announce $175,000 in state funds from NYS Affordable Housing Corporation to help rehab five more homes for ownership opportunities in 19th Street neighborhood. 

New homeowner Gary Damon Jr. accepts the keys to his 19th Street home, which Homefront Inc. recently rehabilitated, in a ceremonial key presentation. 

Kennedy: Homeownership has always been at the heart of the American Dream, and this state funding will help local families live the American Dream right here on Buffalo’s West Side.

May 16, 2013
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Senate Passes Klein Bill Empowering D.A.'s to Evict Drug Dealers and Violent Criminals from Neighborhood Homes

ALBANY, NEW YORK – On Monday afternoon, the New York State Senate passed legislation enabling District Attorneys to expedite eviction proceedings against individuals who use their home as a base for criminal operations. Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) is the prime sponsor of the legislation. 

May 6, 2013
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University of Rochester Breaks Ground on College Town

Earlier today, I had the privilege to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the University of Rochester's College Town. College Town will be located on the corner of Mt. Hope and Elmwood, and will offer 500,000 square feet for retail, a hotel, a parking garage with 1,500 spaces, restaurants, and housing on a 14-acre development. The project received a $4 million grant from the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council.

May 2, 2013
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Senator Hoylman, Assembly Members Wright & Kavanagh Announce Legislation Requiring Full Public Review of Any NYCHA Land Disposition

New York, NY— New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assembly Housing Chair Keith L.T. Wright and Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh are introducing S.4641/A.6964, the “NYCHA Real Property Public Review Act,” which requires that any disposition of land or buildings by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) be subject to New York City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), the same review process that other city agencies must adhere to when redeveloping public land. The need for legislative action is clear.

May 2, 2013
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ESL Building Newest Habitat for Humanity Home

Last week, I had the privilege to attend a ground breaking ceremony for the newest Habitat for Humanity House. This house will be built by, and sponsored by, ESL. bout 400 ESL employees will volunteer 3,200 hours on the home's construction, which is expected to take 11 weeks. The house is located in Rochester's JOSANA neighborhood.

April 29, 2013
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Senate Housing Committee Passes Squadron Bill to Make Mitchell-Lama Housing More Accessible

ALBANY -- Today, the NY State Senate Committee on Housing, Construction, and Community Development passed Senator Daniel Squadron's bill to make the Mitchell-Lama Housing Program more accessible to middle class families.

Current law stipulates that families with two or more dependents -- whose joint annual net income exceeds 100% but is below 125% of average median income (AMI) -- are eligible for Mitchell-Lama housing if they pay a rental surcharge. But by making this allowance available only to families with dependents, many families are excluded simply because they don’t have children. 

April 29, 2013
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Senator Kennedy Passes Key Bill to Boost Service Collaborative of WNY; Will Save Local Non-Profit $20,000

Kennedy’s bill will result in estimated $20,000 cost savings for The Service Collaborative, allowing them to invest more in neighborhoods, local non-profits. 

Legislation now needs Assembly approval and Governor’s signature. 

Kennedy: The Service Collaborative is Committed to Improving Quality of Life in Buffalo and WNY, and This Will Help Them Reduce Overhead Costs and Invest More in Our Community.

April 29, 2013
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Committee Meeting: Housing, Construction and Community Development Meeting

Senate Standing Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development Senator Catharine M. Young, Chair 11:30 AM, Monday, April 29, 2013 Room 308 LOB

April 29, 11:30 AM - 11:45 AM
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Big Banks Have Let 100’s of WNY Homes to Fall into Disrepair; Kennedy, Ryan Push New Legislation to Make Banks Pay for Foreclosure Delay

Kennedy, Ryan, local residents launch push for new state law at 35 Gary Lane, a Cheektowaga home falling into disrepair as a result of Bank of America’s delay. 

Hundreds of homes across Western New York end up in “foreclosure-delay limbo” when banks drag their feet. 

Kennedy: Big banks’ delay hurts our community and our home values. WNY is sending a message to Wall Street: You made this mess. You clean it up.

April 5, 2013
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